Archive - Mar 2012
At the first North Carolina/Duke game of 2012, Austin Rivers buried a dagger to upset the Tar Heels on their home court. Well, North Carolina brought some heavy artillery to Cameron Indoor Stadium and counterattacked with a convincing 88-70 victory on their heated rival. Tyler Zeller, the player who Rivers sunk his previous game winner over, got sweet redemption in his last regular season ACC game with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Player of the Week
Robbie Hummel, Purdue
The Boilermakers have played themselves into the NCAA tournament despite some big-time adversity, and Hummel is the reason why. Purdue handed Michigan its only home loss of the season Saturday, then demolished Penn State 8-56 on Wednesday. Over the past four games, Hummel’s averaging 23.7 points and 9.8 rebounds as Purdue has gone 4-1. He’s shot 47.8 percent in that span. Despite that mark, he’s still only shooting 40.9 percent from the field this season, the lowest mark of his career. His rebounding is at 7.0 per game, matching his career high.
Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State
Averaged 21 points and 8.5 rebounds in two games this past week, a home loss against Wisconsin and a road win at Northwestern when teammate Jared Sullinger hit a game-winning shot. Thomas shot 17-of-30 from the field this past week, continuing his torrid percentage that now is at 53.0 percent, which ranks eighth in the Big Ten.
Meyers Leonard, Illinois
The 7-1 sophomore continues to be one of the lone bright spots for the Illini, who have collapsed down the stretch. He’s averaged 17 points and 9.3 rebounds in his past three games, two losses and a win. He’s getting quality looks, shooting 20 of 36 (55.5 percent) in the same span. For the season, he’s at 13.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game better than last season.
Player of the Week
Ryan Kelly hasn't been the top performer in the ACC this week, but he's been a nice contributor for Duke throughout the year and I wanted the chance to talk about him before the season came to an end. I figured this would be the best chance I had to do so, as he's coming off a career-high 23 points scored in a win against Wake Forest. For the past three and a half months, Kelly's been more of a luxury than anything else. He's maybe the third or fourth scoring option on the team. He provides the roster with a little more size and doesn't hurt the team by making a lot of mistakes. My point is that he's a good player, but not exactly the biggest cog in Duke's system. However, his usefulness could skyrocket this weekend if the stars align. Let me explain: Duke has the top record in the ACC (13-2). North Carolina is right behind them (12-2) and could tie that record with a win against Maryland on Wednesday. Should UNC win, the regular season title would come down to the UNC/Duke matchup on Saturday. If there's one thing that makes Duke a better team than UNC, it's their perimeter shooting. In their previous matchup (which Duke won), the Blue Devils made 14 three pointers (including one at the buzzer). The Tar Heels just made one. Ryan Kelly gives Duke another big man that can shoot it. But he’s not only giving the team shooting from a unique position, but Ryan is also forcing one of the UNC bigs to defend away from the hoop. Scoring in the paint can only be easier without a John Henson or Tyler Zeller there to bother you. Ryan’s shooting reputation could become a huge factor in this potentially title-deciding game.