Thomas Bryant earns Big Ten Freshman of the Week award #iubb

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Thomas Bryant’s second week of college basketball was a good one.

It was so good that the Big Ten recognized Bryant on Monday as the league’s freshman of the week after he averaged 14 points, 6.5 rebounds and made four blocks between wins against Austin Peay and Creighton.

Bryant shot 75 percent (12-of-16) from the field for the week and became the first Hoosier to received the honor since James Blackmon Jr on Jan. 12, 2015.

The Rochester native highlighted his week with 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocks against the Blue Jays on Thursday at Assembly Hall. Bryant’s only misses from the field came from beyond the arc, as he shot 11-for-11 on his 2-point attempts.

Beyond the box scores, Bryant is giving the Hoosiers a boost with the energy he’s brought to the floor in all three games this season.

“He doesn’t run around stomping his feet every day in practice, but he does play hard,” Crean said after the Creighton win. “He has to be careful because he’s wearing a boot most of the time that he’s not on the court, so we don’t want him stomping too hard. But he’s playing with more confidence all the time. Still a lot to learn and still a lot of reps to get in practice that he didn’t get when he was out for the first couple weeks with the foot injury.

“But he’s been well-coached, he’s poised, and what I’m proudest of is that he’s playing with emotion, and it’s not emotional. He’s got great emotion. If it was emotional, he wouldn’t be able to make the plays he’s making and he wouldn’t make the finishes that he’s making.”