No. 4 Arizona basketball’s Oumar Ballo wins Pac-12 Player of the Week

Dec 26, 2023, 1:36 PM

Oumar Ballo...

Oumar Ballo #11 of the Arizona Wildcats is greeted by teammates during player introductions before the Desert Classic against the Florida Atlantic Owls at T-Mobile Arena on December 23, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Owls defeated the Wildcats 96-95 in double overtime. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

No. 4 Arizona basketball redshirt senior center Oumar Ballo won the Pac-12 Player of the Week award for performances in a win over Alabama and a loss against No. 7 Florida Atlantic.

Ballo recorded double-doubles in both games, totaling 29 points and 33 rebounds for the Wildcats to cap nonconference play.

He is the second Arizona player to win the award this year after guard Kylan Boswell on Nov. 13.

Ballo scored 16 points with 12 rebounds during Arizona’s 87-74 win over Alabama at the Jerry Colangelo Hall of Fame Series at Footprint Center last Wednesday.

“We obviously wanted to pound it inside and take advantage of (Ballo),” head coach Tommy Lloyd said postgame. “He just impacts the game at both ends of the floor. He rebounded really well today, changed a bunch of shots around the rim and his physical force of putting his body on guys in the paint just wears them out.”

Ballo followed with a career-high 21 boards against FAU in a double-overtime loss, 96-95.

This is his second Pac-12 Player of the Week honor, the first coming last season.

The seven-footer won the Pac-12 Most Improved Player of the Year and made First Team All Pac-12 after starting all 35 games last season. He entered 2023-24 as a preseason All-American.

Ballo has averaged 12.9 points and 8.1 rebounds while shooting 61.9% from the field in 11 games this season.

UCLA’s Sebastian Mack won Pac-12 Freshman of the week, beating out fellow nominee KJ Lewis of Arizona.

The Wildcats return to action Friday against California on the road to begin the Pac-12 schedule.

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