CARBONDALE — SIU guard/forward Marcus Domask was named the Missouri Valley Conference newcomer of the week Monday.
The 6-foot-6, 215-pound freshman from Waupun, Wisconsin, averaged 19.5 points, five rebounds and five assists per game in the Salukis' 1-1 performance last week. Domask scored 18 points, grabbed five boards and had five assists in SIU's 64-48 win over North Carolina Central and delivered 21 points, five boards and five assists in Sunday's 69-60 loss at Saint Louis.
Domask shot 59% from the field and 82% at the free-throw line in the two games. He is one of five freshmen nationally averaging at least 14 points, four rebounds and three assists per game. The former Wisconsin Player of the Year by the state's coaches association leads the Salukis in minutes (34.3 per game), assists (25), free throws (25 of 30), free throw percentage (83.3%) and 3-pointers (13).
"I think I got a lot stronger this summer, and I'm just gettin' used to the speed and physicality of the game," Domask said after Sunday's loss at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. "We just gotta continue to get better every day in practice, because we gotta come out and get these games. We gotta win these ones."
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Domask is second on the team in scoring at 14 points per game, behind injured guard Aaron Cook, and the third-leading rebounder at 4.1 boards a game. He averaged 18 points per game in SIU's three wins and 11.6 in the Salukis' five losses, three of which came by nine points or less.
"He knows how to play basketball — he can pass, shoot and dribble. He can post up. He has a great feel," SIU coach Bryan Mullins said. "He takes what he gets. He doesn't go two-handed dunking on people or crossing people over, but he's very efficient. I think he's doing what he's capable of doing right now."
SIU (3-5) hosts Norfolk State (3-6) Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The Spartans are 0-4 away from home and have dropped five straight games.
Valparaiso's Javon Freeman-Liberty was named the MVC player of the week after averaging 25 points per game in three games in the Paradise Jam. The 6-3, 175-pound sophomore scored a career-high 32 points in the Crusaders' 81-77 overtime loss to Cincinnati and had 12 points and four assists in 18 minutes against Trinity College. Freeman-Liberty also grabbed nine rebounds and had four steals against the Bearcats, who won the American Conference last season.