For the third time in the first four weeks of the season, Chattanooga Mocs men's basketball graduate big man Jake Stephens has been named the Southern Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday afternoon.
Stephens, who averaged 26.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.5 blocks last week, has now won the award eight times in his career with five honors coming during his tenure at league foe VMI. He was named POTW once in 2020-21, four times in 2021-22 and now three times in the current 2022-23 season.
How does eight career POTW selections stand in league history? Stephens becomes just the fifth student-athlete in SoCon history to win the award eight or more times and the first since John Taft (Marshall), who won it eight times over the span of 1988-91. Stephen Curry (Davidson) is the all-time leader with 16 POTW laurels.
Helping Chattanooga to a 2-0 record last week, Stephens posted 27 points on 7-of-10 shooting (3-5 3PT) and notched his fourth double-double of the season behind a 10-rebound effort in an 81-74 win at Tennessee Tech. He also added six assists and two blocks in the victory.
In Saturday's 82-71 win at Gardner-Webb, Stephens scored 26 points on 8-of-13 shooting (3-of-6 3PT) and hauled in nine rebounds while blocking five shots. The performance marked his third-straight game with 26 or more points and his fourth 20+ point game this season.
For the season, Stephens leads the SoCon in points per game (21.0) and rebounds per game (9.1), with his scoring average ranking 16th in NCAA DI. He sits sixth in NCAA DI in defensive rebounds per game (8.25) and is ranked 10th in total double-doubles (4).
Chattanooga (5-3) hosts Milwaukee (7-3) in a mid-major showdown tomorrow, Tuesday, December 6, inside McKenzie Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+. The game will feature the annual Teddy Bear Toss to benefit the Chattanooga Forgotten Child Fund.