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MSU’s Nick Ward earns Big Ten freshman award

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Nick Ward

East Lansing – For the second straight week, the Big Ten’s top freshman comes from Michigan State.

The conference announced on Monday that Nick Ward was named Freshman of the Week after averaging 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and two blocks in two games last week – a loss at Duke and a win at home over Oral Roberts. He shot 72.2 percent from the floor over the two-game stretch, connecting on 13-of-18 field-goal attempts

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, nobody on this team has improved more than Nick,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “From the middle of summer until now, Nick Ward has made as big an improvement as maybe any player I’ve had here. … He’s played against some of the best teams in the country and I’m pleased and proud of Nick. I’m just going to keep that very quiet because he’s got a long ways to go and yet he’s been receptive to everything.”

Ward scored a career-high 24 points against Oral Roberts and grabbed nine rebounds after scoring 11 in the loss to the Blue Devils. His double-double against Oral Roberts was the first of his career.

Last week, Miles Bridges was named Freshman of the Week, but with Bridges sidelined with an ankle injury, Ward has taken some of the scoring load.

MSU misses Miles Bridges but takes big-picture approach