Archive - 2012 - Blog entry

March 7th

SEC Blog

Player of the Week

Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee

March 6th

Big East Blog

Player of the Week

Maalik Wayns, Villanova

Maalik WaynsMaalik WaynsWayns played well this week, going for 18 and 8 assists in a win over DePaul, and 26 and 5 in a tough loss to Cincy. He shot a combined 8-13 from downtown during the stretch, and if the Wildcats could stop anybody from scoring, they might have gotten two wins this week instead of one.

Heatin' Up

Jae Crowder, Marquette

March 5th

Big 12 Blog

Big 12 Player of the Year:

Thomas Robinson, Kansas

Thomas RobinsonThomas RobinsonAbsolutely dominated college basketball this season. His 18.0 and 11.9 rebounds per game brought Kansas yet another Big 12 regular season crown, and have him in the running for 2012 National Player of the Year.

Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year:

Jeff Withey, Kansas

March 4th

Big Ten Blog

Player of the Week

Robbie Hummel, Purdue

Robbie HummelRobbie HummelThe 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.

Who’s Hot

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.

March 1st

Mid Major Blog

Andrew NicholsonAndrew NicholsonPlayer of the Week:

Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure, Senior, PF, 6-9 250 lbs.

ACC Blog

Player of the Week

Ryan Kelly

Ryan KellyRyan KellyRyan 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.

February 28th

Big East Blog

Player of the Week

Jae Crowder

Jae CrowderJae CrowderCrowder has made a late season push for conference player of the year honors, after scoring 29 in a road win over UConn, 27 in a blowout over Rutgers, and just recently 26 in Marquette's best conference road-win of the year at West Virginia.

February 27th

SEC Blog

Player of the Week

Anthony Davis, Kentucky

Anthony DavisAnthony DavisKentucky trailed 41-28 at halftime in Starkville, and Davis appeared phased by the environment/competition for the first time in his young career. He had just 4 points and 3 rebounds after 20 minutes. To the surprise of no one, however, he raised his energy level in the second stanza (including a technical foul) en route to 13 points, 11 boards, 2 blocks and 2 steals, as UK prevailed by a comfortable margin. Davis found no such struggles back in the friendly confines of Rupp against Vanderbilt, as he finished with 28 points on 10/11 field goals, 11 boards (4 offensive), 6 blocks and 2 steals. He even tossed in a few short-mid range jumpers, including a smooth turnaround J. A 13/15 stretch from the free throw line in the two games highlights both his developing stroke and enhanced aggression. The battle between AD and Thomas Robinson for National POY will be decided down the home stretch.

Who’s Hot

Jordan McRae, Tennessee

Following a ferocious mid-season slump (4 PPG in January), McRae has re-emerged as a prominent factor in Cuonzo Martin’s rotation. In wins versus Mississippi and at South Carolina he averaged 31 minutes, 16 points (50% FG), 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Early in the year his shot attempts were predominantly long-range bombs, but this week he attempted only 30% three’s and found his way to the charity stripe 15 times (11 makes). He’s added weight to his brittle frame, and at 6’7 he has a serious height advantage over opposing off-guards. Add his explosive athleticism into the mix and there’s no reason he should be camped out behind the arc. Versatility is his ticket to collegiate stardom, and beyond.

February 25th

Mid Major Blog

Player of the Week

Khalif Wyatt, Temple, SG, Junior, 6-4 210 lbs.

Wyatt played a fundamental role in preserving Temple’s (22-5, 11-2) top spot in the Atlantic 10 Conference this week. The Owls rolled over Duquesne (15-12) in a 19-point victory and then managed to win on-the-road against La Salle (18-10) in a contest that needed overtime to decide the winner. Against Duquesne, Wyatt finished with 24 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and shot 11-17 from the field and 1-4 from three-point land. Against La Salle, Wyatt posted 25 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 2 steals, and shot 7-11 from the field and 4-5 from three-point land. Temple has won 11 consecutive games and has developed a strong case to receive a #5 or #6 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Wyatt and fellow swingman, Ramone Moore, are pivotal parts to the Owls potential to make a run in March. For the season, Wyatt is averaging 17.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.2 APG, 2.1 SPG, and 48.8 FG%, 40.3 3P%, 84.1 FT%.

Who’s Hot?

Julian Boyd, Long Island University (LIU), PF, Junior, 6-7 230 lbs.

Boyd is a lesser known player in the mid-major realm of college basketball, but he is a beast. Period. He’s slightly undersized for the power forward position, but for mid-major schools he’s an effective size. In the past week Boyd and LIU (21-7, 15-1) have been on a tear, winning three games to help keep them atop the Northeast Conference. In those games, Boyd finished with point totals of 25, 20, and 20, respectively. Not only was Boyd scoring bunches of points; he also collected a total of 29 rebounds in the three games. If Boyd and LIU can continue to win and put up the number of points that has ranked them fourth nationally, LIU could earn a #13 or #14 seed for the NCAA Tournament (assuming it wins the Northeast Conference Tournament). For the season, Boyd is averaging 17.2 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 0.7 BPG, and 53.8 FG%, 35.3 3P%.

February 24th

Big Ten Blog

Player of the Week

Matt Gatens, Iowa

Matt GatensMatt GatensLights out.

In two games, the senior guard has taken the Hawkeyes from looking like the Big Ten’s cellar-dwellers to the middle of the pack and a shot at an NCAA Tournament berth. He’s played for three coaches in four years and never has experienced a winning season in Iowa City, but the hometown kid brought the Hawkeyes a step closer with 30 points Sunday against No. 18 Indiana and 33 in a win vs. No. 16 Wisconsin — each at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Each were career highs.

How did he follow up a 10-for-18, 7-for-10 performance from 3 vs. the Hoosiers? Went 12-for-18 and matched the 7-of-10 to lead the Hawkeyes to a sweep of the Badgers for the first time since the 1994-95 season. Gatens had never made more than nine field goals or five 3-pointers in a game before the last pair.

But this is what was most impressive about the past two wins for Iowa (15-13, 7-8 Big Ten): Gatens hit 12 consecutive shots from downtown, three short of the NCAA Division I record of 15 set by Northwestern’s Todd Leslie in 1990. In the last four games, he’s 22-of-32 from 3-point range (68.8 percent). Iowa now sits in seventh place in the Big Ten, and on the NCAA Tournament bubble with two wins apiece over the Badgers and Minnesota, and victories over ranked foes Indiana and Michigan. It finishes the season with games at Illinois and Nebraska before hosting Northwestern.