February 17th, 2012
Player of the Week
Robbie Hummel, Purdue
Hummel led the Boilermakers to back-to-back wins with two of his finest performances of the season. After struggling with his shot most of the Big Ten season, Hummel could be getting in a groove just as the most important month of the college basketball season approaches.
Anthony Davis, 6'10 PF, Kentucky
Davis makes opposing offenses look downright foolish. He's had at least 7 blocks in three of his last four games! Most teams couldn't get that type of rim protection if their center played with a damn broom.
There are only a few weeks left in the NCAA season. There is still a lot to be decided, but I have come up with my picks for award winners in the major conferences (ie. any conference that has a blog on NBADraft.net, sorry midmajors) as well as All-Conference teams. A lot of these awards and teams will be hotly debated and not everyone will be happy with the outcome. Not to mention, making one of these teams does not guarantee NBA success. This is just simply a list of who I have felt have been the most deserving for the 2012 NCAA Season.
Player of the Week
What? Were you expecting somebody else here? This week's top player just made a huge mark on perhaps the greatest rivalry in sports; a mark that will be remembered and replayed years into the future. Hmmm... Where should I start? So Duke was playing at North Carolina last week. Like many teams before them, the Blue Devils were having a tough time dealing with Tyler Zeller and Harrison Barnes. It looked like the duo was starting to pull the home team away after Barnes connected on yet another mid-range jumper, giving his team a 10 point lead with just over two-and-a-half minutes left in the game. But Duke hit a couple triples and UNC kept things interesting by missing some free-throws and turning the ball over. Eventually, everything came down to the last possession. Duke was down by two with about ten seconds left. Austin Rivers (who was hot all game, with 26 points at that point) rose up for a three-pointer with Zeller’s arm right in his face... Swish! Everything cultivated into as exciting a finish as we've seen in college basketball this season. Of course that intensity didn't seem to faze the uber-confident Rivers, who really appears to thrive in high-pressure situations. Duke and UNC will face off again at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 3rd. I'm sure the Tar Heels will be eager to set the record straight, but it's hard to bet against Rivers after a performance like that.
Player of the Week
Kentavious Caldwell Pope, Georgia
The former McDonald’s All-American led the previously 1-7 Bulldogs to a pair of impressive conference victories this week. He scored 18 points in a home route of Arkansas, connecting on 6/10 from the field and 3/6 from distance while also adding 3 steals. In a shocking OT road win at #18 Mississippi State, Caldwell-Pope went for 20 points on 6 made three-pointers, 8 rebounds and 3 assists (zero turnovers) in 40 treacherous minutes. He’s been asked to carry the scoring load on a deprived roster, and currently leads all SEC freshmen with 14.5 PPG and ranks 3rd amongst all conference performers with 57 made threes. Ironically he’s shooting 51% on two-point attempts yet is firing up 7 treys per game. His shot distribution will only improve with experience. Standing at 6’5 (still growing) with a pure stroke and true scorer’s mentality, look for Caldwell-Pope to rise from his current #24 slot in our 2013 mock draft.
Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague, Kentucky
UK’s backcourt has been inconsistent for much of the season, but they stepped up big against the elite of the SEC. Lamb averaged 17 points in the two victories over Florida and Vanderbilt, knocking down 12/21 shots and 6/12 threes. He finally turned up the aggression meter against the Commodores, attempting a team-high 13 field goals (highest in a game since December 17th versus UT Chattanooga). Teague recorded his first career double-double vs. Florida with 12 points and 10 assists (5 turnovers). He followed up that effort with 13 and 8, committing just one turnover in a challenging road environment. A comfortable Teague running the show makes UK a clear front runner to cut down the nets. He’s penetrating to create, not necessarily to score.