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Big East Blog

Player of the Week

Tim AbromaitisTim AbromaitisTim Abromaitis, F, Notre Dame

After a shaky start shooting the ball, Tim Abromaitis caught fire this past week, scoring 21 points or more in three consecutive games at a 58% clip. Usually when shots start falling, confidence and general activity level start rising, which in this case lead to an average of 9 rebounds per game over his hot stretch. Abromaitis is a tough matchup for any power forward, as he makes up for his lack of strength with a smooth, comfortable outside stroke and a versatile offensive repertoire. If you appreciate white guys that can score, check out Abromaitis battle Georgetown Wednesday on ESPN2- should be a good one.

Cold

Ben Hansbrough, G, Notre Dame

Just once I want to see what the Notre Dame offense looks like when both Abromaitis and Hansbrough are on point. Ben shot a combined 3-13 from downtown this past week, which is pretty weak considering that's his primary responsibility. That's like the exterminator coming to your house and telling you he only got some of the rodents.

Top Big East Seniors

1. Austin Freeman, SG, Georgetown

Preseason Big East pick for Player of the Year, Freeman's got a feel for the hoop the way successful businessmen have with negotiating, or the way an artist does with his brush and canvas. Making it look easy and effortless, Freeman finds ways to score off the dribble, in spot up situations or off back door cuts in a constantly moving Princeton offense. His money three point game makes it even easier for him to use his deceptive quickness to create separation. Playing in a motion offense should be extremely beneficial in the long run as it forces him to move without the ball, a necessary intangible for a shooter of Freeman's caliber.

2. Marshon Brooks, G, Providence

Brooks has come out of nowhere in his senior year as a Friar, scoring over 23 points per game on an 11-2 team with plenty of upset potential. Brooks has shown off his tremendous versatility, scoring from behind the arch while getting to the line at an excellent rate. At 6'5, he averages an astounding 9 rebounds per game, good for 4th in the entire conference. He's scored over 25 points in seven consecutive games, and looks to continue his streak this Tuesday against a tough Syracuse zone defense.

3. Corey Fisher, G, Villanova

Fisher hasn't shot the ball overly well yet this season, but he's started to catch on as of late with back to back 20 point games. He has the ability to take over games with the ball in his hands, which will be key for the Wildcats come tournament time. Ignoring his deficiencies as an NBA prospect, Corey Fisher is a straight up basketball player who would be welcomed in any coach's backcourt as a senior leader. When his outside game starts to come around, so will his overall effectiveness as an attacking guard in Coach Jay Wright's aggressive system.


4. Chris Wright , PG, Georgetown

There's nothing too flashy about Chris Wright's game, but as a senior point guard his efficiency and leadership qualities make him the ideal point guard in the motion offense. He fits the role of facilitator in Georgetown's system the way DiCaprio fits the role of an unstable yet determined and likable rebel. Between the toughness and experience of Wright and Freeman, I'd be crossing my fingers that the Hoyas are on the other side of the bracket come March.

5. Rick Jackson, F, Syracuse

If I'm coaching college basketball, the one thing I want from my seniors is consistent production and reliability. Rick Jackson has provided just that for the Orange, leading the Big East in rebounding while scoring 14 and blocking 2 shots per game. Double-Doubling in 9 of his 13 games, Jackson's toughness and touch around the rim make him a rare yet viable option in the post. When you consider how poorly Syracuse has shot the ball from three, it makes Jackson's consistent numbers that more impressive.

6. Jimmy Butler, F, Marquette

Butler is an ideal small forward who moves well off the ball and can finish in the lane. We've seen his versatility increase with each season, showing off a more clean one on one game and a fluent stroke that should continue to get better. He maintains steady body control when taking his man off the dribble, making him tough to defend in isolation. Marquette will only go as far as Jimmy can take them, so it should be interesting to see his development as a senior leader.

7. Brad Wanamaker, G/F, Pittsburgh

An unconventional point forward, Wanamaker's role revolves around creating from the wing and knocking down shots from outside. Without a true point guard to play big minutes for the Panthers, Wanamaker has remained a reliable source of production, contributing in different fashion night after night. You could call him the conference's Swiss Army Knife of offense.

Notable Top Seniors:

Casey Mitchell, G, West Virginia
Tim Abromaitis, F, Notre Dame
Corey Stokes, G, Villanova
Dwight Hardy, G, St. Johns
Justin Brownlee, F, St. Johns
Ben Hansbrough, G, Notre Dame
Preston Knowles, G, Louisville
Carleton Scott, F, Notre Dame
Gilbert Brown, F, Pittsburgh

Weekly Thoughts

- Georgetown just beat down on Memphis in their own building.
- Marquette's Vander Blue has risen in the freshmen ranks, coming off back to back strong performances of 16-9-5 and 15 and 5 assists. He's got the game of a slasher and the name of a Superhero.
- Gilbert Brown finally had the breakout game he needed this week, scoring 28 points on 11-13, while gathering 5 assists and 5 rebounds. In what seems like his 9th season at Pittsburgh, Brown will definitely be needed for the Panthers to maintain their top ten ranking.
- Peyton Siva had his best game of his young career, scoring 29 points and dishing out 8 assists. Siva should be a much improved player come tournament time.

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