The Big Ten conference announced their weekly basketball awards today and for the first time in history Purdue players have won both the Player of the Week and the Freshman of the Week awards during the same week. I found that a bit shocking but the Purdue men’s basketball twitter account tweeted it out and I trust them to know their own history.
It’s no surprise that Williams would win the player of the week after games against Indiana and Penn State. Between the two games Williams averaged 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. I’m not a great basketball mind but I’ll say this, anytime you can average a double double that’s pretty good. To top off the statistics Williams has simply been playing great basketball. If you’ll recall during the Penn State game at one point the team was +12 with him on the floor and an even 0 without him. That’s the type of guy you want on your team. Williams continues to grow by leaps and bounds as a player.
Brandon Newman also had himself a good week against the Hoosiers and the Nittany Lions. He averaged 12.5 points between the two game. Combined he grabbed 11 rebounds and had four blocks. The young man is quickly finding his footing in what is a very stacked Big Ten. He averaged 28 minutes between the two games and has clearly earned the trust of head coach Matt Painter in doing so. Perhaps the most important stat for Newman in the past two games is his free throw percentage. Newman has gone 10-10 between the two games including some very meaningful ones against Penn State. That’s the kind of statistic that keeps you on the floor in close games.
The future continues to look bright not just for these two young men but for the team as a whole as they’ve now won three in a row and have improved to 10-5 overall and 5-3 in conference play. The team next faces Ohio State tomorrow at 6:30 PM.