Willen Recognized as Patriot League Rookie of the Week
Feb. 23, 2009
EASTON, Pa. - Lafayette forward Ryan Willen (Cape Girardeau, Mo./Notre Dame) was named the Patriot League's Rookie of the Week on Monday afternoon. The Biology major picked up the program's first weekly accolade of the season.
In addition to his work on the court, Willen is enrolled in biology, chemistry, writing classes as well as a theories in religion course this semester. Taking advantage of Lafayette's proximity advantage to New York City, he enjoyed his first Broadway show during the fall semester with his freshman year seminar class.
The Patriot League Rookie of the Week award is well deserved as Willen posted one his best performances of his short career last week. As part of a career-high 20-point performance on Wednesday, his last-second free throws stopped Bucknell from overcoming a 16-point second-half deficit and secured Lafayette's seventh win of the season. His production was his eighth-straight game of scoring in double figures.
He followed that performance with eight points and four rebounds in Lafayette's win over Lehigh on Sunday in Bethlehem, Pa., despite missing most of the first half after suffering a head injury.
Willen has consistently led the Leopards in rebounding this season even though he did not earn his first starting nod until Jan. 10. He averages 4.9 boards per game and is the first freshman since the 1995-96 season to lead the team in rebounding. That year, Stefan Ciosici '00 brought down 7.6 rebounds per game.
With a trio of double-doubles this season, the Cape Girardeau, Mo., native owns the most by a freshman in the conference. He is also the first Lafayette freshman since 1995-96 to record more than one double-double in his rookie year. That season, Stefan Ciosici '00 posted double-doubles in two of his first three games as a Leopard and went on to tally seven for the year.
Willen ranks among the top rookies in the league statistically. Just among the class of 2012, he ranks first for three-point field goal percentage (40.5 percent), second for rebounding (4.8 rebounds per game), field goal percentage (44.0 percent) and free throw percentage (79.8 percent) and third for scoring (9.9 points per game).
Lafayette (8-19, 4-8) finishes out the regular season at Kirby Sports Center with back-to-back home games on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Army at Saturday at 2 p.m. versus league leader American.
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