Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Tommy Bruner, Norchad Omier headline latest Players of the Week

It was another eventful week in College Basketball and two players stood out above the rest

Dec 10, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA;  Denver Pioneers guard Tommy Bruner (0) dribbles a ball
Dec 10, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Denver Pioneers guard Tommy Bruner (0) dribbles a ball / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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Tommy Bruner - Denver Pioneers

Bruner is the player that I am surprised has not made the countdown before. He is currently leading the country in scoring at just over 26 points per game. His play has made the Pioneers a very real contender in the Summit League and their very first NCAA tournament appearance is in play if they can win the Summit League championship. Bruner is just the next player in a long line of guys who have dominated the Summit League. The Player of the Week award is just scratching the surface of the awards he is going to win this year.

Bruner had the highest scoring output of any player this season in a double overtime thriller against South Dakota. Bruner scored 49 points on a ridiculous 15-34 from the field. That included 5-12 from long range. The point guard added 8 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. None of his steals or assists were as important as the final seconds when he stole the ball on the inbounds pass and kicked it over to a wide-open three-point shooter.

The shot went in, and Denver walked off with the buzzer beater. The most absurd part of his 49-point game was that he was 14-15 at the line. There was also a South Dakota player who went for 44 that night as well.  In the follow-up to his 49-point performance, the point guard didn’t have as good of a game he still scored 21 points 6-20 shooting, 7-8 from the free throw line, and 2-9 from the three-point line. He tallied 4 assists and 3 rebounds. His numbers would have likely been better, but he did foul out of that game.

Denver needs Bruner to be what he is every night. He isn’t going to score 49 points every night and he is usually going to score more than 21. He will always be a volume shooter who shoots above 40% and he will get fouled a lot. The Pioneers are not on TV very often, so it is hard to watch Bruner play but if you get a chance to watch them enjoy the show because he puts on a show on the offensive end most nights. Congratulations to Tommy and the Denver Pioneers.