Brice Johnson has had a terrific senior season at North Carolina and added another two impressive performances this week. The Orangeburg, South Carolina native has been named NetScouts Basketball’s National Player of the Week for games from January 18th to January 24th.
The 6-foot-9 forward opened the week with 27 points and 11 rebounds in an 83-68 victory over Wake Forest. He was 8-of-12 from the field and a near perfect 11-of-12 from the free throw line. Johnson followed with another double-double against Virginia Tech, this time posting 19 points and 17 rebounds, as he led the Tar Heels to a 75-70 road victory. On the week, Johnson averaged 23.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals, and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting 59.3% (16-27) from the field and 83.4% (14-17) from the free throw line.
This is the second time that Johnson has earned the National Player of the Week honor this season. He’s averaging close to a double-double this year (16.7 PPG, 9.8 RPG) as North Carolina has yet to lose in conference play.
Jakob Poeltl led Utah to a pair of road victories in Washington, including an overtime escape in which Poeltl posted a double-double. The Vienna, Austria native has been named NetScouts Basketball’s International Player of the Week for games from January 18th to January 24th.
The sophomore began the road trip with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists in 23 minutes as the Utes cruised to a 92-71 win against Washington State. Poeltl then scored 29 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished four assists as Utah survived a late comeback from Washington that forced overtime. The 7-footer averaged 21.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game while shooting 60% (15-25) from the floor and 81.3% (13-16) from the stripe. He also committed just one turnover in 61 minutes of action.
Many were surprised when Poeltl turned down the NBA Draft and decided to return for his sophomore season at Utah, but he’s shown strides in his game that could result in a lottery selection. Poeltl has made leaps in his scoring and free throw shooting that should impress NBA scouts and help Utah compete in the highly competitive Pac-12.
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