CALGARY, Alb. — Even without the services of Perrion Callandret, who has only played in a pair of games this season, the Idaho Vandals have quietly become one of the top contenders in the Big Sky Conference.
Following this past week’s performances, which saw them win a pair of games on their home floor, the Vandals are in fourth spot in the conference standings at 7-4, and sit 2.5 games behind the conference leading Weber State Wildcats.
The Vandals are arguably the hottest team in the conference right now, having won three straight games, and six of their last seven overall. Five of their six wins have been by double-figures, and Idaho is a perfect 4-0 on their home floor over those seven games.
A big reason for their hot play as of late? The play of Victor Sanders.
The junior out of Portland, OR has been one of the conference’s best players all season long, and he’s having himself quite the career at Idaho. On Saturday, Sanders eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career, and he sits at 1,016 points for his career.
After a big week that saw him record at least 31 points in two games this past week, Victor Sanders was selected by the fans as the College Court Report Fan-Voted Player of the Week for the week of January 30 – February 5, 2017!
With the exception of their game on December 3rd against the UC Davis Aggies, in which Sanders only scored 9 points, he has scored in double figures in every game for the Vandals.
He continued his strong play this week with two more big time performances that led Idaho to two wins on their home court.
Up first, the Vandals welcomed the Portland State Vikings to town for their only meeting of the season. In 32 minutes of action, Sanders was extremely effective from the field in Idaho’s 89-72 victory.
Sanders was 11-of-16 (68.8%) from the field and 7-of-10 (70.0%) from three point range on the night, recording a career-high 40 points in the process. He also added 1 rebound, 3 assists, and 1 steal in the win.
Then, two nights later, Sanders picked up right where he left off.
Against the Sacramento State Hornets, Sanders would torch the nets once more. While it wasn’t another career-best performance, he paced the Vandals with a game-high 31 points in their 81-67 victory.
He was 8-of-17 (47.1%) from the field, and 5-of-8 (62.5%) from three point range, making it back-to-back nights where he shot better than 50.0% from beyond the arc. Add in his 2 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals, and it was another impressive game from the junior.
Sanders also topped the 1,000-point mark for his career in the Vandals’ win over the Hornets.
Over the two games, Sanders averaged a casual 35.5 points per contest, while shooting a combined 19-of-33 (57.6%) from the floor, and a blistering 12-of-18 (66.6%) from three point range. He was also a combined 21-of-25 (84.0%) from the free throw line.
For the year, Sanders is averaging a team-best 21.4 points per contest, and is one of only two players averaging in double figures for the Vandals. He has made at least a pair of three point jumpers in all but three games this season.
Standing at 6’5”, Sanders brings some size to the back court for the Vandals. He has the shooting touch that allows him to be effective at the 2-spot, but also has the size to excel on the wing. His leadership and versatility have been key to the Vandals’ success in Big Sky play this season.
After leading the Idaho Vandals to a pair of wins last week, one of which that saw him score 40 points, junior guard Victor Sanders was selected the College Court Report Fan-Voted Player of the Week for the week of January 30 – February 5, 2017!
– T. Bennett
Jan. 23 – 29, 2017: Kevin Hervey, UT-Arlington Mavericks
Jan. 16 – 22, 2017: Dequon Miller, Missouri State Bears
Jan. 9 – 15, 2017: Nick Hornsby, Sacramento State Hornets
Jan. 2 – 8, 2017: Daniel Dixon, William & Mary Tribe
Dec. 26, 2016 – Jan. 1, 2017: Alec Wintering, Portland Pilots
Dec. 12 – 18, 2016: Devin Carter, Arkansas State Red Wolves
Dec. 5 – 11, 2016: Jeremy Morgan, Northern Iowa Panthers
Dec. 5 – 11, 2016: Joe Cremo, Albany Great Danes
Nov. 28 – Dec. 4, 2016: LaVell Boyd, UMKC Kangaroos
Nov. 20 – 27, 2016: Egor Koulechov, Rice Owls
Nov. 14 – 20, 2016: Josh Robinson, Austin Peay Governors
Nov. 11 – 13, 2016: Alize Johnson, Missouri State Bears
**College Court Report Player of the Week recipients are selected from teams in the following conferences:
America East, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, Summit League, SWAC, Sun Belt, West Coast, and WAC