Player of the Week
Brooks has been on a tear as of late, averaging 28 points and 8.2 rebounds per game over his last five. His defensive activity level has also been noteworthy, blocking 1.5 shots and tallying almost 2 steals per contest. Offensively he's shown off his versatility, knocking down 8 three pointers in the past two games, while getting to the line 14 times in a win against in-state rival Rhode Island. His consistency and reliability as a scorer have looked like a direct result of an embraced leadership role, as he's marched the Friars to their best start since 1988-1989 season.
Cold Player of the Week:
After a loss to Miami, it was evident that West Virginia needed a little more offensive support from their top returning scorer. After Devin Ebanks and De'Sean Butler left for the NBA, it was Kevin Jones who was left to keep the Mountaineers relevant in the Big East. So far this season he's seen his scoring decrease and his field goal percentage plummet to 41%. Jones will need to cut down on his three point attempts (22% from downtown) and work on using his size in the post. He only averages 5.8 rebounds per game, a pretty wimpy number for a 6'8, 255 pound big man.
Top 5 Shooters:
1. Ben Hansbrough - It's fun to watch Hansbrough in action, running circles until he finds the screen he needs to free himself up and let one fly. He has a super quick release, and if you saw the first half of the Notre Dame-Kentucky game, you saw Hansbrough make the rim look like a hula hoop.
2. Austin Freeman - Freeman's stroke from the outside is what makes him so deadly, as it keeps defenders honest and allows him to use his deceptive quickness to get to the rim. When Freeman's feet are set, the need to box out becomes less essential.
3. Ashton Gibbs - Gibbs has been on fire from downtown this season, shooting at a 45% clip and leading the conference in makes from behind the arch. He can knock it down off the dribble or in spot up situations, making him a pain in the ass for opposing defenses and for anyone who recently bet Duquesne getting 11 at Pittsburgh.
4. Jason Clark - Clark has shot the ball well early, including drilling three shots from downtown in an overtime win against Missouri. With Chris Wright breaking down defenses and a lot of attention on Freeman, look for Clark to continue to spread the floor and flourish as an outside threat.
5. Corey Stokes - Stokes scored 34 points against UPenn the other night, knocking down five three pointers and making up for a struggling Corey Fisher and an injured Maalik Wayns. Just like Clark, Stokes will thrive off drive and dish opportunities created by his attacking complimentary guards.
- Syracuse defeated Michigan State after scoring their first points outside of the paint 15 minutes into the game. Look for teams to take notice and force Kris Joseph (27% three point %), Scoop Jardine (28% three point %) and Brandon Triche (21% three point %) to shoot from the outside. Yikes, those are bad numbers from your starting 1, 2 and 3.
- Corey Fisher came off the bench this weekend for disciplinary reasons. He logged 37 minutes against Penn, scorching the nets for 4 points on 1-6 shooting.
- Providence's Vincent Council dropped 19 points and dished out 16 assists in a blowout win over Brown. I know, Brown... but still impressive.
- Alongside Jimmy Butler and Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette has gotten some nice production out of their two new additions, transfer Jae Crowder and freshman Vander Blue. Crowder is averaging 11.5 points and over 6 rebounds playing only 23 minutes a game, while Blue just drew his first start of the season, scoring 22 points on 9-13 shooting. They also both happen to have two great sports names.
- Notre Dame lead Kentucky for most of the first half when Ben Hansbrough hit 5 early three pointers. He hit none in the second, and the Irish scored 18 points in the final 20 minutes on their way to a double digit loss.
- Kemba Walker recorded his first career triple double on Friday, putting up 24 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.