By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer
Junior forward Johnathan Motley was named the Philips 66 Big 12 Conference Player of the Week on Monday afternoon.
The weekly award is voted on by a panel of media members and later announced by the conference office.
Motley played a vital role in Baylor’s two wins last week. In Tuesday’s 74-64 victory over Texas, the Houston native produced the fourth 30-point, 20-rebound performance in program history. He finished the game with 32 points and 20 rebounds, including 23 and 14 in the second half alone.
In Saturday’s win in Fort Worth against Texas Christian University, Motley was right at his season average, scoring 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds. In the final four minutes after senior guard Ishmail Wainwright’s three-pointer put Baylor ahead, Motley had two key baskets, including a lop play out of a timeout and an emphatic dunk that nailed the coffin shut for the Horned Frogs.
Motley says that he wasn’t trying to do anything differently this past week but was simply trying to make his presence felt in the game.
“I just wanted to come back and make sure I played a better game than the last two I played,” Motley said after his Texas performance. “I wasn’t too happy with myself. I tried to do everything I could to be better than those games and just help my team win.”
Motley also drew extremely high praise from University of Texas men’s basketball head coach Shaka Smart after his performance Tuesday night.
“Motley’s really good. The thing that he keeps getting better with is his motor,” Smart said. “That’s how he got a lot of those rebounds. He just stayed with them, kept fighting, went after them. Anytime you get 30 and 20, I don’t care where it is or who you are, you just don’t see that very often.”
This is the third time this season that Motley has earned the top weekly honor from the Big 12 and the fourth time a Bear has earned the honor. Motley also received the award the week of Nov. 28 following Baylor’s series of comebacks over VCU, Michigan State and Louisville in claiming the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament title and the week of Jan. 9 following wins over Iowa State and Oklahoma State, which propelled Baylor to its first No. 1 ranking in school history.
Junior guard Manu Lecomte is the other Baylor member to have received Big 12 player of the week this season. He won the honor the week of Dec. 5 after Baylor’s 76-61 win over then seventh’ ranked Xavier. He has also earned the honor of Big 12 newcomer of the year twice, the week of Nov.16 following a win over the University of Oregon and Jan. 3.
Motley and Baylor return to action against Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ferrell Center.