Archive - Nov 2011
Player of the Week
Cheek is averaging 22 and 6 to start the year, and though the sample size is small, he's seemed to establish himself as the team's primary scoring option. Cheek's skill-set ranges from shooter to slasher, illustrating qualities that make him an effective scoring off-ball guard. He's playing almost 35 minutes a game as compared to last year's 20, thanks to a shallow rotation lacking shotmakers. He's seen his shot attempts double, and should continue getting open looks alongside Wayns and Yarou. He's a good bet to take home the Big East most improved player award.
Wayns looks sharp, knocking down three pointers we didn't see fall in past seasons. He's scoring 19 a game, grabbing 5 boards and dishing out 4.7 assists, and will continue to be the engine that fuels the Wildcat offense.
Think about this: Yarou scored at least 17 points only twice last season. This season he's averaging that through three games, along with almost 10 boards per game. Yarou has NBA potential based off his physical attributes alone. If he could figure out how to use them, he'll be hearing his name mispronounced on national television more frequently.
Darius Johnson Odom
DJO should drop 20 a game this year, with the green light that allows him to dominate the ball. As he should. Guards who can score off the dribble with the ability to convert at the rim, midrange and downtown are always a threat to light up the scoreboard. He's currently scoring 20 a game, shooting 47% from 3.
Have to say I didn't see this one coming. Woodall looks like a completely different guy, exuding confidence that has translated to into positive production. Tra has been spraying the box scores, averaging 19 points, 19 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds and a remarkable 57% clip from downtown. While his shooting percentages are likely to drop, his minutes won't.
Southerland has played himself into the rotation, giving the Orange the deep threat they were missing from their near perfectly balanced roster. He could be the smoothest shooter in the conference, sporting an effortless stroke in catch and release situations. Hes currently 8-11 from behind the arch this year (72%), and remains the conference's leading candidate to win "oldest looking player" award.
Waiters could probably start on any team in the conference, but thanks to the deepest rotation known to man, he's relegated to providing a punch off the bench. He's a natural scoring guard with great instincts, flashing quickness, point guard ball-handling skills and comfortable shooting range. He's averaging over 13 points and 4 assists in only 20 minutes through 4 games.
Player of the Week
CJ Wilcox, Washington Huskies
The Huskies are off to an impressive 3-0 start, although they haven't been truly tested against a top team yet (that will come December 6th and 10th when they play back to back games vs top 25 programs Marquette and Duke). There is plenty of praise to spread around about their players at this point, but the player who has stood out above the rest has been sophomore wing man CJ Wilcox. Wilcox leads the team at 19.3 ppg, as well as 5 rpg and just under 3 steals per as well. But it is his shooting that truly stands out. I stated in my Conference preview that Wilcox was the Pac 12's top 3 point shooter and so far, he's making me look good. He has hit 11-18 threes (61%) and his misses are off by centimeters. With all the great ball handlers on Washington, Wilcox represents easy offense with catch and shoot instincts after the likes of Gaddy, Wroten and Ross break opponents down off the dribble.
Jared Cunningham, Oregon State Beavers
Consider Cunningham as player of the week 1b. He is off to a great start with 22ppg and is continuing to make a run at Oregon State's all time steals record, he is currently at 2.7 per game. And all while leading the Beavers back into relevancy at 3-0 so far. Cunningham is a high flyer who plays above the rim, and is as good an athlete as there is in the Pac 12. He can take his man iso off the dribble and he really benefits from the team's defensive philosophy of trapping and attacking the opposing ball handlers to create turnovers using sound basic defensive fundamentals which allows him to get into passing lanes and play in transition.
Lazeric Jones, UCLA Bruins
It was well known that the preseason top 25 ranked Bruins were mediocre on the perimeter. But after 2 games, mediocrity would be an improvement. Lazeric Jones is a senior who started every game last year and was solid. But to start this season he is 3-20 from the field (1-7 from three) and is making as many turnovers as assists. And considering he is averaging 33 minutes a game and is leaned on to create halfcourt offense when the bigs get doubled, it's no surprise the Bruins are struggling. Jones starting backcourt mate sophomore Tyler Lamb has not been much better shooting 5/18 from the floor and has yet to hit a three while playing 28 minutes per.
Top 5 breakout candidates
Brock Motum, Washington State- Motum is averaging 20ppg and 8 rpg and shooting a blistering 67% from the field. He is a skilled big man who can step out to three point land and does a good job of making himself available and finishes well in traffic catching passes from his penetrating teammates.
Jesse Perry, Arizona- Perry has recorded 4 double doubles in 5 games for the 4-1 Wildcats. He is the inside enforcer for a small, perimeter oriented Arizona squad. He fits in well because he is also able to get out and run, play on the perimeter and guard multiple positions during switches which allows him to stay on the court with his fast paced teammates.
Aaron Bright, Stanford- At 4-0 somebody from Stanford deserves a shout out. Bright is a sophomore who wasn't expected to be the Cardinal's leading scorer, which he has been thus far as well as the teams leading assist man. He is shooting lights out, playing very efficient ball: 49% from 2, 52% from 3 and 80% from the foul line.
Aziz NDiaye, Washington- With all the perimeter talent for Washington, it's N'Diaye who will have as big an impact as any of them determining how far they go. The 7 foot center must protect the paint and establish some sort of inside presence. So far he has stepped up to the challenge averaging 9 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks per contest.
Josh Watkins, Utah- The numbers might be somewhat bittersweet as the Utes have not looked competitive yet, but don't take anything away from Watkins. He is shooting over 50% from the floor and averaging 21 ppg while also dishing out 5 assists. He can only do so much for his team though and will need some support if they want to win games.
Player of the Week:
Quincy Miller, Baylor
The 6'8" freshman and future lottery pick has started off the season with a bang for the Baylor Bears. Through three games, he is averaging 18.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 24.7 minutes of action. His second half shooting efficiency has been amazing as well. He is shooting 67% from the floor, 71% from 3-point range, and 82% from the free-throw line coming down the stretch in games, which is very promising for the Bears. Though his overall statistics will certainly go down when Perry Jones III returns from his suspension, it has been a very promising start to the season for the former blue chip recruit. He is showing that he will be an impact player all season long for the Big 12 favorite.
Cezar Guerrero, Oklahoma State
The freshman point guard is showing the country that he deserved more attention from college coaches and recruiting analysts coming out of high school. The 6'0", 175 pound Guerrero came to Oklahoma State quietly, following all the press and accolades of teammate LeBryan Nash, the stud wing-forward from Dallas. However, he is beginning to carve his own niche in Stillwater. In an overtime win against Texas-San Antonio Wednesday night, he had his coming-out party at Gallagher-Iba Arena. He hit eight 3-pointers on his way to an Oklahoma State freshman record of 29 points. He hit a game-tying 3-point basket with 8.8 seconds left in regulation, which helped the Cowboys take control of the game in overtime, as well as keep them undefeated at 3-0. He also contributed five assists and five rebounds off the bench.
JCovan Brown, Texas- 35 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals in a 100-91 win over Rhode Island
Royce White, Iowa State- 21 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 assists in a 74-65 loss to Drake
Rodney McGruder, Kansas State- 18 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists in a 72-67 win over Charleston Southern
Andrew Fitzgerald, Oklahoma
The 6'8", 250 pound junior power forward had a tough outing against Idaho State this week. The Sooners big man notched only 7 points, 1 rebound, and 2 blocked shots in their win over the Vandals. He shot only 2-7 from the field and was nonexistent in the post. For a player that was touted to build on a promising sophomore season, he needs to pick his play up from here on out. If he does, he will complete a scary inside tandem for the team with Romero Osby.
November 18, 2011
On this glorious Friday we are now in full college hoops kick off. Almost every team has played multiple games, early season Invitational Tournaments are abound and we still have a lot left to come. Here is the NCAA Daily Report:
Lamb, Oriakhi Lead UConn over Maine
(Dom Amore/The Hartford Courant)