When you take a week or two off from doing seemingly anything, it always takes a while to get back into the swing of things. When you take two years off from the sport you’ve been playing for the majority of your life, it takes a ton of work to get back into the rhythm.
For sophomore forward Eric Mika, it’s as though he hasn’t missed a beat.
After a stellar freshman campaign with the BYU Cougars back in 2013-14, one that saw him average 11.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game en route to earning a spot on the All-West Coast Conference Freshman team, he embarked on a two year missions trip. Mika was on the Rome Italy Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Since his return, things have gone swimmingly for the 6’10” forward out of Alpine, UT.
He got engaged to his longtime girlfriend a month after returning from the mission trip, and he has been a dominant force on the court over BYU’s first three games of the year.
After averaging 21.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game over the Cougars’ first three games of the season this past week, forward Eric Mika is the College Court Report Player of the Week for November 14th – 20th!
BYU had to wait longer than most teams before they took to the hardwood to open the 2016-17 season. Their season opener was a part of the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon, and they took on the Princeton Tigers to kick off the campaign.
It was also the season opener for the Tigers.
In his first action with the Cougars since the 2014 NCAA Tournament, Mika looked as though he has been playing for the last two seasons with the team.
Reunited with former high school teammates Nick Emery, TJ Haws, and Zach Frampton, Mika went on to shoot 7-of-14 from the field, and 12-of-13 from the free throw line, and recorded a game-high 26 points to lead BYU to the 82-73 win.
He also pulled down 18 rebounds and recorded 2 blocks.
The next time out, this time against the Coppin State Eagles, Mika had a quieter night, yet still impressive in its own right. In just 15 minutes of action, he recorded 18 points (6-of-8 FG), 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in the Cougars’ 96-59 victory.
On Saturday night against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, he capped off his big week with another impressive performance.
Mika recorded 19 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the year, and added 3 blocks as the Cougars took down the Chanticleers, 81-65.
Over the three games, Mika averaged 21.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per contest while shooting 61.8% from the field and 80.8% from the free throw line.
With the way Mika has readjusted to life in the NCAA, the BYU Cougars have the potential to give the West Coast Conference as many as three NCAA Tournament teams this year. With the returning talent they have, plus the additions of L.J. Rose and Mika to the mix, the Cougars have the look of one of the nation’s top teams.
After averaging a double-double over the week, and helping lead the Cougars to a perfect 3-0 record to start the year, BYU sophomore forward Eric Mika is the College Court Report Player of the Week for November 14th – 20th!
– T. Bennett