For the second time this season, Lauri Markkanen has been named the Pac-12 Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday.
The Arizona Wildcats forward emerged from a four-game slump with two stellar performances in the Wildcats’ sweep of the Washington schools, averaging 22.5 points and 12 rebounds on the road trip.
“Lauri was big this week because we were shorthanded and played two road games,” said UA head coach Sean Miller, whose team was without two starters. “We’re late in the conference season and he was terrific player in both games. He’s a terrific player and he certainly earned it.”
Markkanen had 19 points and 11 rebounds on Thursday versus Washington State, then had 26 points and 13 rebounds against Washington on Saturday.
The 7-footer shot 16-of-30 from the field during the week and 12-of-13 from the free throw line.
Markkanen was just 1-of-6 from the 3-point line, but it did not matter as he did nearly all of his damage in the paint.
“Lauri was just an outstanding player this week,” Miller said. “We’ve talked to him about using his size around the rim, whether it be on the offensive glass, scoring in the post. We have helped him ... with getting him the ball once we established that we needed to do that more.”
Markkanen had 13 offensive rebounds during the road trip.
“His 2-point shots, his free throw attempts, and his offensive rebounding in both games, he didn’t need to make a bunch of 3-point shots to have a big offensive night,” Miller said. “That’s something we’re working on to continue to establish.”
Markkanen is Arizona’s leading-scorer this season, averaging 15.7 points per game.
The freshman was also the Pac-12’s Player of the Week in mid-January after he dominated the L.A. schools, which the Wildcats are scheduled to face again this week.
Markkanen is the only Wildcat to win the award this season.
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