STARKVILLE, Miss. - For his efforts in Mississippi State's recent home wins over Charlotte and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Bulldog guard Ben Hansbrough has been named the SEC Men's Basketball Freshman of the Week. The announcement was made Monday by the league office headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.
Last year's Missouri Class 5A Player of the Year while starring for Poplar Bluff High School, Hansbrough averaged 19 points, 5.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals last week to help lead coach Rick Stansbury's 4-2 Bulldogs to a pair of home victories. The Poplar Bluff native also connected on 10-of-14 field goals (71.4%), 7-of-10 three-point goals (70%) and 11-of-13 free throws (84.6%) during the week, while playing 59 total minutes of turnover-free basketball.
Hansbrough capped another solid week by establishing season highs for points (23), assists (8) and steals (3) in his first collegiate start during Saturday's 96-72 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The 6-foot-3 backcourt performer was also near-perfect from both the field and the line in nailing 6-of-7 field goals, 5-of-6 treys and 6-of-6 charity tosses, in addition to not committing a turnover in 29 minutes of action against the TAMUCC Islanders. Hansbrough began the week by scoring 15 points, collecting a season-high six rebounds and handing out three assists in 30 minutes of turnover-free basketball off the Bulldog bench in last Wednesday's 78-69 home triumph over the Charlotte 49ers.
For the season, Hansbrough ranks third on the MSU team and third among the SEC's leading freshmen scorers at 11.5 points per game. He also stands as the league's No. 3 rookie playmaker and tied for 15th overall in averaging 3.0 assists per contest. Along with shooting 63 percent (20-of-32 FGs) from the field on the year, Hansbrough ranks second in the SEC in both three-point field-goal percentage (60.0%) and free-throw percentage (89.5%). In addition, he rates fourth overall among conference leaders in assist/turnover ratio (3.00) with 18 assists and only six turnovers through his first six outings.
Hansbrough becomes Mississippi State's first weekly honoree of the 2006-07 basketball season. A year ago, Bulldog guard/forward Jamont Gordon was selected the SEC's Freshman of the Week on four occasions.