Archive - Jan 22, 2011
Co-Players of the Week
Glen Rice Jr/Iman Shumpert
No, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are not a good team. In fact, they rank among the Mike Scott-less Virginia Cavaliers and the ACC-bomination Wake Forest Demon Deacons at the bottom of the barrel. That's why I'm so impressed they managed to win their last two games against North Carolina and Wake Forest by 20 and 35 points respectively. Now for a team that came into the week with a 7-8 overall record, that's not too bad. Hardly bad at all, I would say. All (and I mean ALL) credit goes to the scrappy duo of Glen Rice Jr and Iman Shumpert. Glen Rice Jr. has always been a favorite of mine. At this point in his collegiate career, he's a radical role player (hey, I just watched Brink!, alright?). His shooting ability isn't off the charts, but he's adequate enough to be the best shooter on his team. He's also a talented defender, an unselfish passer, he runs the floor well, and rebounds at a high rate for a 6'5" guard. He's a jack of all trades. His partner, junior Iman Shumpert, is playing just as well. This season, he leads his team in points per game (16.4), rebounds (5.5), assists (3.4) and steals (2.6). Though his stats on the season are good, both he and Rice turned it up a notch. Bam! (I'm watching too much TV.) In their two wins this week, Rice and Shumpert have combined for, get this, 47.5 points a game on 63% shooting. It's hard to lose when your two best players put up those kind of numbers. Provided neither player declares for the draft this season (and they would be wise not to), the future of the Yellow Jackets isn't all too bleak.
Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen get a lot of credit for the success of the Virginia Tech Hokies, and rightfully so. However, there's another player on the team who should also be getting recognition for his play this season, and that's sophomore Erick Green. At the beginning of the season many people pegged Virginia Tech as the second best team in the ACC and a top 25 team in the nation, but things were looking down after a 4-4 start in a tough non-conference schedule. Due to injuries, Erick Green was named the starting point guard against Penn State, despite only scoring 2 points in his previous game. Since he's been named a starter, Green has scored double digits in all nine games and the Hokies have a 8-1 record during his tenure as a starter. On the season, the 6'4" guard offers another solid scorer (10.4 points per game), another ball-handler to pair with Delaney (2.2 assists) and a great in-zone defender (2.1 steals). He's coming off a career high 24 points on 12 of 16 shooting in a 17 point win at Maryland. Green is a fantastic role player, and he's helping the Hokies play at the high level that we all knew they were capable of.
Player of the Week