After losing five out of six games, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team has righted the ship and now rides a four-game winning streak thanks to two key Badgers.
Two of those wins were picked up this week, the first against Minnesota Thursday night and the second at No. 15 Michigan Sunday afternoon, the two key factors in those games being Frank Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes. In light of these key performances, the two players received weekly honors from the Big Ten for the week.
Kaminsky, a junior forward from Lisle, Ill., garnered his second career Big Ten Player of the Week award after he averaged 21.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game across the two victories.
Although Kaminsky earned the award earlier in the season with his 43-point outburst against North Dakota on Nov. 19, his stat line this time around was not just limited to his scoring. In the game at Michigan, Kaminsky collected 11 rebounds along with leading all scorers with 25 points to attain his first career double-double.
Between the two victories, Kaminsky also sank 11 of his 12 free throw attempts, including going 9-9 from the charity stripe against Minnesota Thursday night at the Kohl Center. Kaminsky scored 17 points total in the 78-70 win over the border rival Gophers while snagging six rebounds.
Meanwhile, Hayes became the first freshman in Big Ten history to receive the Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor multiple times in back-to-back weeks.
His 15-point, four-rebound performance against the Gophers was enough to secure him his fourth honor of the season. In Sunday’s win over the Wolverines, Hayes tallied only four points while swiping two steals but that was still enough to separate him from the rest of the freshmen crowd in the Big Ten.
Hayes is also averaging 10.6 points a game this season, a mark that is second among all freshmen in the Big Ten. He is also shooting 56.3 percent from the field this year, which is second among all Big Ten players.
Besides this week, Hayes also has been honored as Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the week of Feb. 10 and the back-to-back weeks of Dec. 30 and Jan. 6. He is second to only Noah Vonleh of Indiana, who has received the weekly award seven times so far this season.