Before the season began, many people predicted Penn men’s basketball freshman forward Michael Wang, coach Steve Donahue’s most highly touted recruit, would turn some heads this year, but few predicted the early season dominance of junior guard Devon Goodman.
However, both were honored with individual accolades in the second week of the season: Wang won Ivy League Rookie of the Week, and Goodman took home both Ivy League Player of the Week and Big Five Player of the Week following a strong showing in the 2018 Paradise Jam Tournament.
As good as advertised, Wang has provided a consistent spark off the bench, leading all reserves in three major categories with 9.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists on the season. This past week Wang was particularly impressive, pouring in 14 points, seven rebounds, and one assist in a loss to No. 12 Kansas State. He was also productive against Northern Iowa, scoring eight points on 50 percent shooting to go along with two rebounds and two assists, leading the bench in both categories.
Additionally, despite shooting a pedestrian 57 percent from the line, Wang got to the charity stripe seven times, more than doubly as often as any other player on the team.
Still, the star of the season through the first six games has been Goodman, who has taken over perimeter scoring following the injury of junior guard Ryan Betley. Goodman had the hot hand against Kansas State, scoring 18 points on 6 for 11 shooting. Despite struggling with free throws his first two seasons, Goodman hit all four of his attempts against the Wildcats.
Still, his best performance of the young season, and possibly career, came two days earlier against Northern Iowa. In addition to leading the team in steals, and tying for the team lead in rebounds and assists, Goodman shot 66.7 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from deep for a total of 27 points. Through the two games, he averaged 22.5 points on over 60 percent shooting from the field.
If Goodman and Wang continues this high level of play, more awards could be coming their way.