UCLA's Thomas Welsh earns Pac-12 Men's Basketball Player of the Week award

December 7, 2015

UCLA sophomore Thomas Welsh recorded a pair of double-doubles in the Bruins’ two victories last week, including Thursday’s upset of No. 1 Kentucky, to earn his first career Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week award.

After an inconsistent freshman year for the Bruins, Welsh's confidence and game have soared this season after spending the summer playing for the 2015 USA Basketball U19 National Team that captured the gold medal with a perfect 7-0 record at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship in Heraklion, Greece.

The 7-0 center from Redondo Beach, California, averaged 18.0 points on 65 percent shooting (15-23 FG), 10.5 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in the two wins, spotlighted by a season-best 21-point, 11-rebound effort that led the Bruins to an 87-77 upset of the top-ranked Wildcats on Thursday. He went 8-of-11 from the floor and 5-of-6 at the foul line to propel UCLA to its 11th all-time victory against an AP No. 1 opponent.

Welsh followed that key performance with his third double-double of the season, totaling 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 10 boards in UCLA’s victory over Long Beach State on Sunday. He currently paces the Bruins and ranks sixth in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at 62.8 percent while averaging 13.3 points and 7.1 rebounds.

Welsh has been a more physical presence down low for the Bruins, pairing well with fellow big man Tony Parker to form an effective tandem inside.  His mid-range jumper from the baseline continues to be one of his preferred and most consistent offensive weapons.

UCLA (6-3), which has won three straight games, returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 12 when it travels to Spokane, Wash., to face No. 20 Gonzaga at 7 p.m. PT on ESPN2.

Other nominees were: Gabe York, Arizona; Savon Goodman, ASU; Josh Scott, Colorado; Tyrone Wallace, Cal; Dillon Brooks, Oregon; Gary Payton II, OSU; Jakob Poeltl, Utah; Dejounte Murray, Washington; and Josh Hawkinson, WSU.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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