Archive - Jan 2012
Player of the Week
Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, SG, Sophomore, 6-5 185 lbs.
Franklin led the Aztecs to a key victory over #14 UNLV (17-3) this past Saturday by scoring 24 points and gathering 10 rebounds. He shot the ball well (8-18 shooting, 8-8 free throws) and provided lots of energy and emotion. Franklin held UNLV guard, Oscar Bellfield, to 1-12 shooting and attacked the boards throughout the whole game. Following up his impressive performance against UNLV, Franklin finished with 12 points and 5 rebounds against New Mexico (15-3). San Diego State beat New Mexico, 75-70, and now ranks atop the Mountain West Conference. For the season, Franklin averages 15.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 40.6 FG%, 29.6 3P%, and 74.1 FT%.
Dominique Morrison, Oral Roberts, SF, Senior, 6-6 210 lbs.
Oral Roberts is riding a 10-game winning streak into this weekend and much of the credit for that winning streak can be attributed to Dominique Morrison. He’s been dominant in nearly every game during the 10-game winning streak, including a 38 point-7 rebound performance against South Dakota State (15-5) and a 27 point-5 rebound outing against IPFW (9-9). Oral Roberts is currently 17-4 (9-0 in conference) and Morrison leads the team in scoring (20.1 PPG). Also of note, Morrison is shooting 49.3 FG%, 83.8 FT%, and 45.6 3P%. If he could become more active on the boards, Morrison could earn some NBA Draft prospect consideration. Currently, he’s averaging 4.7 RPG.
You may have noticed the Eastern Conference is something of a mess. If the playoffs were to start today the Cavs would be the #7 seed. The Cavs are 6-7. However, the there are some Eastern Conference story lines that don’t involve horrific play. Foremost among these is the maturation of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Player of the Week
Rodney McGruder, Kansas State
The Washington D.C. native is starting to play up to his ability, and that's a great sign for anyone who follows Wildcat basketball. The 6'4" shooting guard scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and handed out four assists in a surprising 82-73 loss to Oklahoma. He followed that steady performance with a huge outing against Texas. In an 84-80 win over the Longhorns, he dropped 33 points while shooting 65% from the field and 67% from behind the 3-point line. In addition, he also snatched eight rebounds and dished out two assists. This week has been a good sign of things to come for Kansas State.
Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas
The overwhelmingly inconsistent Tyshawn Taylor now put together a string of very good games for now Big 12 leading Kansas. While his turnover problems continue, he is negating them with his stellar performances of late. In a win over Iowa State, he pounded the Cyclones with 28 points, six assists, and four steals. Then, in an early conference showdown with the Baylor Bears, he was the unsung star of the game. In the 92-74 blowout, he again dropped 28 points. He also handed out six assists and grabbed two rebounds. In that game, he shot an amazing 71% from the field and 67% from behind the 3-point line.
Royce White, Iowa State - This week, posted averages of 17.5 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 block per game.
Texas A&M Aggies
The Aggies came into the season with high expectations, hovering around preseason Top 25 rankings. They were returning future NBA draft selection Khris Middleton, as well as David Loubeau and Ray Turner. However, since conference play began, things have started to fall apart for A&M. It seems that none of their star players are playing as well as they should be, except for the Washington transfer Elston Turner. As it stands right now, they are an underwhelming 10-7 on the season. Even worse, they are 1-4 in conference play, good for ninth place in the Big 12. If they want to turn the season around, Khris Middleton and David Loubeau need to step their games up.
After getting absolutely trounced by Florida State on Saturday, North Carolina was looking for a redeeming performance on the road against Virginia Tech. Harrison Barnes and John Henson definitely delivered, but they also lost valuable starting guard Dexter Strickland in the process. Strickland hurt his right knee while attempting a runner and is going to get X-Rays today. He is optimistic and felt better after the game, but the prognosis on when he will return is unknown.
A short week ago, I said I believed that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was the best freshman at the nation at the halfway mark. Since than, Kentucky's other player in the running for the award, Anthony Davis, has already re-taken the lead. After an incredible 27 point and 14 rebound performance against Arkansas, Davis has leapt over the freshman wall with a vengeance. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist still is a fantastic freshman, but Anthony Davis has been a menace in SEC play and has rightfully moved to the top of my (and I am sure many others) rankings of the top first year guys in the nation.