Owen Freeman snags ninth Big Ten Freshman of the Week award

For the second week in a row and for the ninth time this season, Iowa forward Owen Freeman has been named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week.

Freeman averaged 12.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.5 blocked shots and 3.0 assists per game as the Hawkeyes split a pair of games at Maryland and versus No. 21 Wisconsin.

In Iowa’s 78-66 loss at Maryland, Freeman scored five points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots. Then, the 6-foot-10, 230 pound freshman big was a key figure in the Hawkeyes’ 88-86 overtime win over Wisconsin.

Freeman was a perfect 6-for-6 from the floor and 8-of-11 from the free throw line en route to 20 points. The Moline, Ill., native registered his fifth double-double of the season, pulling down 12 rebounds.

Freeman also dished out six assists, blocked four shots and came away with two steals.

Freeman is just the third major conference freshman since 2000 with 20 or more points, 10-plus rebounds, five-plus assists and four or more blocks. Per Iowa’s associate director of strategic communications James Allan, Freeman’s 20 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and four blocks versus the Badgers is the only performance of its kind nationally this season. It’s one of eight such games since the 2010-11 season.

“He’s a beast,” Iowa senior guard Tony Perkins said of Freeman. “I told him every time he’d get fouled, get a rebound or get a bucket, ‘You are a beast. Act like it’. That’s the type of player he is. He goes for the ball, he can score, hit free throws, dunk on somebody. He works hard. He’s also got me here that’s here to tell him how good of a player he is.”

Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery has been saying all along that Freeman brings a unique skillset to the Hawkeyes.

“I’ve been saying from the beginning that the thing that makes him unique is that he has a bag. A lot of times you don’t expect that from your 6’10” center. I’ve been encouraging him all year to be that guy. Attack in the open floor, spin, shot-fake, rip and drive. I think the next phase in his game is that he’ll be shooting pull-up jumpers out of that.

“His ability to affect the game at both ends, that’s how we won. He was blocking shots, he’s rebounding the ball, starting our break, giving others an opportunity to make plays and he did it today staying out of foul trouble, so he’s learning,” McCaffery said.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire