By PAUL GOTHAM
Averaging nearly a double-double in two games last week, Jalen Pickett (Aquinas) earned Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Rookie of the Week for the second straight week and fourth time this season.
Pickett scored 16 points and handed out eight assists in a loss to St. Peters to open the week. He grabbed four rebounds, blocked two shots and collected a pair of steals in the game and closed the week with 14 points and 11 assists against Canisius.
The 6-foot-4 guard connected on 12-of-30 shots from the floor for the week. His 19 assists occurred with seven turnovers.
Pickett is tied for eighth nationally and third among freshman with seven assists per game. His assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.97:1 ranks 36th in the nation. He leads all MAAC freshmen averaging 15.1 points per game and is second in the conference among all players with 1.9 steals per game. Per KenPom, Pickett ranks third in the nation with an assist rate (metric that estimates the percentage of field goals made by a team on which a particular player collected assists while in the game) of 44.9.
Earlier this season, Pickett became just the fourth student-athlete in MAAC history to earn Rookie and Player of the Week simultaneously. He joined former Canisius Golden Griffin and current East High coach Darrell Barley to receive this distinction.
Pickett was the first recruit signed to play at Siena under first-year head coach Jamion Christian.
Pickett averaged 19.6 points and grabbed nine rebounds per game during his senior season at Aquinas. He earned All-Tournament team honors as a junior when AQ won the Section V title under then head coach Mike Grosodonia. He was named MVP when Aquinas won the program’s first state title in a run which included a win over reigning champ Shenendehowa and current NBA player Kevin Huerter. He also earned another All-Tournament nod in the Federation Tournament of Champions when the Li’l Irish fell in the final to Jefferson, 72-65.
Pickett played one season at SPIRE Institute in Ohio after Aquinas.
Siena’s Friday, January 11th matchup with Marist will be televised on ESPNU.