Ben Brust's epic shot helped pave the way for a co-Big Ten Player of the Week Award.
By JESSE TEMPLE FS Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. — Ben Brust's half-court heave garnered he and the
Wisconsin basketball program plenty of buzz in the past 48 hours. On Monday, it helped him earn Big Ten co-Player of the Week honors.
Brust, the 6-foot-1 junior from Hawthorne Woods, Ill., shared the honor with Illinois guard D.J. Richardson. He became the first
Badgers player to earn the player of the week award since Jordan Taylor on Jan. 23, 2012.
Brust took one step past the half-court line and buried a running 3-pointer at the buzzer to send Wisconsin into overtime against Michigan on Saturday at the Kohl Center. And the shot earned Brust a spot at No. 1 on SportsCenter's top 10 highlights that night. Wisconsin would later knock off Michigan, 65-62. During the extra session, Brust hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 39.6 seconds remaining and finished with 14 points.
Earlier in the week, Brust tallied a team-high 18 points with six rebounds in a 74-70 double overtime victory against Iowa.
"I think he's playing with confidence right now," Badgers center Jared Berggren said following Saturday's victory against Michigan. "He's being aggressive. That's what we need out of him, to give us a little spark in the scoring department. That's what he excels at. That's what he can bring to this team. He's been doing a good job of that the last few games."
This season, Brust is averaging 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds. He also leads the team with 63 assists. On Saturday, Badgers coach Bo Ryan praised Brust for making his teammates better while also improving his own game.
"What I'm seeing even more than that is his hard cuts have made other guys open," Ryan said. "Ben's one of those guys that's got a motor. The rabbit that never stops and even though you might think he hunts his shot down, he did a great job of making hard cuts and freeing up some of his teammates, too. He's been very active. He's got a great motor."