Monday, Dec. 31, 2018
ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton was named SEC Player of the Week by the league office in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday, less than 24 hours after he scored 20 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots in the Bulldogs’ 91-72 win over Massachusetts.
Claxton, a 6-11, 220-pound sophomore from Greenville, S.C., posted his league-leading sixth double-double. He connected on 8-of-13 shots against the Minutemen en route to his eighth double-digit outing of the season and second 20-point performance. Claxton’s rebound count included 10 defensive boards, the same number the UMass roster collected as a whole on that end of the floor.
For the season, Claxton is one of only three Division-I – and the only player from a Power 5 conference – who leads his team in rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. He is the only SEC player to lead his teams in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals in the same game this season, a feat he has accomplished twice.
Claxton leads the SEC in both rebounding (10.2 rpg) and blocks (3.1 bpg) by wide margins – 0.9 rpg and 0.5 bpg. Nationally, he ranks No. 15 in rebounding and No. 8 in blocks.
Georgia improved to 8-4 on the year with Sunday’s victory before a sellout crowd at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs are 6-1 at Stegeman and averaged 8,004 fans over their seven non-conference dates. Six of Georgia’s remaining 10 home games are already sold out.
“I’m proud of it, absolutely proud that people are coming like this,” head coach Tom Crean said after Sunday’s win. “From the front row to the top row of the building, they all matter. They absolutely all matter, and I think they’re being entertained. I hope they are. But they’re difference makers. We take none of it for granted. It's very much appreciated, even going to the alumni band (that performed Sunday). It’s very much appreciated. Everybody matters if we’re going to build this the way that we want to build it. And to be able to say now that we had a sell-out crowd on a non-league game during Christmas break two days before our football team plays in the Sugar Bowl, that’s phenomenal. That’s absolutely phenomenal.”
The Bulldogs will return to action next Saturday when they travel to Knoxville to face No. 3 Tennessee in the SEC opener. Georgia will then host Vanderbilt on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 6:30 p.m