Big East Blog

Player of the Week

Dwight Hardy

In what was generally a straight beatdown Sunday afternoon at the Garden, senior guard Dwight Hardy lead the Johnnies to a 93-78 win over Duke, scoring 26 points on 9-13 shooting from the floor. Hardy helped Steve Lavin earn his first true signature win at St. Johns, who hadn’t beaten Duke in their last seven meetings leading up to Sunday’s matinee. Hardy followed his 26 point performance with a 15 point game in a win over Rutgers on Wednesday.

Feelin’ It

Austin Freeman , SG, Georgetown - He dropped 30 in a 3 point win over Villanova, looking like the Preseason Big East Player of the Year he was chosen to be. Georgetown needed all 30 considering starting guard Chris Wright finished with a big fat zero in the scoring column.

Terrance Jennings, F, Louisville - Jennings decided to show up to work the past two games, putting up 16 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks in a win over Connecticut, followed by a 18 point 7 rebound line in a loss Georgetown. It was the first time Jennings scored in double figures back to back games since December 4th and 8th.

Jeremy Lamb, F, Connecticut - UConn's Lamb has been anything but silent, scoring 20 point in three consecutive games. With Walker hitting a bit of a wall, the Huskies will need Lamb to continue adding 15-20 to their point total.

Coolin’ Off

Kemba Walker is starting to look like that guy who you hate playing with at the gym, taking questionable shots and over dribbling. He’s 27 of his last 88 shots from the field, rounding out to about 30%. Those 88 shots were taken in only five games.

Jeremy Hazell , G, Seton Hall – After torching the Orange for 28, he’s a combined 4-20 in his last two games.

Scoop Jardine is shooting 30% over his last 6 games. His inability to consistently knock down shots from the outside will really hurt the Orange in tournament play, where off nights will send you home early.

Top Five Shotblokers

1. Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville

Standing 6’10 with an outrageous 7’4 wingspan, this center from Senegal could practically hug his entire starting lineup all at the same time. He’s a lot more proficient at swatting shots than he is shooting them, averaging 2.3 blocks in just 16 minutes a game, equivalent to a ridiculous rate of 5.7 blocks per 40 minutes. Put it this way- Both Dieng and Syracuse’s Rick Jackson are tied for second in the Big East at 2.3 blocks per game. The difference? Jackson does it in 34 minutes per game compared to Dieng's measly 16.

2. John Flowers, F, West Virginia

When I used to hear the word flowers, I’d think weddings, gardens and apologies. Now I think ferocious, high-flying rejections that result in balls sent to the 4th row for the alumni to catch and throw back. John Flowers leads the Big East in blocks, utilizing his big hops and explosiveness to swat shots from the weak side in fashion.

3. Julian Vaughn, F, Georgetown

Vaughn has been a pretty important guy for the Hoyas this season, averaging 2.24 blocks in just 23 minutes. He’s recorded 2 blocks or more in 14 of his 21 games for Georgetown this season, providing the Hoyas with some desperately needed toughness on the interior.

4. Rick Jackson , F, Syracuse

Jackson shows a healthy mixture of strength and length, making it difficult for opposing big men to get clean shots off. Despite having the leaping abilities of a small giraffe, Jackson does a nice job of anticipating and timing his attempts. When starting center Fab Melo is not in the game, which is a lot, Jackson becomes the primary rim protector for the Syracuse 2-3 zone.

5. Maurice Sutton, F/C, Villanova

He only plays 11 minutes a game, but in those 11 minutes you hear his name an awful lot. Constantly active, Sutton plays above the rim bringing length and energy to the defensive side of the ball. Lacking advanced ball skills, Sutton finds other ways to make an impact, like blocking over one shot every ten minutes of action.

Weekly Thoughts

Kemba Walker looked troubled against the Syracuse zone on Wednesday night. It's obviously a lot easier for Walker to score when he's isolated against a man to man defense. When will we see every team throwing a 2-3 at the Huskies?

If you’ve seen Marquette’s Jae Crowder play, you’d swear he was at least 6’8. Listed at just 6’6, Crowder is a bully under the boards, where he knocked around Syracuse for physical 25 points and 7 rebounds.

Peyton Siva is quickly becoming a player to watch for in the Big East, coming through for his second big bucket in consecutive weeks to win or tie a game in the closing seconds. This week's victim: Connecticut in double OT.

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