Player of the Week
John Henson is one of those draft prospects that everybody seems to be divided on. Some analysts believe he could be a top-5 pick; others think he's more of a bubble first-rounder. How he translates to the NBA is still very much in question, but it's becoming harder and harder to doubt his impact at the college level. The super-athlete in the lanky 6'10" frame has been dominating for the North Carolina Tar Heels thus far in the season. With his unreal length and quick leaping ability, Henson leads all ACC players in blocks per game (4.0) and is second in the conference in rebounds (10.8). That was expected; his offensive improvement was not. Henson's shooting ability is looking better with each passing game. He's developed a nice baseline jumper from 10-14 feet away from the basket, which surprisingly has been consistent so far in the season. On top of that, his free-throw shooting percentage is up to a less-abysmal 61.5%. All of his improvements offensively have accumulated to an average of 16.5 points per game (on 63% shooting). His scoring output is very likely to come down once North Carolina starts playing tougher competition and stops scoring 100+ points per game (as they have in both of their games this week), but he's clearly put some work in over the summer and an extra option offensively will come in handy for Coach Roy Williams.
Sophomore Travis McKie was poised for a breakout season after most of the other quality scoring options for Wake Forest either transferred or were dismissed from the team. Two weeks into the season, and he's already showing signs of being one of the top forwards in the conference. McKie is averaging 22.3 points per game, which is good for first among all ACC players. Like last season, McKie is scoring a lot of points using his size and athleticism to slash to the hoop or finish in transition, but unlike last season, he's also looking good as a shooter. He's 6/9 from behind the arc on the season (3 games) and shooting 59.5% from the field altogether. Along with teammate, CJ Harris, Travis McKie has led Wake Forest to a 3-0 record. This isn't special (especially considering the competition) but it is very promising for a team that was, quite frankly, a joke last season. If McKie continues his hot play, maybe Wake Forest won't be the bottom-dweller many of us predicted.
Durand Scott hasn't been horrible so far this season, but he's definitely been cold lately. In the past week, the 6'4" guard shot a combined 3/18 (16.7%) from the field in Miami's two wins over North Florida and Florida Gulf Coast. While the Hurricanes have been able to win so far this season without any consistent contributions from Scott, this trend does not figure to continue. Miami has already lost Julian Gamble and DeQuan Jones for the season, as well as Reggie Johnson for the next few months, so they're going to need all the help they can get. Scott has the potential to be a dynamic scorer, and he could be the x-factor that determines whether Miami gets a tournament bid or not.
Top 5 Freshmen
1. Austin Rivers - Rivers has been a little shaky to start the season but he has certainly shown off his immense talent. He has a lightning-quick first step, devastating ball-handling skills and a knack for getting to the free-throw line. He has trouble finishing through contact and doesn't always play in control, but that hasn't stopped him from averaging 15.2 points in his first six games.
2. James McAdoo - McAdoo has been playing well for the top-ranked team in the nation; he just hasn't been playing much. In a meager 13.5 minutes per game, McAdoo is averaging a very respectable 6.8 points (57.9% shooting) and 4.0 rebounds. It's hard to see his role increasing much with Henson and Zeller ahead of him in the rotation, but he'll still be very valuable to Coach Roy Williams this year.
3. Dorian Finney-Smith - Finney-Smith wasted no time before becoming a major stat-sheet stuffer. The 6'7" forward is leading the Hokies in both rebounds (11.0, also highest rate among all ACC players) and assists (4.3). He's long and active enough to be a great defender, and will command a lot of playing time for Virginia Tech this season.
4. PJ Hairston - Like McAdoo, 6'5" guard PJ Hairston is a freshman stud buried on the bench of perhaps the most talented team in the nation. His impressive shooting ability will become more important for North Carolina as the season goes on, but until then he'll be regulated to 15 minutes a game or so.
5. Nick Faust - Faust has been getting plenty of playing time this year for Maryland; he just hasn't produced. He's only made more than one field goal in one game this season, and is shooting a paltry 26.9% from the field. His talent will become more apparent as the season goes on, and he should be making a big impact for the Terps by the time conference play starts up.
Notes: North Carolina State's 6'5" guard Lorenzo Brown has looked very solid handling the point guard position, averaging 11.6 points, 6.6 assists and 4.0 steals a game ... Sophomore CJ Leslie returned from a three-game suspension and is averaging 18.5 points on 65% shooting in his first two games back for the Wolfpack ... Glen Rice Jr. also returned from a three-game suspension and is averaging 15 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game for Georgia Tech ... Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin exploded by scoring 32 points on 12 made field goals in Maryland's win over Colorado. This was just one day after only managing to score 6 points on zero made field goals in a loss against Alabama ... Florida State center Bernard James is shooting an unreal 90% from the floor in his last three games, averaging 13 points per game in that time-frame ... I have no stats to back this up, but UNC's star center Tyler Zeller has got to be leading the nation in charges drawn ... Reggie Bullock made 6 out of 7 of his three point attempts in UNC's win on Tuesday against Tennessee State. Kendall Marshall had 15 assists (for the second time this season) in the same game ... Virginia Tech played no games this week, but will face-off against Syracuse on Wednesday in what should be a good game ... Undefeated teams in the ACC include North Carolina (4-0), Duke (6-0), Florida State (4-0), Miami (4-0), Virginia Tech (3-0) and Wake Forest (3-0) ...
It's hard to get a feel for a player like Henson..Becuz he's so unothrodox...But players like that unsually success if they have a good work ethic...
THIS IS MY BOLD PREDICTION!!!
Austin Rivers will be a Top 3 Draft Pick if he decides to come out next year..Learning from Coach K how to play defense will do wonders for him....He already have a pro style game...
Nice rudeboy.....after I read this I wanted to make my BOLD prediction also.. ( Might not be that bold though)
Not sure where JOHN HENSON will fall in the Draft....but....eventually.....dude could be a 20 & 10 guy in the NBA....not to mention his shot blocking......then again he could also be a busto....but....I am leaning towards the 20 & 10 John Henson.
Another NOT so BOLD statement....John Henson mighta hooked up with one of these chics!!!...lol
u know,as hot as those chicks are,I still cant believe how long his arms are
Congratulations to the Top 5 Freshmen hopefully next week's re-entry in candidate, improve the quality of play