By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University basketball forward Brandon Luedtke (Sr., Meridian, ID/Mountain View HS), who earned First Team All-Northwest Conference and Second Team All-West Region honors last season, is off to another great start this year. In Willamette's first two games, he averaged 21.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
In the season opener on Nov. 13, Luedtke had perhaps the best game of his career, as he set career highs with 28 points and 16 rebounds in a 78-69 victory over Macalester College (Minn.). He hit 9 of 12 field goals and made 10 of 14 free throws. He also recorded three assists and four steals.
Against Southern Oregon one night later, he scored 15 points and hauled down five rebounds. He was 5 of 7 on field goals and made 5 of 8 free throws. He earned two assists and one steal. SOU limited him to just three points in the first half, but he responded with 12 points over the final 20 minutes.
Luedtke's efforts in the second half against the Raiders helped Willamette erase most of a 55-32 halftime deficit. The Bearcats pulled as close at six points at 73-67 with 7:43 left. Willamette was unable to complete the comeback, but the Bearcats outscored SOU 52-41 in the second half.
For the week, Luedtke shot 73.7% from the field (14 of 19). He was 15 of 22 at the free throw line for 68.2%. He averaged 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals. He averaged 31.5 minutes played per game.
"One of the more amazing aspects of Brandon's performance this past weekend was he was coming off a two-week stretch of really practicing just two times due to an ankle injury," Willamette Head Coach Kip Ioane said.
As a junior in 2014-15, he averaged 14.1 points to go along with 9.4 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game. He led the Northwest Conference in
Luedtke averaged 14.1 points per game and led the Northwest Conference with 9.4 rebounds and a school record 2.6 steals per game. In addition, he ranked 12th in NCAA Division III in steals per game and finished the year 37th in the nation in rebounds per game.
"What I like about Brandon's development this year," Ioane added "Is even with his impressive individual stats, he has made a commitment to finding ways to make his teammates better ... namely, becoming a much better screener for other guys, which will hopefully open him up even more."
Willamette will return to action this weekend with a pair of games in Southern California. The Bearcats are scheduled to take on Chapman University on Friday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. (PST). WU will complete the trip with a game at University of La Verne on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.
Entering the weekend, Luedtke has scored 680 career points. He has grabbed 502 rebounds and recorded 119 steals. He has contributed 99 assists in 72 games played. He owns a career field goal percentage of 73.7%.