Wisconsin’s Dekker honored by conference

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker was named the Big Ten’s Co-Freshman of the Week for the second time this season, the conference announced Monday.

Dekker, who shared the honor with Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell this week, tied a career high with 19 points during Wisconsin’s 77-46 victory against Nebraska on Tuesday. He tallied 14 of his 19 points in the first half and buried 4 of 5 3-pointers for the game. On Sunday, he followed up that performance with 10 points and three rebounds in a 69-56 loss against Purdue.

Dekker has not shot below 40 percent from the field in his last 15 Big Ten games. He ranks fourth in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage (.446) and leads all sixth man candidates in scoring (9.4 points) during conference play.

“I think Sam is becoming more comfortable with a lot of things,” Badgers coach Bo Ryan said during Monday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference. “Not just his shot but the feel for the game, transition, lanes, his timing defensively. His reads. Things like that.

“He’s just improved in just about every area of the game that you can evaluate. So he’s really helped us, helped put us where we are. I’m sure without him we wouldn’t be in our position. So he’s been very valuable to us, and it was nice that he received something like that from other voters.”

Dekker, a Sheboygan, Wis., native, is the only Wisconsin freshman to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Week since the award debuted in 2010-11. He has scored in double figures in six consecutive games and ranks fifth among all freshmen in scoring.

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