Kyle Wiltjer kept Gonzaga's unbeaten conference record alive this week with huge games against Pacific and St. Mary's. The Portland, Ore. native has been named NetScouts Basketball's National Player of the Week for games from February 16th to February 22nd.
Wiltjer, a 6-foot-10 junior forward, opened the road trip with 45 points on 15-of-22 shooting and a 7-of-10 display from three-point range. It was Gonzaga's highest scoring total in 54 years as the Bulldogs topped Pacific, 86-74. He added six rebounds and four assists in the win. Wiltjer followed with 16 points and 12 rebounds in a comeback win against St. Mary's. He was 4-of-10 from the floor and 2-of-4 from deep as Gonzaga won its 21st straight game this season. On the week, Wiltjer averaged 30.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game while shooting 59.4 percent (19-of-32) from the field and 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from behind the arc.
After sitting out last season due to transfer rules, Wiltjer has become the leading scorer for Gonzaga. The former Kentucky product is averaging 17.4 points per game while shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 46.9 percent from deep. Gonzaga hopes to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and will finish the regular season 30-1 if the Bulldogs can defeat San Diego and BYU.
In the Ivy League, junior Maodo Lo led Columbia to a pair of road wins. The Berlin, Germany native has been named NetScouts Basketball's International Player of the Week for games from February 16th to February 22nd.
The 6-foot-3 guard started the week with a career night of his own, scoring 35 points on 14-of-20 shooting as Columbia topped Brown, 76-59. Lo added five rebounds, five assists, and four steals in the win. He had another great performance with 18 points, six assists, and three steals on 6-of-16 shooting against Yale. The Lions defeated Yale 56-50 as Lo led Columbia in scoring once again. He averaged 26.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game this week while shooting 55.6 percent (20-of-36) from the field and (4-of-8) from three-point range.
Columbia, a team that features three international players, improved to 13-11 on the season and 5-5 in conference play. Lo has been the top player for the Lions this season, averaging 17.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. While Columbia won't be NCAA Tournament bound, Lo has been a bright spot for the Lions and will be one of the top returners in the conference next season.
Carl Berman is Managing Partner of NetScouts Basketball.