Auburn forward Kenny Gabriel has been named SEC Player of the Week for his performance in Auburn victories ove Ole Miss and LSU. Gabriel was on fire for Auburn in those two games averaging 20 points and 81% from the free throw line.
Auburn forward Kenny Gabriel has become the first Auburn Basketball player in two years to be named the SEC Player of the Week.
The conference office made the announcement on Monday after Gabriel's 'on fire' like performance in the Tigers last two games of the season. He averaged 20 points and 9 rebounds in Auburn's double-digit comeback wins over Ole Miss and LSU.
Korvotney Barber was the last Tiger to be selected as the SEC Player of the Week in the 2008-09 season.
Gabriel scored a career-high 24 points on 3-of-5 three-pointers and had seven rebounds as Auburn overcame a 20-point deficit to defeat Ole Miss 76-73 on March 2. It was the second largest comeback in school history.
He had his first career double-double against an SEC team and third overall with game-highs of 16 points and 11 rebounds at LSU.
Coach Barbee said, "I am excited for Kenny, and it is a much-deserved honor for him for the way he played this past week, what he has to realize is to believe in himself; because he has the ability to be that type of player consistently over the course of the season. He hasn't this year. That has a lot to do with why we struggled because we needed him to play better because he has that ability."
"I'm excited that he is playing his best down the stretch, and this will be a big off-season for him to put in the work to physically improve his body so he can compete at that kind of level night-in and night-out in this league."
Gabriel has the fourth most improved scoring average in the SEC this year. The 6-foot-8, junior is averaging 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds.
In Auburn's last four games, he is averaging both a team-high 15.0 points and 6.5 rebounds. He has +7.6 increase from 2.8 ppg as a sophomore last year.
Kenny is presently the hottest Auburn player heading in to the SEC Tournament. He shot 50 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from 3-point range and 81.3 percent from the foul line in the last regular season game.
While this is a well deserved honor .... It will be absolutely crucial that both Gabriel and teammate Earnest Ross maintain their recent level of play in the Georgia Dome this week - for the Tigers to have any chance in the SEC Tournament.