First came Wednesday's effort against UNLV, when he combined with teammate Malcolm Thomas to outrebound the Rebels' entire roster.
Then came Saturday's performance at New Mexico, where he ripped down a game-high 15 rebounds to post his second consecutive double-double (19 points) in helping lift San Diego State to an 88-78 win at one of the more intimidating venues in the nation.
If Kawhi Leonard seemed imposing as a freshman last season, another year has only seemed to double his resolve.
In SDSU's past two games, Leonard, who has 12 double-doubles in 19 contests this season, has amassed 32 rebounds. He has 10 or more rebounds in four of his last five games (62 rebounds, 12.4 rpg).
"He pursues every ball, and he's very smart and very aggressive when he goes after it," said Aztecs coach Steve Fisher, whose team remained No. 6 in the nation after improving to 19-0 overall and 4-0 in MWC play. "Normally, when your big guys are really working, they're running 94 feet. But Kawhi runs more than 94 feet, because he's usually out on the perimeter when a shot goes up. He's done a wonderful job of staying with it and being smart and aggressive with his play."
The Other Guy
While Jimmer Fredette has certainly built a case for being considered one of the premiere players in the nation, BYU coach Dave Rose will tell you there is no player more important to his team's success than Jackson Emery, Fredette's running mate in the backcourt.
The No. 9-ranked Cougars have designated Tuesday's game against TCU as "Jackson Emery Night" in honor of the senior guard recently breaking the school's career steals record. Emery eclipsed the 30-year-old record held by Danny Ainge when he recorded his 196th career steal in a win at Utah on Jan. 14. He also surpassed the 1,000-point plateau against the Utes in the second half.
"He's just a very special player," said coach Dave Rose. "His ability to create havoc defensively is a real skill and a real blessing to our team. When we're in positions where we really need to score, he'll do it on the defensive end by getting a steal and getting us out on the break for an easy basket.
"To be able to break any type of record that has stood for 30 years is pretty impressive, and he's got quite a few more games to build on that."
No Easy Way Out
After turning in two solid performances against BYU and UNLV in its first two conference games, only to watch both agonizingly slip away in the final stages, Air Force must now regroup in time to face No. 6 San Diego State on the road Wednesday night.
"San Diego State is very deserving of their ranking," said Falcons coach Jeff Reynolds. "To go into a place like (New Mexico), where you're in a very hostile environment, they're just a multi-talented team that can hurt you inside as well as outside. And their best offense is probably their defense."
Asked if Air Force would use a similar defensive approach to that of New Mexico, which opted to play the Aztecs straight up and was buried by an avalanche of three-pointers (SDSU's 13 threes tied a school record for most in a MWC game), Reynolds said, "We're going to punt the ball."
TCU coach Jim Christian is still trying to get a true gauge of his basketball team. After the Frogs turned in a strong performance in a win over Wyoming at home last Wednesday, they dropped a 79-69 decision at Colorado State on Saturday in a game in which the Rams dominated the paint and shot 72.4 percent in the first half.
"That's been the frustrating thing for me," said Christian, whose team stands at 10-9 overall and 1-3 in league play. "We've been good at home, but when we go on the road, we're just a different basketball team. We have not been able to build on the momentum we've developed from game to game.
"Our biggest problem is we have not been able to transfer our effort from the practice floor to the game. It's a unique, difficult thing that we're trying to find our way through and we've just got to keep working at it."
Going to Extremes
The good news? New Mexico guard Phillip McDonald, coming off the bench for the first time in his three-year career, tied a career high by scoring 27 points in the Lobos' win over Colorado State last Wednesday. The puzzling? McDonald was 0-for-5 from the floor in Saturday's loss to San Diego State.
The good news? New Mexico guard Dairese Gary finished with 23 points against San Diego State. The puzzling? Gary went scoreless against CSU.
"Phillip is our shooting guard and he needs to score, so that bothers me a little more than Dairese having a game where he doesn't score," said coach Steve Alford. "We don't have to have Dairese in that role. We need Dairese to run the show. He defends the best guard on the other team. And although we don't expect Phillip to score 27 every night like he did against Colorado State, we do need to get more consistent scoring out of him."
Filling the Void
With standout senior guard Tre'Von Willis sidelined by a sore right knee, UNLV got double-digit scoring from four players in rallying to win 64-52 at Air Force on Saturday.
The Rebels, who trailed by five with just over seven minutes remaining, staged a 19-2 run down the stretch as Derrick Jasper (11 rebounds, six assists) fueled the rally with a key block and Chase Stanback finished with a double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds).
"Any time you've got a player down like Tre'Von Willis, and you have other guys stepping up and contributing, that's a real shot in the arm for their confidence, especially on the road," said coach Lon Kruger. "Those guys stepped up and put us in a position to win. I think it was also a confidence booster for us in terms of free throws (18-for-21), because we hadn't been very good at the line."
Kruger said he expects Willis to return this week, but was uncertain as to how soon the senior would be at full speed.
Light at End of Tunnel
Utah won for the first time in 29 days with a 68-51 victory at Wyoming on Saturday to snap a seven-game slide, its longest since 1949-50.
"I've had a group that's very willing to be coached," coach Jim Boylen said of trying to hold his team together during the losing streak. "There was a comment made after (Saturday's) game that our kids didn't seem very excited after the win. Well, we're not surprised when we win a game. We feel like we have a good team and we feel like we're doing the right things.
"Keeping the group together is really dependent on the group. My job is to teach and coach. We're still a work in progress, but we've got a willing group, a coachable group and a working group."
In Saturday's 79-69 win over TCU, Colorado State had four players finish in double figures. While the performances turned in by senior forwards Andy Ogide (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Travis Franklin (14 points, 17.3 ppg) were hardly surprising, the Rams also got double-digit scoring from sophomore guards Dorian Green and Jesse Carr, who combined for 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor.
In addition, sophomore Wes Eikmeier contributed nine points and five assists, while sophomore Greg Smith finished with seven points, five assists and three steals.
As to the improvement in his team's balance this season, coach Tim Miles, whose Rams are 12-5 overall and 2-1 in the MWC, said: "The ability to hurt people inside, as well as do some things from the outside, has really helped us."