Athlete of the Issue: Tywhon Pickford

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
Navigate Right

DYLAN PADY, Sports Editor | [email protected]

Tywhon Pickford, freshman guard for the men’s basketball team, has earned the Missouri Valley Conference’s (MVC) Newcomer of the Week award for the second time this season.

Prior to becoming a Panther, Pickford lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he attended Maple Grove high school. He averaged 20.9 points per game (PPG), 8.3 rebounds per game (RPG) and 2.4 assists per game (APG) his senior year, leading his team to a 28-4 record before traveling to Cedar Falls.

By the end of November his freshman year, he was initially recognized as the MVC’s Newcomer of the Week during the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas.

In the first round, UNI beat the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs, recording nine points and 11 rebounds. Pickford then earned an 18-point double-double with 18 rebounds in the team’s four-point victory over North Carolina State. Those 18 rebounds were the most earned by a UNI Panther, tying David Gruber’s efforts in 2002.

In the last couple MVC games, Pickford has averaged 20.5 points, eight rebounds and shot just over 50 percent from the field.

In the Panthers’ 81-76 victory over Valparaiso, Pickford and Austin Phyfe (both freshman) scored a combined total of 43 points, 17 rebounds, 15 points at the free throw line and only missed one of their 13 total shots.

Pickford’s efforts against the Crusaders saw a career-high 23 points with nine rebounds. He did not miss a single shot from the field (6-of-6) including four deep threes he buried from a different area code.

In their most recent victory against the Bulldogs, UNI was down as much as 16 points with six minutes remaining in the first half. By the end of the contest, Pickford contributed 16 points, 10 rebounds and two assists in their 68-54 comeback against Drake.

Throughout the entirety of the season, Pickford has recorded 212 total points (11.2 PPG), 28 assists (1.5 APG) and 171 rebounds (9 RPG). He scored 35 points from drawing fouls and is shooting just under 80 percent from the charity stripe.

Erick Crawford (2003), Eric Coleman (2004) and Seth Tuttle (2011) are the only Panthers to receive the MVC’s Newcomer of the Week three times in a single season.

With such strong improvement on the court, Pickford is on track to tie, if not surpass, this historic feat in the UNI record books.