By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – In 2013-14, it has been more common for junior Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) to win the Horizon League Player of the Week award than for him not to win. On Monday, the conference office announced Sykes won for the second-straight week and third time this season.
With seven career Player of the Week honors, Sykes ties former Cleveland State star Norris Cole for fifth place in Horizon League history. Sykes (Nov. 18, Dec. 2, Dec. 9) and senior Alec Brown (Nov. 25) have won the past four weekly awards.
Playing against one of the nation’s top defenses on Saturday, Sykes put together another impressive performance and helped Green Bay (5-2) to a 75-72 victory over visiting Virginia (7-3). The 5-foot-11 point guard had his second career double-double, finishing with 21 points and 10 assists and accounting for 16 of his squad’s 26 made field goals.
He becomes the first Green Bay player in the program’s Division I history and first since Joe Mauel in 1979-80 to score 20 or more points in six-straight games. The 21-point effort happened despite Sykes taking just 10 shots from the field. Sykes finished 6-of-10 from the field, 2-of-3 from long range and 7-of-8 from the line.
The most impressive aspect of Sykes’ effort may have been that it came in front of Phoenix all-time leading scorer Tony Bennett, the head coach of Virginia.
In the six-game streak, Sykes is averaging 24.7 points and 5.7 assists per game while shooting 53.3 percent from the field (48-90) and 91.8 percent from the free-throw line (45-49).
With season averages of 22.6 points and 5.3 assists per contest, Sykes is one of only three players nationally averaging over 20 points and five assists (Oregon State’s Roberto Nelson and Arizona State’s Jahii Carson). Sykes leads the Horizon League in both categories and is also third in free-throw percentage (.870), third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6), seventh in steals per game (1.3), eighth in minutes per game (32.1) and 10th in field goal percentage (.510).
Green Bay will play its first true road game of the season on Tuesday, playing a tough Eastern Michigan squad in Ypsilanti, Mich., at 6 p.m. CT.
- Green Bay’s two losses this season are to teams with a combined record of 19-1 (Wisconsin, 10-0; Harvard, 9-1).
- Green Bay’s strength of schedule ranks seventh nationally.
- The Phoenix improved to 35-11 at the Resch Center under head coach Brian Wardle.
- Averaging 22.6 points per game, Sykes ranked tied for 15th nationally and first in the Horizon League.
- Sykes has a team-high nine dunks in seven games after totaling only eight dunks as a sophomore.
- Sophomore Jordan Fouse broke the Green Bay record with eight steals against Virginia. He had previously shared the record of seven with Benito Flores.
- Averaging 3.4 per game, Fouse ranks first in the Horizon League and second nationally in steals per game.
- Fouse grabbed a team-high six rebounds grabbed five or more rebounds in 26-straight games.
- Fouse blocked one shot against the Cavaliers, extending his streak of consecutive games with at least one block to 30.
- Green Bay has the conference leader in points (Sykes), assists (Sykes), rebounds (Fouse), steals (Fouse) and blocks (Brown).
- With 8.3 blocks per game this season, Green Bay is tied for second nationally and first in the Horizon League.
- Of the top-10 single-game team block efforts in program history, five has occurred this season.
- Junior Greg Mays scored a career-high 24 points against Virginia, making 8-of-14 shots including three dunks.
- Mays ranks fifth in the Horizon League in field goal percentage (.556) and blocks per game (1.3).
- After reaching double figures just twice as a freshman, Carrington Love has scored 10 or more in five of seven games this season.
- Love made only three three-pointers as a freshman, but knocked down 3-of-4 from long range on Saturday. For the season, Love is averaging 10.6 points and shooting 37.9 percent (11-29) from long range.
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