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Junior forward AJ Brodeur powered Penn men's basketball past George Mason and Rice last week, totaling 42 points and 16 rebounds in the season's first two games.

Credit: Varun Sudunagunta , Tamara Wurman

When Penn men's basketball needed someone to step up, AJ Brodeur answered the call.

The junior forward was the Red and Blue's shining star this past week, scoring 42 points and picking up 16 rebounds in the team’s two season-opening wins.

Earning first-team All-Ivy recognition as a sophomore, Brodeur picked up right where he left off last season and fueled both victories with two dominating performances.

Although last season’s leading scorer Ryan Betley went down with an injury early Tuesday night against George Mason, Brodeur did not miss a beat and played on with ferocity, picking up the tenth double-double of his Penn career by adding 10 rebounds against the Patriots.

Prior to this, Red and Blue were 8-1 in games where the junior completed a double-double, and the pattern continued at Mason thanks to Brodeur himself.

With 20 seconds remaining and the score tied at 71 apiece, he hit the free throw that put the Quakers ahead and ultimately clinched the win.

The Northborough, Mass. native also played a great game at home against Rice on Saturday night, leading all scorers in three categories: points with 23, assists with five, and shots blocked with three. This effort marked the ninth time he reached 20 or more points in his time at Penn.

Brodeur also plays an efficient game, as he committed just five fouls over the two contests. And while he struggled from the free throw line against George Mason, Brodeur shaped up for the home crowd by sinking all four of his attempts from the charity stripe on Saturday.

Brodeur has started all of the Red and Blue’s games since his freshman year, and has been an invaluable asset to Penn for both his offensive and defensive prowess. You can expect this week’s DP Sports Player of the Week to have another fruitful season this year, powering the Quakers to reach for the NCAAs again.

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