Player of the Week
It appears that D'Angelo Harrison figured this whole "offense" thing out. He's scoring in volume and doing it consistently. He put up 24 and 25 points consecutively before dropping 36 in a wasted effort at Villanova. He's proven lethal on the perimeter, whether it's with the quick-trigger transition three or off the bounce en route to the rim.
Harrison is a shoot-first combo-guard with top-shelf scoring instincts. Down one to Cincinnati with 29 seconds, he took his man off the dribble, stopped on the dime, pulled up and knocked down a midrange jumper.
At this point he can be thought of as an NBA prospect, just with a limited ceiling at 6'3 and no real point guard instincts.
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame
Jack Cooley is a machine— almost a sure bet for a double-double despite lacking the athleticism of the guys he's rebounding over. He went for 19 and 13 over Seton Hall and 24 and 15 over Niagara. Motor and rebounding instincts tend to translate from one level to the next. I like Cooley as a legitimate second rounder.
Ryan Arcidiacono, Villanova
Arcidiacono is still learning the ropes, trading mistakes with big-time plays, but he was awesome in Villanova's OT win over St. Johns. He dropped 32 points, hitting 7 threes and 11 free throws.
Brandon Triche, Syracuse
Triche was on fire against Rutgers, nailing five threes and finishing with 25 points, 6 dimes an 4 steals. He backed it up with 20 in a solid road-win over South Florida, making 8 two-point fields and finishing at the rim with regularity.
Tra Woodall, Pittsburgh
Woodall struggled to make an impact in two conference games where Pittsburgh needed production from their lead-guard spot. He shot 3-9 in a loss to Cincy and 3-11 in a loss to Rutgers.
Top 5 Key Role Players Who Need to Make an Impact for their Teams
1. James Southerland, Syracuse
When James Southerland is in the zone, Syracuse becomes as dangerous as any team in the country. He's coming off the bench to average 13 points a game, most of which come from either behind the arc or above the rim. Southerland has shown the ability to go off, as evidence by the 35 points on 9 threes he dropped on Arkansas. For Syracuse to have a chance at the national title, they'll need Southerland to make an impact against the top competition.
2. Titus Rubles, Cincinnati
Rubles gives Cincinnati an offensive dimension that nobody else in the rotation can offer. He's an athletic small forward who plays the 4 to exploit the mismatch he presents as a faceup threat. Rubles can beat his man off the dribble and finish strong or acrobatically inside. Most of Cincy's other front court players get time for their length or motor, but none possess the offensive skill set that Rubles brings to the table up front.
3. Luke Hancock, Louisville
The George Mason transfer has an important role for this team, even if he's not scoring. Hancock's poise and unselfishness on the wing helps balance the lineup and create better scoring opportunities possession-by-possession. He's making 1.2 three-pointers a game, something Louisville will continue need him to do to help spread the floor and open up lanes for Peyton Siva and Russ Smith.
4. Trent Lockett, Marquette
Trent Lockett isn't scoring like did on Arizona State, but his minutes have been slashed and his role has changed. He adds needed athleticism on the wing as a slasher, defender and rebounder while making a respectable 36% of his three-point attempts. Lockett is at his best when he lets the game come to him, which he did in a win over Georgetown where he finished with 9 points, 10 boards and 2 blocks in an efficient all around game.
5. DeAndre Daniels, Connecticut
With Ryan Boatright, Shabazz Napier and Omar Calhoun, UConn has one of the most prolific backcourts in the conference, but they'll need DeAndre Daniels' length up front make to make this team more multidimensional offensively. UConn doesn't have much athleticism from their bigs, and even though Daniels is more of a 3, he'll need to make an impact at the rim for this team to compete with the top tier of the east.