MISSOULA — In three weeks of Big Sky Conference play, the Montana Grizzlies have yet to lose a game, and for the third-straight week, the Griz have earned Big Sky Player of the Week honors.
With 49 points and 20 rebounds over the course of two road wins for Montana, Martin Breunig has been named this week’s Big Sky Player of the Week.
The 6-foot-8 senior forward from Leverkusen, Germany, was the leading scorer in the Grizzlies’ 73-66 win over Northern Colorado with 22 points, and its 65-61 win over North Dakota with 27 points. In those two games, Breunig proved almost unstoppable, making 20 of 27 shots from the field, for a 74 percent shooting average. On the glass, Breunig was effective on both sides of the court, hauling down a total of nine offensive, and 11 defensive rebounds.
As Montana’s leading scorer and rebounder this year, Breunig posted double-double numbers last week, averaging 24.5 points and 10 rebounds. In fact, Breunig is averaging double-double numbers in every Big Sky Conference game so far this season, with a 19.3 point average, and 10.8 rebounds per game. The German giant has compiled seven double-doubles in individual games over the course of the 2015-16 season.
Breunig, a Big Sky preseason all-conference selection, currently holds the fifth best scoring percentage in the league at 18.2 points per game, and the second best rebounding percentage, averaging 9.3 boards per contest. He’s also got the league’s third-best field goal percentage (.634) and fifth-most blocked shots with 20 this year.
Junior guard Brandon Gfeller was the first Grizzly to take home Big Sky Player of the Week honors this season the week of January 4, followed by Junior guard Walter Wright, who was named co-Player of the Week last week (Jan.11).
Surprisingly, this is only the second Player of the Week nod of Breunig’s career. As the league’s “Newcomer of the Year” in 2014-15, Breunig was named co-Player of the Week only once, the week of February 23, 2015. It was one of only two Player of the Week awards last season for the Griz, with the other going to Jordan Gregory the week of February 16.
Sports blog CollegeSportsMadness.com also named Breunig its Big Sky Player of the week.
Breunig and the Griz return home for their biggest test of the Big Sky season thus far, when perennial rivals Idaho and Eastern Washington travel to Missoula on Thursday, January 21, and Saturday, January 23, respectively.
At 6-0, the Grizzlies currently sit atop the Big Sky standings, followed by Weber State (5-0), Idaho, and Eastern Washington (both 3-2).
Tipoff for the Vandals and Eagles games in Missoula is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the Adams Center Box Office or at GrizTix.com.
Others Nominated for Big Sky Player of the Week: Venky Jois – Eastern Washington; Victor Sanders – Idaho; Casey Oliverson – Southern Utah; Tyler Hall – Montana State; Ako Kaluna – Northern Arizona; Quinton Hooker – North Dakota; Joel Bolomboy – Weber State; Dallas Anglin – Northern Colorado; Ethan Telfair – Idaho State; Justin Strings – Sacramento State; Isaiah Pineiro – Portland State
— Montana Sports Information