Jalen McDaniels named MW Player of the Week


Photo by Kelly Smiley

Then-redshirt freshman forward Jalen McDaniels eyes the basket during the Aztecs’ 94-56 victory over UNLV on Feb. 17 at Viejas Arena.

by Abraham Jewett, Sports Editor

San Diego State men’s basketball forward Jalen McDaniels was named the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week on Feb. 19.

This is the first time in his young career that the 6-foot-10 redshirt freshman has received the accolade.

“(It) is a heck of an honor for not only any Aztec, but a freshman,” head coach Brian Dutcher said. “(McDaniels) just plays with high energy high motor, so he fills the stat sheet up. Its points, its rebounds, its effort plays, and you like to see guys rewarded for hard work.”

McDaniels had 16 points and four rebounds during the Aztecs 87-77 victory over the University of Wyoming on Feb. 14, and followed up that performance with 18 points and 12 rebounds in the team’s 94-56 win over UNLV three days later.

“It feels pretty good,” McDaniels said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our team, they put me in the right position to score when I get the ball.”

McDaniels has started 14 games this season while averaging 10 points and 7.2 rebounds in his first year out of Federal Way High School, where he was rated the No. 4 player in the state of Washington during the 2015-16 season.

McDaniels said that while he may not have expected to have this much success in his inaugural season, his ability to produce on the collegiate level comes from playing with confidence.

“I can’t say that I expected to have this year, but I mean I’ve always been confident in myself,” he said. “I know what I can do on the floor, so I’m just out here playing hard for my team.”

The last SDSU player to win the award was senior guard Trey Kell, back in January of 2016.