Freddy Hicks named WAC Player of the Week ahead of title bout with Drake

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It’s been a great return for Tarleton men’s basketball guard/forward Freddy Hicks, and it could get even better Monday night. Ahead of the Texans’ Paradise Jam Championship Game against Drake at 7 p.m. CT, Hicks was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week.

Hicks made his season debut on Friday and has led his team to a 2-0 start at the Paradise Jam, defeating established NCAA Division I programs Belmont and Boston College, while averaging 23.5 points on 58.8 percent shooting (plus a 26-of-40 clip from the free throw line), 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.0 steals. 

“Freddy has been superb,” head coach Billy Gillispie said. “He stands for everything that a young man and player should be on and off the court, and continues to keep elevating the Tarleton men’s basketball program against the nation’s very best. We have missed him so much, and we are all celebrating his return. He makes us a totally different team. He has done so many things for us and gives us confidence. His leadership and toughness are quite amazing. Congrats to him on being honored with this award in one heck of a week for the WAC.”

This is Hicks’ first career WAC Player of the Week award, although he is no stranger to WAC recognition. He was named to the Preseason All-WAC Second Team ahead of this season and was the WAC Freshman of the Year in 2020-21. 

Hicks has scored back-to-back 20+ point games in his first two contests, as he has quickly inserted himself as a top-10 scorer nationally, ranked eighth across all of NCAA Division I at 23.5 points per game, second highest in the WAC. 

On Friday in Tarleton’s 89-81 win over Belmont in the first round of the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands, Hicks went for 26 points (4-7 FG, 18-28 FT), eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. His 28 free throw attempts shattered the program record, a 21-year-old mark, previously held by Brandon Burney on Feb. 3, 2001, against Angelo State. His 18 free throw makes are the third most in program history, just one short of the record, held by Burney in that same game, and Burney on Dec. 28, 1999, against Western Washington. Hicks’ 26 points are the most scored by a Texan in a game this season, his 10th career 20+ point game.

On Sunday in Tarleton’s 70-54 win over Boston College in the Paradise Jam semifinals, Hicks had his 11th career 20+ point game with a game-high 21 points (6-10 FG, 8-12 FT), adding six rebounds, three assists and a steal. That was the Texans’ first ever win against a Power Five program, earning it in dominant fashion. 

Monday night, Tarleton will go for Paradise Jam glory in its title bout with Drake. The 3-1 Texans will face the 4-0 Bulldogs at 7 p.m. CT, with ESPN 3 leading the broadcast. 

On their return from paradise, Tarleton has two large non-conference games looming. On Saturday, the Texans will be back at Wichita State for a rematch, tip-off set for 3 p.m. CT. On Tuesday, Nov. 29, the Texans return to Wisdom Gym for the first time in nearly three weeks for one of their toughest non-conference home games in the history of the program. Tarleton will face Weber State at 7 p.m. CT, and will look to pack the house by hosting “White Out Wisdom” with 500 free T-shirts going to attendees. 

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