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Matt Gatens Named Big Ten Player Of The Week

Or Co-Big Ten Player of the Week, technically, since he's sharing the honor with Purdue's Robbie Hummel, but still: Matt Gatens' torrid shooting streak has not gone unnoticed by our Big Ten overlords, and they have duly rewarded him for his excellence. Nominally this award is for his career-high 33-point effort (67% FG, 7/10 from 3-point range) in Iowa's upset win over Wisconsin on Thursday and his 22-point effort (on 5/6 shooting from distance) in Iowa's loss to Illinois yesterday, but I suspect whoever decides this award was influenced at least a little bit by Gatens' excellence in the Indiana and Penn State games prior to last week's efforts, too. Gatens really has been on a phenomenal hot streak (particularly when it comes to shooting 3s) over his last seven halves of basketball.

In any event, it's nice to see Gatens finally recognized. It's the first Big Ten Player of the Week honor of his career, as well as the first Iowa player to earn B1G POTW honors since Jake Kelly put together his own red-hot streak back in March, 2009. Congratulations all around to Gatens, who has taken his game to an entirely new (and breathtaking) level the past two weeks; it's been a lot of fun to see him mount such an assault on scoreboards around the league. Here's hoping he has a few more games like this left in him this season.