Ethan Happ earns first career Big Ten Player of Week honor

MADISON, Wis. – Following a big week, including a career day at Minnesota, Ethan Happ of the Wisconsin men's basketball team was announced as Co-Big Ten Player of the Week by the league office on Monday. It marked the first career Big Ten Player of the Week honor for the sophomore forward from Milan, Illinois.

For the week, Happ averaged an impressive 19.5 points (50% FG), 9.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game in a pair of wins, the first coming at home over Michigan followed by an overtime victory on the road against rival Minnesota. In a 68-64 home victory over Michigan last Tuesday, Happ filled the box score in typical fashion and finished with 11 points and team highs in rebounds (6), assists (3), blocks (2) and steals (2).

At Minnesota this past Saturday, the sophomore led UW with a career-high 28 points, a game-high 12 rebounds, a career-high five blocks, he matched his career-high with six assists and also had one steal.

With his all-around dominance against Minnesota, Happ became the first major conference player since 2003 to reach 25 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 blocks in a game. He also became the first Badger since Frank Kaminsky in 2013 to score 20+ points in one half and the first since Kaminsky in 2014 to record 5+ blocks in a game.

After a breakout freshman campaign garnered him Preseason All-Big Ten selection, Happ has been building a case to be an All-American in his sophomore season. Happ is on the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list, as well as a candidate for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year award and the Naismith Player of the Year award.

Happ ranks third in the Big Ten with seven double-doubles this season. Among the league leaders in a number of categories, Happ is also tied for 16th in scoring (13.6 ppg), third in field goal percentage (.602), third in rebounding (9.2 rpg), third in steals (1.8 spg) and tied for 13th in blocks (1.1 bpg).

Happ is the only player in the NCAA averaging at least 13.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. In fact, Happ is trying to become the first major conference player in the last 20 seasons to reach those marks for an entire season. Vermont's Marqus Blakely (2010) is the only NCAA Division-I player to achieve that since 1996-97.

Photo: Wisconsin Badgers

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