Forward Zeke Nnaji picked up his fourth Freshman of the Week award on Monday after leading the Wildcats to wins over Cal and Stanford, but ASU’s Remy Martin beat him out for Player of the Week after doing the same thing for the Sun Devils.
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Nnaji averaged 21.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and shot 60.9% while Martin averaged 23.0 points, 3.5 assists (but 3.5 turnovers) in the Sun Devils’ wins over Stanford and Cal, shooting a combined 67% while making 5 of 6 3-pointers.
Then again, it’s been difficult for any freshman to win the Pac-12’s top weekly award, despite the fact that many of the conference’s most talented players are freshmen.
Only one Pac-12 freshman has earned the Player of the Week award so far: USC’s Onyeka Okwongu, on Nov. 25 after averaging 25.0 points in the Trojans’ wins over Pepperdine and Temple.
It’s difficult to tell if having both a Player and a Freshman of the Week award are keeping freshmen from winning the overall award, though, and the vote results between Martin and Nnaji was not close this week.
In any case, the Wildcats were celebrating Nnaji all weekend.
First, he had 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting with five rebounds at Cal, with the Wildcats taking advantage of the Bears’ limited size inside.
“When we get the ball to Zeke, good things happen,” guard Dylan Smith said after that game. “Zeke’s a great player. He’s willing to pass out of the post and does a good job for being so young. He’s a special talent. So the more we give him the ball, the better we’ll be.”