Freshman forward Kassoum Yakwe has developed into a superb force in the paint, proving himself in two marvelous performances this week against DePaul and Seton Hall. Averaging 13.5 points per game, 13.0 rebounds per game and 4.0 blocks, the big man was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll.
The 6'7" forward from Mali recorded the first double double of his career (11 points and 11 rebounds) in a win over the Blue Demons. Yakwe followed that performance up with an impressive effort (16 points and 15 rebounds) in a close loss versus Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden. Yakwe also shot a team high 60 percent and notched eight blocks combined in the two games.
Yakwe's shot blocking ability has been his forte since he was granted eligibility during the non-conference slate, but what has been really impressive is his improvements on offense. He is finding his touch from the free throw line and even hit a couple of mid-range jumpers versus the Pirates on Sunday.
"Yakwe times it great. He uses his length," Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard said following the team's win over the Red Storm. "He's great on pick-and-rolls. From when he got eligible to now, his progression has been tremendous. I thought he was the difference in the game, especially in the second half."
The forward joins Federico Mussini and Yankuba Sima as the other two St. John's freshman to earn a Big East weekly award this season.
Yakwe is now averaging 7.5 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game and 2.91 blocks per game, which ranks eighth in Division I and leads all freshman in the country.