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Monday, February 15, 2021

KU’s Jalen Wilson named Big 12 newcomer of the week

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson celebrates after making a 3-point basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Ames, Iowa. Kansas won 64-50. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Kansas forward Jalen Wilson celebrates after making a 3-point basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Ames, Iowa. Kansas won 64-50. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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Kansas guard Jalen Wilson earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors this week after recording three consecutive double-doubles and helping lead Kansas to a 3-0 week.

Wilson, a redshirt freshman from Denton, Texas, averaged 16.7 points and 10.7 rebounds in KU’s wins over Oklahoma State and Iowa State last week.

He’s currently riding a streak of four consecutive double-doubles, which is a KU freshman record, and his seven total so far are the third most by a KU freshman in the Bill Self era behind Josh Jackson (13 in 2016-17) and Joel Embiid (8 in 2013-14).

Wilson ranks third on the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game and is KU’s leading rebounder at 7.8 boards per game. That rebounding mark puts him third in the Big 12 and first among all Big 12 freshmen.

Wilson’s becomes the second Jayhawk to earn one of the conference’s weekly honors this season. Sophomore guard Christian Braun was named Big 12 player of the week in late December.

A chance to rest

After playing three games in six days last week, the Jayhawks took Sunday off completely to give their bodies and minds some rest.

Self called the decision to rest early in the week instead of after Wednesday’s game at K-State “the percentage play.” He noted that the Jayhawks will not be able to enjoy any down time later in the week because doing so would limit their time to prepare for No. 15 Texas Tech.

“I think that was probably good for us,” Self said of the off day Sunday. “I’m sure K-State did the same thing, so we should have two fresh teams playing each other on Wednesday.”

Self said the Jayhawks would practice hard Monday and Tuesday before traveling to Manhattan for a 7 p.m. tipoff on Wednesday night at Bramlage Coliseum.

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