Gophers junior Marcus Carr had been playing like one of the best guards in the nation for the first month of the season, but he picked up his first Big Ten player of the week award Monday.
That's what happens when you play in the same conference as All-America selections Luka Garza and Ayo Dosunmu. Carr shared the weekly honor with Dosunmu from Illinois.
Carr, the first Gophers player since Amir Coffey in 2018-19 to post back-to-back 30-point games, had 30 points on 9-for-16 shooting from the floor, including six three-pointers, in Friday night's 102-95 overtime victory over then-No. 4 Iowa.
In Monday's 81-56 victory over No. 17 Michigan State, Carr went to his go-to step-back jumper to beat the halftime buzzer with a three-pointer for a 36-16 Gophers lead. He finished with 19 points and five assists.
"Our goal was to not let Carr go off," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. "I thought we did an unbelievable job on him. But he hit a shot before halftime that was phenomenal."
Carr also hit the tying three-pointer in the waning seconds against the Hawkeyes to force OT Friday. Earlier this season, he made a three-pointer with 2.7 seconds left to beat Loyola Marymount 67-64.
Carr ranks third in the Big Ten in scoring at 24.0 points per game. He is first in assists (6.1) and minutes (35.8) per game and second in made free throws (6.3).
Against Iowa, Carr reached 1,000 points for his career. He was honored Monday with a game ball from coach Richard Pitino.
"He set the single-season record for assists last year, so he's obviously a good passer," Pitino said earlier. "He's a pretty complete player. He showed it a lot last year."
First U ranking since 2017
Following their Christmas Day overtime upset of Iowa, the Gophers picked up the program's first top-25 ranking in three years Monday, jumping to No. 21 in the Associated Press poll.
The last time the Gophers were ranked in the AP poll was on Dec. 4, 2017, at No. 14, but the team lost two consecutive road games at Nebraska and Arkansas to fall out of the poll the following week. They were ranked as high as 12th earlier that season.
The Big Ten has nine teams in this week's poll, a first for the conference. Wisconsin was at No. 6, followed by Iowa at 10, Rutgers at 14, Illinois at 15, Michigan at 16, Michigan State at 17, Northwestern debuting at 19, the Gophers at 21 and Ohio State at 25. The Big East is the only other conference to have nine teams in the poll at once.