The Big Ten released its weekly award winners for week 14 of the regular season on Monday and Illinois ended up splitting the awards. Giorgi Bezhanishvili was named as Big Ten Player of the Week and Ayo Dosunmu was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week. In a big week for the league, these three stood out.
Entering this season, expectations were relatively low for Bezhanishvili. He arrived on campus as a generic three-star recruit and few thought he would end up being a major contributor in year one. However, as the season as developed, he has really emerged as a key piece for the Illini.
And that was particularly evident this week. In wins over Michigan State and Rutgers, Bezhanishvili averaged an impressive 25.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Notably, he had 35 points in the team’s overtime win over Rutgers on Saturday. This is the first time he has been named Big Ten Player of the Week during his career.
Dosunmu also had a really nice performance for the Illini this week. He averaged 18.0 points, 4.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals in the team’s wins over the Spartans and Scarlet Knights and had 24 in the win against Michigan State. This is the first time that Dosunmu has earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors.
All told, it was a big week for the Big Ten and Illinois. It will be exciting to watch Bezhanishvili and Dosunmu as the season continues to unfold.