Player of the Week
Joseph had his best week of the season, knocking down big shots in crunch-time and stepping up when called upon.
The senior swingman scored 29 in a win over Georgetown, converting on a career high six three point makes that allowed the Orange to squeak by in overtime. Joseph looked sharp in catch and shoot opportunities, sporting a quick and fluent release with clean mechanics. When he sets his feet and steps into his shot, you can see it dropping from the second it leaves his fingertips.
He shot 3 for 4 from three against Connecticut, making him 9 for 15 from downtown on the week. Joseph is also attacking the rim with purpose, causing defenders to hesitate when attempting to close on him as a shooter.
His three-point shot is such an important aspect of his overall prospect package. If he can prove to be a true threat as a spotup shooter with range, he'll maximize his value and increase prospective interest.
When Joseph started his career, he got by thanks to athleticism and physical tools without a true feel for the game. Now, he's starting to fill the mold of an inside/outside off the ball stretch-slasher with enough substance to justify a 20-25 minute/game NBA role. He's averaging 14 points on 37% from three on the year.
Pinkston had by far his best game of the season, going for 28 and 14 in win a over Providence. Villanova was been missing anything that resembles this type of production up front, which is reflective of their disappointing conference record. We'll see how Pinkston rebounds after his dominant performance.
Luke Harangody's visual replica was an absolute monster this week, combining for 17 of 21 from the floor in wins over West Virginia and DePaul. Cooley averaged 21.5 points and 13 boards over both games, and has been the lone interior presence on a winning team that lacks flash/flare. Notre Dame's success story is tremendous, when you consider what little weapons that they have and their wins over Louisville, Syracuse, Marquette, Seton Hall, Connecticut and West Virginia.
Problem with West Virginia is the tiny margin for error their two senior leaders have on a nightly basis. Bryant went 3 for 23 from the floor and 2 for 13 from downtown on the week. The Mountaineers lack reliable/veteran scoring depth, so with numbers like that from Byrant, don't even bother checking their scores. I'll save you the trouble. They lost to Louisville and Notre Dame.
Tray was just due for a cold streak. Like West Virginia, Pittsburgh can't afford for a lead guard to shoot 2 for 10 and 4 for 13, which resulted in losses to South Florida and Seton Hall.
Top Five Most Effective Centers in 2012
1. Fab Melo, Syracuse
Stats aside, Melo has consistently made the most impact of any center in the conference. Syracuse's struggles without him reflect that. He positions himself effectively on both sides of the ball, providing an easy target for Syracuse guards and altering opposing teams' offensive operations. His complete understanding and awareness levels have risen dramatically, which along with his offseason weight-loss has made life incredibly easier for the 7-foot big fella.
2. Gorgui Dieng, Lousville
While he lacks the athleticism of Fab Melo, he plays a similar role for Rick Pitino. Dieng leads the league in blocked shots, displaying impressive footwork and agility for a kid his size. He slides well off the ball, and uses his big, lengthy body to gain position offensively down low. His hands and feel are good enough to convert with deep position established, where he also does damage by eating space under the boards. Without Dieng, Louisville wouldn't have enough to compensate for their lack of offensive firepower.
3. Henry Sims, Georgetown
Sims has found his game as a senior, playing a similar role as former Hoyas center Greg Monroe despite lacking his overall talent. Sims has been the team's most effective playmaker despite facilitating from the elbow without using his dribble. Sims has shown great vision and awareness, and has complimented that by improving his quickness and offensive repertoire. He's been a great fit in Thompson's motion offense that doesn't require a true point guard to run.
4. Andre Drummond, Connecticut
Drummond is obviously the top prospect on the list, but hasn't consistently produced like his other competing centers. The adjustment process for centers almost always takes time from level to level, as anyone on this list can attest to. But Drummond has shown flashes of elite athleticism, size and mobility, and meshes it with a soft touch out to around 12 feet. If he comes back to school for his sophomore year, you can bet there won't be any 0 for 6 games like you saw recently against Louisville.
5. Mouphtaou Yarou, Villanova
Yarou is undersized for the center position, but plays it out of necessity. He's averaging over 8 boards a game in only 26 minutes of action, and is making one more FG/game this year than he was last. Though it doesn't seem like a big difference, it kind of is when you consider how infrequently he's featured. Yarou needs to start consistently hitting the elbow J in order to generate further interest, but his best games are noteworthy when you factor in his physical tools.
Follow Jonathan Wasserman on Twitter @NBADraftnetWass
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