Feb. 23, 2009
IOWA CITY, Iowa – – Iowa guard Jake Kelly has been named Big Ten Conference Player of the Week for his efforts in Iowa’s 70-60 overtime win over Michigan on Sunday, the only game of the week for the Hawkeyes.
Kelly, a 6-6 sophomore from Carmel, IN, contributed career-bests in points (23), rebounds (8), assists (9) and minutes played (45) as Iowa earned a season split with the Wolverines. Kelly also played a key role defensively, holding Michigan’s Manny Harris to nine points. The Wolverine sophomore entered the game as Michigan’s leading scorer and the second leading scorer in the Big Ten Conference.
Kelly connected on 8-17 field goals and all four free throws against Michigan and scored nine of Iowa’s 14 points in the overtime period. He gave Iowa the lead for good with a short jumper to begin the extra session. He added a three-point basket, a lay-up and finally two free throws for the final Iowa points of the game. Kelly also had two steals and was guilty of just two turnovers.
Forced by injuries to take over the point guard position in Iowa’s last two games, Kelly also scored 19 points in a Feb. 14 loss to Purdue. He scored 17 points in a loss at Wisconsin to give him a 19.7 average in Iowa’s last three games.
“This is a deserving honor for Jake,” said Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter. “Offensively, We’ve been pleased with his decision making. Defensively, he has guarded our opponent’s most aggressive perimeter player and has really taken that responsibility to heart. He’s got great length and I think he’s a terrific defender.”
Kelly is averaging 10.3 points for the season and 11 points in Big Ten play. He is shooting 44.6% from the field, 35.1% from three-point range and 82.5% from the free throw line.
The Big Ten Player of the Week honor is the first for Kelly and the first for an Iowa player this season.
The Hawkeyes return to action Wednesday at Michigan State (7:35 p.m. CT, BTN) and travel to Northwestern Saturday (1:05 p.m., BTN).