Courtesy: Kansas State Athletics
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Senior Nino Williams earned Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career on Monday after averaging a near double-double in a pair of Kansas State wins last week.
Williams becomes the first Wildcat to earn the Big 12’s Player of the Week accolade since Angel Rodriguez won the team’s fifth weekly honor of the 2012-13 season on Feb. 18, 2013. It marks the school’s 22nd league Player of the Week honor since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997.
Williams averaged 17.0 points on 56.3 percent shooting (9-of-16) to go with 9.5 rebounds in 32.5 minutes per game in helping the Wildcats to home wins over Bradley (50-47) and Savannah State (73-53). He also shot a stellar 88.9 percent (16-of-18) from the free throw line, including an 8-of-8 effort against Savannah State. He has now scored in double figures in six of his eight games played this season, including four consecutive games.
Williams opened the week with his second career double-double and first of the season against Bradley, as he led the team in both scoring (14) and rebounding (12) in 33 minutes of action. He connected 8-of-10 free throws, including four in a row in the last 6:40 of the contest. He followed with his second career 20-point effort in the win over Savannah State, as he went 6-of-8 from the field and 8-of-8 from the free throw line, for a career-tying 20 points to go with a team-high seven rebounds in 32 minutes. It marked just his second 20-point game and the first since also scoring 20 in a double-overtime loss at Baylor on Feb. 15, 2014.
In registering four consecutive double-digit scoring games for the first time in his career, Williams is currently averaging 12.8 points on 52.2 percent shooting with a team-high 5.1 rebounds in 27.9 minutes per game with seven starts in eight games played. He ranks second on the team in scoring, double-digit scoring games (6), field goals (36), free throws (29), free throws attempted (38), free throw percentage (76.3) and minutes played. He missed the exhibition and the first two regular season games due to a knee injury. He has led the team in scoring a team-best three times and grabbed the rebound lead in three contests.
In the last four games, Williams is averaging 15.8 points on 60 percent shooting (21-of-35) and 7.8 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game while helping K-State to three wins during that span.
K-State (6-4) will take the week off for semester exams before returning to action on Saturday, Dec. 20 against former Big 12 foe Texas A&M (7-2) at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri for the Wildcat Classic. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. and will air nationally on ESPNU.