Former University of Utah star basketball player Kyle Kuzma has made quite the splash in his rookie season.
The Los Angeles Lakers forward was named the Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October and November. Kuzma joins Jordan Clarkson (March 2015) as the only Lakers to be honored with the award.
In his first 20 career games, Kuzma averaged a team-leading 16.7 points on 50.4 percent shooting, including a team-high 37.9 percent from three-point range. The 27th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft also recorded 6.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Kuzma is also the first rookie in NBA history to notch at least 330 points, 120 rebounds and 30 made three-pointers in the first 20 games of his career.
Kuzma scored a career-high 30 points against Phoenix (Nov. 17), and had 10 rebounds to become the first Lakers rookie since Earvin “Magic” Johnson (2/20/80) to record at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a single game.
In 11 games as a starter, Kuzma averaged 18.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists, while shooting 38.8 percent from long-range. Among rookies, Kuzma ranks second in points per game (16.7), third in field goal percentage (.504) and three-point percentage (.379) and fifth in rebounds per game (6.1).