Oklahoma’s Elijah Harkless was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Monday.
Harkless, a 6-foot-3 transfer guard from Cal State Northridge who didn’t gain his NCAA eligibility waiver until mid-December, has added a scrappy, defensive mindset to the Sooners this season.
Last week he helped power wins over Kansas State and No. 9 Kansas with six steals and 20 rebounds — both Big 12 highs in last week’s games.
Harkless averaged 7.5 points, 4.5 assists and 10.0 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the floor in the Sooners’ two victories.
Harkless played 54 minutes in the two games after playing a combined 125 minuets in the Sooners’ previous seven gamers.
According to OU research, Harkless became the first major conference player this season to produce 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals in a game.
Since Harkless joined the starting lineup, the Sooners are 3-1 (the loss was at Kansas), and OU has a 63-32 advantage in turnovers and is holding opponents to just 27.6 percent shooting from 3-point range and 41.1 percent shooting from the floor. Gibson has been a key piece of that puzzle as he's played multiple positions, from point guard to power forward, in the Sooners' four-guard lineup.
He’s OU’s second Big 12 weekly award winner this season. Umoja Gibson — also a transfer guard, from North Texas — was named Big 12 Player of the Week and Newcomer of the Week on Jan. 4.