Archive - 2011
Two out of the last three Maui Invitational winners have gone on to win the National Championship (North Carolina in 2009 and UConn last season). This year's Maui Invitational lacked the star power of past events and some speculated there wasn't a true Final Foul level team in the field. Of course, Duke begs to differ. The Blue Devils impressed with their swarming defense and offensive execution. Duke had never lost in Maui and the NCAA's all time winningest coach remained perfect (15-0) in the event.
Player of the Week:
Mike Moser, UNLV, PF, Sophomore, 6-8 195 lbs.
UNLV is off to a great start this season with a 5-0 record and two wins this past week against Cal Poly (75-52) and Morgan State (92-55). Moser has been the Rebels’ standout player early on this season, averaging 16.0 PPG, 13.0 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.2 BPG and shooting 51.6 percent from the field. Against Cal Poly he contributed 14 points and 8 rebounds with four steals, and against Morgan State he had one of the best all-around performances of any player this year with 23 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals and shot 52.6 percent from the field. Moser will get an opportunity to showcase his skills against USC tonight and again on November 30 when UNLV squares off against an undefeated UC Santa Barbara team. Moser sat out the 2010-11 season after deciding to transfer from UCLA where he was recruited by UCLA coach, Ben Howland.
Doug McDermott, Creighton, SF, Sophomore, 6-7 210 lbs.
The young sophomore has played at an elite level in each of Creighton’s four wins this season. Creighton (4-0) won three games this past week: Iowa (82-59), UAB (70-60), and Chicago State (95-61). McDermott scored above 20 points in each of those games, including a standout performance against UAB where he scored 27 points (11-18 shooting) and collected 7 rebounds. Against Iowa, McDermott chipped in 25 points (10-15 shooting), 9 rebounds and 1 assist. For the season, McDermott has filled up the stat sheet, averaging 21.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, 64.3 FG%, 58.3 3P% and 87.5 FT%. His shooting percentages are scorching.
Wesley Witherspoon, Memphis, SF, 6-9 210 lbs.
After opening the season with a 22-point performance against Belmont, Witherspoon brought the ice cooler to the Maui Invitational and played well below his potential. In three games during the Maui Invitational Tournament, Witherspoon averaged 6.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.0 SPG and shot 33.3 percent from the field. He struggled to gain any sort of rhythm on offense and did not contribute very much on defense, aside from his 8 rebounds against Georgetown in Memphis’ last game of the tournament. He wears possibly the longest shorts of any player in the country and it may be hindering his movement, who knows. For Memphis to compete against upper level competition, Witherspoon has to play better and be a factor on the court.
Player of the week
Tim Hardaway Jr, Michigan
The sophomore guard helped his NBA stock tremendously this week in front of a packed crowd at the Lahaina Civic Center that included NBA scouts, GMs, coaches and players who had the free time to take in one of the best Maui Invitationals ever. Hardaway led No. 15 Michigan to a 2-1 tournament, starting with his 21 points, five assists and seven rebounds Monday in a 73-61 win against No. 8 Memphis. He averaged 20 points in the three-game tournament as the Wolverines nearly came back from a 16-point deficit in an 82-75 loss against eventual champion and No. 6 Duke on Tuesday, then dismantled UCLA 79-63 Wednesday in the third-place game.
There’s been some questions raised about the versatility of Hardaway — nearly half of his field goals last season came from behind the 3-point line — but he’s nearly put that to rest in the Wolverines’ first five games. Just nine of his 36 field goals this season are threes, and he’s shooting 61.3 percent from inside the arc. His new-found explosiveness was on display in the second half of the UCLA game, when he came off a screen at the top of the key, caught a pass, then needed just one dribble to get the rim for a jam that put Michigan ahead by double digits.
November 23, 2011
Lets shoot right into today’s NCAA Daily:
Player of the Week
John Henson is one of those draft prospects that everybody seems to be divided on. Some analysts believe he could be a top-5 pick; others think he's more of a bubble first-rounder. How he translates to the NBA is still very much in question, but it's becoming harder and harder to doubt his impact at the college level. The super-athlete in the lanky 6'10" frame has been dominating for the North Carolina Tar Heels thus far in the season. With his unreal length and quick leaping ability, Henson leads all ACC players in blocks per game (4.0) and is second in the conference in rebounds (10.8). That was expected; his offensive improvement was not. Henson's shooting ability is looking better with each passing game. He's developed a nice baseline jumper from 10-14 feet away from the basket, which surprisingly has been consistent so far in the season. On top of that, his free-throw shooting percentage is up to a less-abysmal 61.5%. All of his improvements offensively have accumulated to an average of 16.5 points per game (on 63% shooting). His scoring output is very likely to come down once North Carolina starts playing tougher competition and stops scoring 100+ points per game (as they have in both of their games this week), but he's clearly put some work in over the summer and an extra option offensively will come in handy for Coach Roy Williams.
Sophomore Travis McKie was poised for a breakout season after most of the other quality scoring options for Wake Forest either transferred or were dismissed from the team. Two weeks into the season, and he's already showing signs of being one of the top forwards in the conference. McKie is averaging 22.3 points per game, which is good for first among all ACC players. Like last season, McKie is scoring a lot of points using his size and athleticism to slash to the hoop or finish in transition, but unlike last season, he's also looking good as a shooter. He's 6/9 from behind the arc on the season (3 games) and shooting 59.5% from the field altogether. Along with teammate, CJ Harris, Travis McKie has led Wake Forest to a 3-0 record. This isn't special (especially considering the competition) but it is very promising for a team that was, quite frankly, a joke last season. If McKie continues his hot play, maybe Wake Forest won't be the bottom-dweller many of us predicted.
Durand Scott hasn't been horrible so far this season, but he's definitely been cold lately. In the past week, the 6'4" guard shot a combined 3/18 (16.7%) from the field in Miami's two wins over North Florida and Florida Gulf Coast. While the Hurricanes have been able to win so far this season without any consistent contributions from Scott, this trend does not figure to continue. Miami has already lost Julian Gamble and DeQuan Jones for the season, as well as Reggie Johnson for the next few months, so they're going to need all the help they can get. Scott has the potential to be a dynamic scorer, and he could be the x-factor that determines whether Miami gets a tournament bid or not.