Player of the Week:
Dion Waiters 6'4 G, Syracuse
Waiters has taken his game to the next level, scoring 19 in a blowout over GW and 22 in a potential trap game at NC State. When he gets going he's really fun to watch, bobbing and weaving between defenders and exploding through the tiniest of openings. He took over the game against NC State, converting at the rim and out to 26 feet away.
Waiters is your classic combo-guard, who can beat his defender off the dribble or spot up off the ball on the perimeter. He's a good ball-handler and a willing passer, and should be capable of handling point guard responsibilities throughout stretches of a game. He's creeping up our draft board, and should begin to generate some more buzz as the most prolific scoring guard on the top team in the country.
Herb Pope 6'8 PF, Seton Hall
He's scored at least 23 points in 4 consecutive games, including a 17 rebound game in a win over Mercer and a 14 rebound game in a win against Wake Forest. Pope is this year's Marshon Brooks, having a monster breakout season in his senior year. He's averaging 22 and 11 through 10 games.
The 3-ball is starting to fall. He's made 8 from behind the arch in his past two games, in which he scored 20 and 16 back to back. With Yancy Gates out, Kilpatrick has seen his role increase within the offense.
Bryce Cotton, 6'1 G, Providence
Cotton dropped 34 on Saturday, shooting 11-16 from the floor and 10-10 from the line. He's come out of nowhere to become one of the Friar's most dynamic offensive players.
Moe Harkless 6'8 F, St. Johns
Three consecutive double-doubles for the rook. Easily St. John's most promising freshman prospect.
They've lost 5 of their last 7, 4 of which to unranked teams. Their inability to pounce on less talented teams is a bad reflection on guard Maalik Wayns, whose stock is taking a hit as the leader of an under-achieving program. Wayns has to do a better job of finding his teammates and creating easier opportunities for them to score. They're shooting an abysmal 42% from the floor as a team, good for 226th in the country.
1. Herb Pope 6'8 PF, Seton Hall
Pope was never regarded as a scorer, but that could change after this year. He currently leads the Big East in scoring at 22 a game, after averaging just 9 and 11 his previous two years. He's extended his range on the floor, showing a little bit of a face-up game that wasn't part of his regular repertoire. Still, he's a force in the paint thanks to a powerful physique, and one of the stronger rebounders in the country. If he can continue his hot play, Pope might appear on NBA radars as a second round flier.
2. Todd Mayo, 6'3 G, Marquette
Mayo has been a major factor in the team's success thus far, providing Marquette with a viable third scoring option behind [Player: Darius Johnson-Odom] and Jae Crowder. As DJO's replacement (suspended 1 game) in the starting lineup, Mayo lead the team in scoring with 22 points in a win over Northern Colorado. His ability to score off the dribble creates a problem for defenses who were originally concerned with stopping Johnson-Odom. Mayo is averaging 11 points off the bench, and shooting a respectable 38% from downtown.
3. Henry Sims 6'10 C, Georgetown
Sims leads Georgetown in assists as the team's starting center, doing his best Greg Monroe imitation from a few years back. Sims has also been able to score in the post, looking quicker and more elusive when operating down low. His ability to facilitate out of the post results in a lot of open looks for his teammates. He's averaging 12.6 points, 5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.6 blocks per game in his senior year.
4. James Southerland, 6'8 F, Syracuse
Southerland has established himself as one of the better shooters in the conference, which has helped provide space for guards like Waiters and Scoop Jardine to operate one on one. He has an effortless stroke in catch and release opportunities, and has displayed deceptive athleticism as the recipient of lobs around the rim. With a lengthy wingspan and good size (6'8), Southerland is your quintessential stretch forward, and should see his fair share of minutes as the team's most lethal spot up threat.
5. Bryce Cotton, 6'1 G, Providence
Cotton has been scoring from all over the court, averaging 16 points a game on 46% shooting from downtown. A combo-guard with serious hops, Cotton is more of a scorer than he is facilitator. He's quick and athletic, and poses as a nice compliment to Vincent Council. He only averaged 4 points a game as a freshman, but has gotten an opportunity as a sophomore and has really stepped up.