Oumar Ballo earns Pac-12 Player of the Week honors for Arizona Wildcats

Nov 28, 2022, 7:27 PM
Oumar Ballo #11 of the Arizona Wildcats dunks the ball in the second half of the game against the C...
Oumar Ballo #11 of the Arizona Wildcats dunks the ball in the second half of the game against the Creighton Bluejays during the Maui Invitational at Lahaina Civic Center on November 23, 2022 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

Arizona Wildcats junior center Oumar Ballo was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday in men’s basketball.

Ballo has been on a tear to start the season, looking vastly improved a year after backing up center Christian Koloko, who has already started nine games for the Toronto Raptors after being selected in the second round of the 2022 NBA Draft.

Ballo dominated the 2022 Maui Jim Maui Invitational in Hawaii, averaging 21.0 points and 10.7 rebounds a night across three games, two of which came against then-No.17 ranked San Diego State and then-No. 10 ranked Creighton. He was awarded the MVP of the tournament and also selected him as National Player of the Week.

The center from Mali had 30 points in the championship game. On the season through six games, Ballo is at 19.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game after posting 6.8 and 4.4, respectively, as a reserve last year.

A tremendous showing in Maui for the Wildcats launched them from 14th in the rankings to No. 4. They will take a brief break in the non-conference schedule to face Utah on the road Thursday before returning to Tucson for a matchup against California Sunday.

That is a precursor to a big-time pair of Saturdays, the first coming on Dec. 10 versus No. 10 Indiana and the second a week later at the McKale Center hosting No. 13 Tennessee. From there, Arizona plays two more non-conference games before kicking off the true start of Pac-12 play by traveling to Tempe for Round 1 with Arizona State on New Year’s Eve.

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