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Sports >  WSU basketball

CJ Elleby grabs weekly Pac-12 honor after Washington State’s sweep of Oregon schools

Oregon State forward Kylor Kelley (24) fouls Washington State forward CJ Elleby (2) as he heads to the basket during a college basketball game, Sat., Jan. 18, 2020, in Pullman, Wash. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Oregon State forward Kylor Kelley (24) fouls Washington State forward CJ Elleby (2) as he heads to the basket during a college basketball game, Sat., Jan. 18, 2020, in Pullman, Wash. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

An individual award came alongside the team accompishments for Washington State after a weekend sweep of No. 8 Oregon and Oregon State.

CJ Elleby, who scored 47 points and grabbed 23 rebounds for the Cougars last week, was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week, receiving the honor for the first time in his career. Former WSU forward Robert Franks was the last player to earn the award, doing so after a road sweep of the Arizona schools in 2019.

But Elleby becomes the first WSU underclassman to win the award since Klay Thompson did so in back-to-back weeks in November of 2009 – and fittingly on the week Thompson returned to Pullman to have his No. 1 jersey retired.

Against the eighth-ranked Ducks, Elleby carried the scoring load, with 25 points, and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds. His defensive play helped the Cougars hold Oregon to a season-low 61 points.

Isaac Bonton led WSU’s offense on Saturday, as the Cougars welcomed Thompson and Golden State teammate Stephen Curry to the Palouse, but Elleby also chipped in 22 points and nearly had his second double-double of the week with nine rebounds.

“You don’t want to be that dependant on one person, hey we’ve got to get his scoring every night to have a chance to win,” coach Kyle Smith said. “Hopefully that’s not the case, but a guy like that, that can make some things happen is great.”

Elleby has now scored at least 20 points in 12 games and has done it in three of the team’s six conference games. The Seattle native and Cleveland High graduate is leading WSU and fifth in the Pac-12 at 18.9 points per game. His 7.2 rebounds per game also lead the Cougars and rank ninth in the Pac-12. Elleby’s also managed 1.63 steals per game.

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