Central Penn College’s Noah Baylor wins Player of the Year
Senior forward Noah Baylor was named Player of the Year for the 2019–2020 USCAA D2 basketball season. The Frederick, Md., native led the league in rebounds, averaging 14 boards a game, while pumping in 17.6 points per contest, to finish 25th in scoring. In addition, he shot an eye-popping 63% from the field to finish #3 in the league.
“Noah is one of the most deserving and accomplished student-athletes I know,” said Central Penn Athletic Director Kasey Hicks. “He works hard in the classroom and on the court.”
Baylor credits his faith in God for his success this year. Initially, he considered sitting out the entire season due to an injury. He tore a calf muscle in August and had to wear a boot for two months right up to the start of the season. “I believed I wasn’t going to be ready… [and] my leg didn’t feel right at all,” says the business major.
“However, God spoke to me through people in my life,” says Baylor. “I had to have faith that he was going to heal me no matter how I felt or what the doctors were telling me. I had a week of practice and went from there.”
And what a season it was for the fourth-year Knight! In addition to being Player of the Year, he received first-team All-American honors as well.
Stellar offense, tough defense
Baylor powered Central Penn to a 16–5 record with signature wins over ranked opponents, such as Bryant & Stratton – Buffalo, Penn State York and Berkeley College – NY. Central Penn earned a #2 seed in the championship tournament, before falling to Penn State Greater Allegheny in the first round.
Baylor’s steady inside presence anchored the Knights during the long, four-month season that stretched from November to March. He kept getting better as the year went on, scoring 22 and 31 points in the last two games of the regular season, as Central Penn secured road wins against two tough teams from Bryant & Stratton in upstate New York.
Not only did Baylor average a double-double for the entire season, but he actually achieved that difficult goal of at least 10 points/10 rebounds in all 21 games… including against NCAA D1 opponents, such as Morgan State and Campbell University.
He played hard-nosed defense, blocking up the lane and gobbling up rebounds, while never once fouling out.
“It’s a true blessing,” says Baylor about the Player of the Year award. “When I first got to CPC, I was just a kid trying to make the team after I getting a late phone call from Coach Arch [Head Coach Dave Archer].
“From being barely recruited out of high school to becoming a first-team All-American and Player of the Year is a gift from God. I didn’t see any of this coming at all, so all the glory belongs to him,” says the senior.
Baylor is especially appreciative of the support he received from his fellow Knights and the CPC coaching staff. “I just want to thank all my teammates and my coaches for believing in me,” he says. “You guys don’t know how special this season was, and not because of any award but because of the good and bad times we got to spend together.”
“The Player of the Year award is a testament to Noah’s character and the impact he has had on the Central Penn men’s basketball program!” said Hicks.