Elleby named Pac-12 Player of the Week

CJ Elleby and Isaac Bonton lead WSU to season sweep over UW
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CJ Elleby and Isaac Bonton lead WSU to season sweep over UW

SAN FRANCISCO — Washington State Men’s Basketball sophomore forward CJ Elleby was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the week ending on Jan. 18, the conference office announced Monday. Elleby is the first Coug to earn the award this season and the first since Robert Franks took home the top honor Feb. 22, 2019.

A Seattle native, Elleby led the Cougs to an epic home weekend as WSU pulled off its first Pac-12 weekend sweep inside Beasley Coliseum since 2013. Elleby and the Cougars defeated No. 8 Oregon, 72-61, Thursday night before downing Oregon State, 89-76, Saturday afternoon in front of 10,380 Coug fans. The win over Oregon marked the first top-10 win for WSU since 2007 while the win over Oregon State gave WSU the first sweep of the Oregon Schools since 2011.

The second-year star becomes the first Coug underclassman to earn the Pac-12’s weekly honor since the legend Klay Thompson was named the top player in back-to-back weeks to end November of 2009. Fittingly, Thompson was in attendance Saturday as the three-time NBA Champion saw his #1 retired to the rafters during a halftime ceremony in WSU’s win over Oregon State.

Taking on the top ranked team in the Pac-12, Elleby stole the show at home as the sophomore dominated the Ducks on both ends of the floor scoring 25 points while grabbing a career-best 14 rebounds. The double-double was his second of the season and first in Pac-12 play since a 20 and 10 effort at Cal March 2, 2019. In addition to his offense, Elleby spearheaded the Cougars’ defense as WSU locked down the high-flying Duck offense holding Oregon to a season-low 61 points.

Two days later, Elleby continued his stellar weekend as he added another 20+ point effort to his season tally scoring 22 points to help lead the Cougs past the Beavers. In front of the largest on-campus crowd in the state of Washington in nearly a decade, and in front of the Splash Brothers, Elleby and the Cougs’ offense scored a season-high 89 points, dominating the Beavers to snap a four-game skid against OSU. Additionally, Elleby was great on the glass once again grabbing a game-best nine rebounds while also adding a season-high five assists.

Elleby is averaging a team-best 18.9 points per game, fifth in the Pac-12 and ranking 50th in the country. The lanky wing also leads the Cougs in rebounding at 7.2 rebounds per game, ninth best in the Pac-12, while also nabbing 1.63 steals per game on the perimeter.

Elleby becomes the 21st different Cougar to receive conference player of the week honors and just the third Cougar to be named conference player of the week during Pac-12 play since 2009-10 joining Franks and Faisal Aden (Jan. 23, 2012).

The Cougars look to continue their hot streak on the road as they head to the Mountain Schools to take on Colorado (Jan. 23) and Utah (Jan. 25).