By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – For the second time in 2013-14, Green Bay junior Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) has been named the Horizon League Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks. After averaging 27.5 points, seven assists and six rebounds in road wins at Chicago State and Milwaukee, Sykes earned the honor for the fifth time in 2013-14 and ninth time in his career, the league office announced on Monday.
With five weekly honors as a junior, Sykes ties the Horizon League record for Horizon League Player of the Week awards in a season. The nine in his three-year career are the second-most in conference history, behind only Detroit’s Rashad Phillips, who had 10. Senior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) has won two weekly awards this season, giving Green Bay winners in seven of the 10 weeks the conference has handed out a Player of the Week award.
Sykes started his week with an efficient 21-point, nine-assist performance in Green Bay’s 98-62 victory at Chicago State on Tuesday night. He made 9-of-13 shots from the field and committed just two turnovers in 29 minutes of action.
On Sunday, he took his game to another level in a 93-86 overtime victory at Milwaukee. The 5-foot-11 point guard scored 23 of his career-high 34 points after halftime. He scored seven points during a 10-3 closing run to force overtime, including the game-tying layup with 43 seconds to play.
Against Milwaukee, Sykes played 43 minutes without committing a turnover, grabbed a career-high eight rebounds and added five assists. After starting just 4-of-14 from the field, he made 9-of-12 shots during a second-half stretch in which he tallied 21 points. The performance included a season-high three makes from long range.
For the season, Sykes is now averaging 20.5 points and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 50.7 percent from the field. He ranks 22nd nationally in scoring and is the nation’s only player to boast averages of 20-plus points and 5-plus assists per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field.
In the Horizon League, Sykes ranks first in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio, second in scoring, eighth in free-throw percentage, ninth in steals and 11th in field goal percentage.
In 80 career games, Sykes has scored 1,202 points to rank 16th on the program’s all-time scoring ledger. On Sunday, he passed former Phoenix standouts Joe Mauel, Ryan Evanochko and Matt Rohde.
With eight-straight wins, a 13-3 overall record and a 3-0 mark in Horizon League play, head coach Brian Wardle’s team continues its four-game road trip on Friday night at 6 p.m. against Wright State. The contest will be televised nationally by ESPNU.
- Green Bay has won eight-straight games for the first time since a nine-game winning streak in 2003-04.
- Green Bay has scored 90 or more points in five games this season, the most 90-point games in the program’s Division I history.
- The team’s scoring average 78.9 points per game is the highest in Green Bay’s Division I history.
- The Phoenix is 11-0 in 2013-14 when scoring 70-plus points.
- Green Bay’s three losses this season are to teams with a combined record of 39-8 (Wisconsin, 16-0; Harvard, 14-2; Eastern Michigan, 9-6).
- Senior Alec Brown is averaging 20.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.9 blocks during Green Bay’s eight-game winning streak while shooting 56.7 percent from the field.
- Brown has now accumulated 1,477 points, 733 rebounds and 270 blocked shots in his four-year Phoenix career.
- With 733 rebounds, Brown is 34 boards shy of breaking the Green Bay Division I record for career rebounds, held by Terry Evans.
- The 7-foot-1 Brown ranks fourth in the Horizon League in three-point percentage, making 22-of-50 threes for 44 percent.
- Brown now owns the top-four spots on the program’s single-season blocks chart. With 55 blocks this season, Brown ranks first in the conference and 12th nationally in blocks per game (3.4).
- With 270 career blocked shots, Brown is 40 rejections away from breaking the Horizon League record of 309 set last season by Youngstown State’s Damian Eargle.
- With an average of 7.8 blocks per game this season, Green Bay is second nationally and first in the Horizon League.
- With 124 blocks through 16 games, the Phoenix is on pace to break the Horizon League and Green Bay records for blocks in a season.
- Sophomore Jordan Fouse has reached double figures in three of the past four games for the Phoenix.
- Last week, Fouse averaged 6.5 assists per game, including a career-high seven at Milwaukee.
- Fouse is the lone non-guard to rank in the top-10 in the Horizon League in assists per game (3.1).
- Fouse has grabbed five or more rebounds in 35-straight games dating back to his freshman season.
- After leading the Horizon League as a freshman, Fouse is again atop the conference charts in rebounds per game (8.4).
- Junior Greg Mays has reached double figures in three-straight games and is averaging 10.6 points per game (22nd in Horizon League).
- Mays ranks fifth in the conference in field goal percentage at 56.9 percent (70-123).
- Freshman Kenneth Lowe scored a career-high eight points at Milwaukee.
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