Archive - Dec 23, 2011
Jones leapfrogged Harrison Barnes on our board, after his 28 point masterpiece against BYU last week.
Jones was all over the place, using his athleticism and size to cause massive matchup problems for the defense. He knocked down both of his three point attempts, looking more and more like viable option on the pick and pop game.
December 23, 2011
It has been a busy holiday season for NCAA Basketball. While most students are home for the holidays, basketball season keeps right on moving with the end of most team's non-conference schedules and a few late pre-conference tournaments. Here is the latest NCAA Daily to break down the latest news and action:
Player of the Week
Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State
Thomas, a 6-foot-7 small forward, has made huge strides so far during his second year in Columbus. A lot can be said about the way he’s already stepped up in Jared Sullinger’s absence multiple times, but it’s the way he plays with Sullinger in the lineup that might be even more impressive. It’s not likely Thomas will post many 30-point performances like he did at South Carolina last Saturday, but the Buckeyes don’t need that with all their weapons.
Thomas, who averaged 20.3 points in three wins this week, is an ideal complement to Sullinger. He’s always available on the win for a three or can swoop in and keep a possession alive with a tip or rebound for an easy bucket. He’s shooting an impressive 54.7 percent this season, including 37.8 percent from beyond the arc and has made at least one 3-pointer in five straight games.
Thomas has a definite scorer’s mentality, and has only 13 assists in the Buckeyes’ 13 games after totaling just 17 all of last season. He sometimes takes it upon himself to score on the break rather than look for a teammate, but hey, but if it works for coach Thad Motta and No. 2 Ohio State, he must be doing something right. And you can’t argue with the results most of the time.
Evan Smotrycz, Michigan
A week and two games later, nothing much has changed for the Wolverines’ 6-9 sophomore forward, who averaged 18.5 points in two wins this past week. Smotrycz continues to light it up from everywhere, but he’s also upped his rebounding, posting double-doubles in both games. He didn’t grab more than seven in a game his entire freshman season. He’s not a real physical guy at 235 pounds but looks to be heading into the scrums down low a bit more this year. He needs to stay out of foul trouble, though. He’s fouled out of three games and leads the conference in fouls per game at more than three per game.
The Reading, Mass., native nailed 8-of-10 3-pointers and 11-of-16 shots overall this week. He’s now 15-of-19 in the past four games. 78.9 percent. That’s almost unheard of, but it did come against four opponents that came into last week ranking Nos. 163 (Bradley), 217 (Alabama A&M), 220 (Oakland) and 327 (Ark.-Pine Bluff) in 3-point percentage defense.
Smotrycz ranked just outside the Big Ten’s top 10 in 3-point field goal percentage at 38.1 last season. He’s hit 17-of-31 this season for 54.8 percent, nearly matching his overall field goal percentage of 56.2. More than 40 percent of his shots come from behind the arc.
Meyers Leonard, Illinois
The 7-1 sophomore is starting to get in a groove despite being double- and triple-teamed nearly every game. He’s posted double-doubles in three of his past four games, including a 14-point, 13-rebound performance Thursday as the Illini nearly knocked off No. 9 Missouri after trailing by 13 in the second half.
Devyn Marble, Iowa
The Hawkeyes quietly closed their non-conference slate with three straight wins this past week, and Marble was a big reason why. The 6-5 sophomore guard and son of Roy Marble, Iowa’s all-time leading scorer, has started the past five games for Iowa. He might stay there after a largely ineffective Bryce Cartwright was briefly sidelined with a hamstring injury. Marble’s reent play prompted coach Fran McCaffery to comment, “he’s becoming the complete player he can be.”
Marble has a knack for getting to the free-throw line. He went 21-of-25 from the line and averaged 15.7 points and 5.3 assists in this week’s trio of games. He’s not a long-range shooter, making just 3-of-12 3s this year, but is good off the dribble and a solid distributor for a team that desperately needs one.