Archive - Jan 30, 2012 - Blog entry
Player of the Week
Moe looks to be turning a corner after going for 30 and 13 in a loss to Duke.
Harkless has the potential to be really, really good. He’s got power forward size and small forward length, athleticism and mobility. Moe’s becoming more comfortable operating on the perimeter, showing impressive footwork and body control attacking the rim.
He made West Virginia look like a bunch of silly old men, lighting them up for 23, 13 and 3 blocked shots in a 16 point beatdown at the Garden. With promising shooting mechanics we can only expect steady improvement from the 18 year old combo-forward.
Harkless clearly has top five pick potential, and could maximize his stock by staying for college year number two.
Gorgui Dieng C, Louisville
This kid needs some love. Pitino doubled his playing time and Dieng has doubled his production, averaging 10 points, 9.7 rebounds and a league leading 3.4 blocks a game.
Dieng is moving well on the interior, and does a nice job of anticipating and reacting off the ball. During Louisville’s three game winning steak he’s averaging 12 points, 13.6 boards and 4 blocks a game, which is becoming an every night line for the 6’11 center from Senegal.
Like Syracuse’s Fab Melo, Dieng is the rim protector and anchor of the Louisville interior, only he doesn’t have the surrounding weapons of the Orange defense and attack. Without Dieng, the Cardinals would not be the threat that they present to other talented and more skilled offensive teams.
Player of the Week
Draymond Green, Michigan State
The Spartans’ leader shook off a rough outing Jan. 17 at Michigan by spurring his team to consecutive home wins the past week: 83-58 against Purdue and 68-52 vs. Minnesota. The latter earned coach Tom Izzo his 400th win, 86 of which Green has been around for during his four seasons.
The 6-7, 235-pound, agile bruiser put up 22 points, 14 rebounds and six assists on 9-of-11 shooting against the Gophers. It got Green back on the double-double track after his first two-game stretch of single-digit points. It was his first 20-point outburst since Jan. 10 vs. Iowa and fourth of the season. He collected double-digit rebounds for the sixth consecutive game. Green, who averages 10.4 per game, is nearing Trevor Mbakwe’s 10.5 average last season – the highest in the Big Ten since Reggie Evans’ monstrous 11.1 per game in 2001-02 for Iowa.
As Green goes, so goes the Spartans. They’re an undefeated 9-0 when Green scores more than 14 points.
Brandon Richardson, Nebraska
The Huskers senior was flat-out deadly on Thursday night in Iowa City, hitting 6-of-7 from downtown and 9-of-10 shots overall, pretty much single-handily leading Nebraska to a 79-73 win against the Hawkeyes. Along with a career-high 25 points, Richardson, a 6-foot senior guard from Los Angeles, added six rebounds, five assists, two steals and just one turnover for a highly-efficient outing.
Iowa’s lethargic defense probably had a bit to do with his offensive explosion, but Richardson took advantage for one of the most impressive performances in the league thus far. It came just four games after he was held scoreless Jan. 15 at Wisconsin in an ugly 50-45 loss. Richardson hadn’t scored in double figures since Jan. 7 at Illinois, and was averaging just 4.8 points in his previous four outings. Even more surprising was his 3-point proficiency, as he came in shooting just 12-of-40 (30 percent) from beyond the arc this season and was only a 29.4 percent shooter from there for his career. He had only hit the 20-point plateau only once before, and his six rebounds also tied a season high.