Archive - Nov 2011
November 30, 2011
It's the last day of November and we have gotten a decent read on the NCAA Basketball landscape. There is still a lot more to come, but last night we saw the first contest between top 5 ranked teams this season, which starts off our Daily:
Ohio State Downs Defenseless Duke
(Rick Bonnell/McClatchy Newspapers)
Player of the Week
Virginia's super-senior Mike Scott isn't a high-level NBA prospect, but he's very much the difference between a bad Cavalier team and a good Cavalier team. The double-double machiene has returned from his red-shirt senior season with a vengence, and is averaging 15.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He claims to have lost about 20 pounds over the summer by cutting junk-food out of his diet and this is evident when you watch him move on the court. He is just as tough and strong as he ever was, but is significantly more agile and explosive. As the team's centerpiece, Scott has led Virginia to an excellent 6-1 start to the season, including a vicory over #15 Michigan on Tuesday. Not a lot of people had the Cavaliers as significant players in the ACC this season, but they've proven to be a strong defensive squad with great size and several different offensive options. With the slimmed-down Scott performing like one of the top players in the ACC, Virginia could be a very competitive team come conference play.
If you followed the Hokies last season, you know that they were struggling to win games until Erick Green took control of the point guard position. Once he became a starter, Virginia Tech went on a tear and won nine out of their following ten games. This season, Seth Greenburg did not waste any time and made Green the starting point guard as soon as he could. Unsurprisingly, this has worked out in favor of both Green and the team's record so far. Scoring in double-figures in every game he's played in this season, Green is averaging 14.8 points on an efficient 52.2% shooting from the floor. Perhaps most impressive is the improvement the junior guard has made from the perimeter; shooting 61.1% on 2.2 made threes per game, up from 24.8% on 0.8 makes a year ago. The Hokies will be counting on the much-improved Green to lead them to that oh-so elusive NCAA Tournament bid, but it's way too early to be considering such things.
Ehhh... Somebody from UNC was bound to inherit the "Cold" distinction following the former top-ranked team in the nation's shocking loss to UNLV. It wouldn't be very fair to blame Zeller for the loss, but the skilled 7-footer was really unable to contribute anything that may have altered the embarrasing final outcome. Zeller finished the game with a line of 5 points on 1/6 shooting, 7 rebounds and 4 fouls. But what the game on Saturday exposed really didn't have anything to do with Zeller; rather it highlighted the questionable depth of UNC's frontcourt. John Henson and James McAdoo each had 4 fouls of their own, and without their star bigs, the Tar Heels (one of the best rebounding teams in the country last season) were outrebounded 46-37 to an unranked team. Zeller will surely bounce back from his poor performance quickly, but if UNC wants to make it to the Final Four, they're going to have to keep their post players out of foul trouble.
Top 5 Starting Point Guards
Hello folks, hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend! Sorry for the delay, as I have a lot of news to cover for you! There have definitely been some great games and upsets. Here is the NCAA Daily:
Minnesota Loses Star PF Trevor Mbakwe For Season
(Amelia Rayno/Star Tribune)
Player of the Week
Maalik Wayns PG, Villanova
Man does he look quick. Wayns has been impossible to keep out of the paint, using that quick first step off the dribble and rock solid strength at the rim. It's amazing to think that a 6'1 guard can score 29 points on only 1 three point make, but that's what Wayns did in a loss to St. Louis (thanks to his team's inability to defend the 3). His ability to change direction on the dime with speed in the open floor will allow him to succeed as a change of pace guard at the next level. If he raises his percentage from downtown and increases his range, Wayns would be a threat to crack the lottery.
He's averaging 22 points, 5 assists and 4.5 rebounds as a junior, and should be considered a viable candidate for Big East Player of the Year.
Jason Clark, G, Georgetown
26 and 28 points back to back. 10 for his last 14 from downtown. The rim must look like a hula hoop to Clark.
Gerard Coleman SG, Providence
He scored 20 in consecutive games. I'd say that's noteworthy considering he's coming off the bench. He also attempted 18 free throws against Southern U. Pretty impressive.
Herb Pope PF Seton Hall
Pope's been on a tear this year, going for 32 and 9, (2-2 from 3), and 17 and 10 this week. He looks lighter on his feet around the rim, and has shown he's capable of scoring outside the paint. He's averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds, all-star numbers for the big fella.
Kevin Jones PF West Virginia
29 and 13, followed by 23 and 10. Again, when those 3s and midrange jumpers are falling, Jones looks the part of an NBA player. The rebounding numbers are even more promising.
The sophomore duo has been lighting it up. 24 and 23 points respectively this week for Young, 25 and 20 for Melvin. If he keeps putting up numbers, Melvin could generate some buzz based off his ideal length and athleticism for a 3.