Big East Blog
Player of the Week
He's playing like a veteren NBA player who's been sent to the D League. Walker made a few more schools look foolish this week, hanging 31 on DePaul and hitting the game winner in the final seconds to knock off 7th ranked Villanova. It was his second game-winning shot in as many weeks, after he silenced the Texas crowd on his pullup jumper with 5 seconds to go in Overtime on January 8th. In what should be a developing story as the seasons progresses, Walker will battle BYU's Jimmer Fredette for National Player of the Year.
Austin Freeman had a big week for the underachieving Hoyas, scoring 25 and 28 in back to back wins over Rutgers and Seton Hall. He shot a combined 16-25 from the floor, including 7 of 10 from downtown and 14-14 from the free throw line. If only Georgetown played Rutgers and Seton Hall every night, just then maybe would Freeman's preseason conference player of the year pick come to fruition.
Marshon Brooks - Brooks had his 11th game of 25 points or more this week, scoring 28 in a loss to South Florida. Why hasn't he had so much as a 30 second segment on ESPN? Maybe it's because Providence is 0-6 in the Big East.
Corey Fisher - Fisher had a big game in a loss to the Huskies, putting up 28 and dishing out 6 assists. Who those assists were to? Most likely not Corey Stokes or Maalik Wayns, who combined for just 12 points on 0-7 from downtown. Fisher was able to get it going in the one on one game, knocking down shots off the dribble and getting to the rim.
Entering the week as one of the few remaining undefeated teams, Cincinnati showed why they are no real threat to compete with the best of the East. They put up a weak fight against Syracuse, and then lost a disappointing game to Notre Dame, who was coming off back to back losses of 18 points or more. The Bearcats currently hold the title of "Best of the Worst" of the Big East.
After starting 10-2 with potential and promise, Providence has dropped it's first 6 games of conference play. At this point the only thing worth watching in Providence is the stock rise of Marshon Brooks. Otherwise the only promise coming out of Providence was that their eye catching start was to be no more than a tease.
Top Ten Scoring Guards
1. Kemba Walker , UConn - Last year we questioned whether Walker could control his urges of explosion and play a more poised, facilitator-type role in Calhoun's offense. This year we don't question that all, because we really don't care. He's the most prolific scorer in college basketball, and whether he's a shoot first point guard or undersized shooting guard, he's just too good of basketball player to nitpick at.
2. Marshon Brooks , Providence - Virtually unknown as a freshman, sophomore and junior, Brooks remains unknown as a senior. At 6'5 he's got good size, and has shown he could be one of the most versatile scorers in the country. At over 23 points per game on 49% shooting, the numbers just don't lie.
3. Corey Fisher , Villanova - Fisher has just started to pick up steam, and remains one of the top scoring guards in the nation. Even when he's off, he finds ways to get to the line and earn his points. When that outside game starts heating up, he's a lock for 20 plus.
4. Austin Freeman , Georgetown - Freeman has one of the prettiest outside strokes I've seen, seeming almost automatic shooting out of a catch and release position. Despite looking slow and nonchalant, he's deceptively quick and nimble, which get him easy buckets in Georgetown's heavy movement motion offense.
5. [Player: Darius Johnson-Odom] , Marquette - An explosive and high energy guard, DJO can light it up from downtown or torch you in transition on the break. With the ability to score in bunches, he has his moments as one of the more electric guards in the conference.
6. Preston Knowles, Louisville - Pretty much the closest thing the Cardinals have to a reliable scoring threat, Knowles is shooting 42% from three while doubling his scoring average from last year at 16 a game. Looking more confident then ever, Knowles ability to score consistently will highly reflect Louisville's record at the end of the season.
7. Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh - Gibbs is like that car you've had for ten plus years. It may not have the speed or the flash, but it gets the job done when you need a ride. Scoring 16 points per game on 45% shooting from behind the arch, Gibbs is essentially the most reliable player on the best team in the conference.
8. Casey Mitchell, West Virginia - Mitchell increased his scoring average from 3.7 to 16.8 from his junior year to his senior year. He's filled more than just one pair of shoes this season, and will look to help lead the Mountaineers back to the NCAA tournament despite the loss of two key contributors from last year's team.
9. Corey Stokes , Villanova - Stokes' ability to stretch the floor and knock down threes has made Nova the threat they are today. Another off guard with good size, Stokes has put his name on the draft board radar.
10. Ben Hansbrough, Notre Dame - More than just a spot up shooter, Hansbrough is crafty moving without the ball and finds more ways to contribute than by just hitting 3s. He actually does a decent job of getting to the line, which makes him even more dangerous as an outside threat.
- West Virginia put forth a tremendous team effort in their win over the 8th ranked Purdue Boilermakers this past Sunday, capping off an impressive 4 game winning streak. They celebrated by losing to Marshall on Wednesday.
- Marquette blew a 17 point lead against Louisville with 6 minutes remaining. Preston Knowles hit 5 threes in the second half, as Marquette melted down the stretch like the swiss on my turkey hero.
- The Irish have lost their lost two games by a combined margin off 40 points.
- Peyton Siva's line on Wednesday consisted of 10 points, 10 assists, 7 steals, 2 rebounds and a block. He's quietly learning his role as a facilitator, as opposed to the scorer he was in high school.
Fisher Price has been ballin' since Big East play started. Happy to see him getting his recognition. I also think he was Big East player of the week over Kemba after showing Kemba up in Storrs besides the game winner and then leading Nova up to Syracuse and beating them in front of 33,000.