For a Southern Conference single-season record-tying eighth time, Western Carolina senior guard Vonterius Woolbright was today selected as the Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. Woolbright guided the Catamounts to a pair of league victories, averaging a double-double for the week while also recording his NCAA-leading third triple-double of the season.
With today’s award, Woolbright matches former Davidson star and SoCon Hall of Famer Stephen Curry for the most weekly awards earned by one player in a single season. Curry procured eight awards back in the 2008-09 season. Woolbright has also twice been named an Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week and has collected all three of the SoCon’s Player of the Month recognitions for November, December, and January.
Woolbright is one of just six SoCon players since 1968-69 to earn eight-or-more weekly honors from the SoCon (16 – Stephen Curry, 2006-09; 11 – Jake Stephens, VMI/UTC, 2020-23; 8 – Jonathan Moore, Furman, 1976-80; 8 – Skip Henderson, Marshall, 1984-88; 8 – John Taft, Marshall – 1988-91). His eight weekly awards are also a school record.
The conference office selects and announces the SoCon's weekly award winners from nominations submitted by the communications or media relations personnel at each institution.
Woolbright averaged a double-double with 21.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while adding 6.5 assists per contest as the Catamounts downed The Citadel 71-64 in the midweek before dominating Mercer in a 79-46 home victory last Saturday. The Albany, Ga., product opened the week by scoring a game-high 27 points with 11 rebounds and three assists in the home win over The Citadel. It was his 17th 20+ point performance this season. Woolbright followed that by collecting his third triple-double of the season, finishing with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in just 29 total minutes in Saturday’s home win over Mercer as WCU matched its win total from last season (18) with six regular-season games to play.
Of the 28 triple-doubles recorded in the NCAA this season, Woolbright has three.
Woolbright continues to have scored in double figures in all 25 games this season. His NCAA-best third triple-double of the season allowed him to keep pace for the NCAA lead with 21 double-doubles, matching Akron’s Enrique Freeman. Woolbright is just one of four players in the NCAA to record multiple triple-doubles this season. With his three triple-dips to date, Woolbright has a WCU school-record four in his three-year career in Cullowhee.
Entering the week, Woolbright continues to lead the Southern Conference and ranks fourth nationally in scoring at 22.4 points per game while also continuing to pace the SoCon in rebounding at 12.3 rebounds per game, second overall in the country. Among rebounding totals is an average of 9.76 defensive boards per game which leads the NCAA. Woolbright is also now second in the SoCon in assists, averaging 5.6 per game to rank 31st nationally. He additionally plays a SoCon-leading 34.2 minutes per game.
Western Carolina (18-7, 7-5 SoCon) hits the road in the midweek for a showdown with league-leading Samford (22-3, 11-1 SoCon) who throttled VMI in Lexington, Va., last Saturday, 102-63, to set its program record for wins in a single-season. Wednesday's game is slated to be broadcast nationally on ESPNU with a simulcast stream on ESPN+ (paid subscription required). Live streaming audio from the Catamount Sports Network beginning at 8:30 p.m. and live stats will be available online at CatamountSports.com. Fans locally can also listen to the game on 105.7 FM / 540 AM WRGC "The River" in Sylva (www.wrgc.com).WCU returns home next Saturday (Feb. 17) in the frontend of a Catamount hoops double-header, hosting ETSU at 4 p.m. for a "Beat the Bucs – Black Out!" in the Ramsey Center. WCU’s women host Samford in the nightcap for its annual “Shoot for the Cure” Pink Out game with tip-off slated for 7 p.m. For tickets to WCU's home games, please visit CatamountSports.com/BuyTickets.