Archive - 2012 - Blog entry

February 23rd

Pac 12 Blog

Player of the Week

Justin Cobbs, PG, California Golden Bears

Justin CobbsJustin CobbsThe sophomore Cobbs has established himself as an integral piece of the Bears perimeter attack which also features a pair of pre-season all conference candidates in defensive specialist combo guard Jorge Gutierrez and sharp shooting wing man Allan Crabbe. Cobbs is a skilled pg who can get all the way to the rim and has size to finish. He has an excellent mid range game with the ability to break his man down off the dribble and a has a smooth shot with good hang time to hit over contesting defense. He is gaining confidence with his freedom to attack on offense and is becoming more assertive. This past week in wins over Colorado and Utah, Cobbs averaged 19 points, 10.5 assists and had more steals then turnovers helping improves Cal's record to 22-6 overall. I mentioned Justin in the last blog as an under the radar sophomore to keep an eye on who could break out next season, but if he can keep up his current play, there might be no need to wait till next season before he emerges and makes a name for himself, possibly this March when it counts the most.

Heating up

David Kravish, PF, Cal Bears

It was not my intention to make this a Cal basketball-centric week, but I have to bring up yet another Golden Bear who has stepped his game up as of late in freshman big man David Kravish. Kravish has been given a larger role following the suspension of big man Richard Solomon due to academic issues about a month back, and he has done his best to alleviate the loss. David has a very nice touch around the paint and does a good job keeping the ball up high and not bringing it down low allowing for smaller players to reach in. He doesn't provide much of a physical presence as he needs to add quite a bit of weight to his frame, but the offensive skills and his confidence level at that end of the court are intriguing. He averaged 15 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in a pair of wins over the Oregon schools this past week. He also posted an impressive 18 rebound performance just two weeks ago versus the USC Trojans. His improvement gives the Bears an inside player who can provide points and keep defenses honest.

February 22nd

ACC Blog

Player of the Week

February 21st

Big East Blog

Player of the Week

Jack Cooley, Notre Dame

Jack CooleyJack CooleyCooley is averaging 20 points and 14 rebounds on 73% from the floor over his past three games, leading the Irish to three more wins and an 11-3 conference record.

February 20th

SEC Blog

Player of the Week

John Jenkins, Vanderbilt

February 19th

Mid Major Blog

Player of the Week

Reggie Hamilton, Oakland, PG, Senior, 5-11 175 lbs.

Reggie HamiltonReggie HamiltonThe Chicago-born product has been on a tear during the month of February. In three games this past week, he scored over 30 points and shot 54.8 3P%, while also dishing out 4.0 APG. He led Oakland (15-13) to wins in each of those three games and the Golden Grizzlies are now in a tie for third place in the Summit League. Hamilton, the nation’s leading scorer, has scored over 30 points in 10 games this season, and he has scored over 40 points in two games. His ability to push the tempo and get to the basket is un-paralleled in the Summit League, and he is a tough guard for any opposing team. His style of play is reminiscent of a young, lean (and in better shape) version of Baron Davis. Hamilton’s stat line: 24.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 4.9 APG, 2.1 SPG, 43.7 FG%, 39.3 3P%, and 89.9 FT%.

Who’s Hot?

T.J. Robinson, Long Beach State, PF, Senior, 6-8 205 lbs.

Most of the publicity surrounding Long Beach State (19-6) features discussion about the 49ers’ standout point guard, Casper Ware. A player is often looked over during those discussions is T.J. Robinson, a senior who is a double-double machine for Long Beach State and a vital part of the team’s potential to be a “bracket buster” in March. For the season, Robinson has posted 13 double-doubles, including three straight this past week during Long Beach State’s victories over UC-Davis, Pacific, and CS-Northridge, and he’s averaging 12.3 PPG and 10.3 RPG. The 49ers are on a 12-game winning streak and will face Creighton (22-5) on Saturday in what should be one of the most entertaining mid-major matchups of the weekend.

February 17th

Big Ten Blog

Player of the Week

Robbie Hummel, Purdue

Robbie HummelRobbie HummelHummel 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.

Big 12 Blog

Player of the Week

Jeff Withey, Kansas

February 16th

ACC Blog

Player of the Week

Austin Rivers

Austin RiversAustin RiversWhat? 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.

February 14th

SEC Blog

Player of the Week

Kentavious Caldwell Pope, Georgia

Kentavious Caldwell-PopeKentavious Caldwell-PopeThe 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.

Who’s Hot

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.

February 13th

Big East Blog

Player of the Week

Kris Joseph

Kris JosephKris JosephJoseph had his best week of the season, knocking down big shots in crunch-time and stepping up when called upon.

The senior swingman scored 29 in a win over Georgetown, converting on a career high six three point makes that allowed the Orange to squeak by in overtime. Joseph looked sharp in catch and shoot opportunities, sporting a quick and fluent release with clean mechanics. When he sets his feet and steps into his shot, you can see it dropping from the second it leaves his fingertips.

He shot 3 for 4 from three against Connecticut, making him 9 for 15 from downtown on the week. Joseph is also attacking the rim with purpose, causing defenders to hesitate when attempting to close on him as a shooter.

His three-point shot is such an important aspect of his overall prospect package. If he can prove to be a true threat as a spotup shooter with range, he'll maximize his value and increase prospective interest.

When Joseph started his career, he got by thanks to athleticism and physical tools without a true feel for the game. Now, he's starting to fill the mold of an inside/outside off the ball stretch-slasher with enough substance to justify a 20-25 minute/game NBA role. He's averaging 14 points on 37% from three on the year.