Johnson Earns Sixth Big West Player of the Week Honor

Orlando Johnson (Photo by Vince Agapito)
Orlando Johnson (Photo by Vince Agapito)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara senior guard Orlando Johnson was named Big West Player of the Week on Monday.  Last week, Johnson paced the Gauchos to road wins at UC Irvine and Utah State.

The Player of the Week award is the sixth of Johnson's career, tying him with Long Beach State's Casper Ware and Larry Anderson for the third most in Big West history.

"Orlando really came alive last week," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams.  "He played with great energy and showed the type of aggressiveness that has made him the great player that he is."

In the Gauchos' game at UC Irvine on Feb. 15, Johnson had 25 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and one steal.  It was his fifth double-double of the season and it was one of his most efficient games of the year.  Johnson played 28 minutes, made 9-of-11 shots overall, including both of his three-point attempts, and hit 5-of-6 free throws.  

On Saturday, Feb. 18, in a Sears BracketBuster match-up at Utah State, he had 22 points, five rebounds and three steals.  Johnson made 7-of-12 shots from the field, including a season-high four three-point baskets.  In the end, UCSB handed the Aggies just their sixth home loss in 101 games, 72-64.

In the two games combined, the native of Seaside, Calif., averaged 23.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game.  He hit 16-of-23 field goals overall, 69.6%, and 6-of-9 from three-point territory, 66.7%.  

The 47 points scored by Johnson last week pushes his UCSB career total to 1,674 and puts him just 13 points behind Carrick DeHart (1986-90) for second on the school's all-time list and just 22 shy of Alex Harris' (2004-08) all-time school record of 1,696.  DeHart and Harris each hit their marks in four seasons while Johnson is in the midst of his third year overall.  If his freshman season at Loyola Marymount is factored in, he has now scored 2,057 career points.

Johnson and the Gauchos travel to Long Beach State on Wednesday night for an 8:00 p.m. game against the 49ers.  The game will be televised on ESPN2 and is a battle between the schools that have played for each of the last two Big West Tourament championships.  UCSB returns home on Saturday, Feb. 25 to host Cal Poly in an 8:00 p.m. game that will be televised on ESPNU.