Redshirt sophomore guard Shaqquan Aaron was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday. Aaron earned the award after leading the Trojans in scoring during their upset victory over then-No. 8 UCLA last Wednesday.
The 21-year-old is currently playing his first season at USC, after transferring to Troy from Louisville in 2015 and sitting out the 2015-16 season, and he came off the bench against the Bruins to rack up a career-high 23 points, including three of the Trojans’ program-record 14 baskets from 3-point range. He added four rebounds and one assist to round out his stat line.
Aaron’s breakout performance impressed many — and most importantly for a bench player, it impressed head coach Andy Enfield.
“Aaron was spectacular tonight,” Enfield said on Wednesday. “It was his best game.”
Aaron is the second Trojan on the men’s basketball team to receive Pac-12 Player of the Week honors this season: Junior guard Jordan McLaughlin won the award in December for his tournament-MVP performance at the Las Vegas Classic. Before this season, USC had not had a men’s basketball Player of the Week in three years, the last being junior guard Elijah Stewart back in 2014.
After the Trojans’ fourth consecutive victory over their crosstown rivals, Aaron will now look to force himself into even more playing time among USC’s talented guard corps. He averages just under 23 minutes per game to this point, but he played 26 minutes against the Bruins. And Aaron was ready to get right back to work on Wednesday night, taking a basketball into the postgame press conference.
“I’m about to go shoot,” he said.
Aaron’s next chance to impress comes against Washington, as the Trojans head out to Seattle for another Wednesday night tilt. With sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright nearing a return from his long-term knee injury, there could be even less playing time to go around, but Aaron will take confidence from his coach’s comments.
“What impresses me with Aaron is he keeps getting better. We have a lot of confidence in him,” Enfield said. “It was just a matter of time.”
Tip-off against the Huskies will be at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Aaron and the Trojans will then head for Pullman, Wash. to take on Washington State on Saturday.