Player of the Week
Once again, McDermott showed why he is becoming a "show in", run away for the player of the year award with his performance against St. John’s on Thursday. The Red Storm entered the game on a three-game winning-streak and nearly ended the Bluejays’ perfect home record with the game tied at 60 in the final seconds. The ball was swung around the perimeter and the two-time All-American found himself open on the top of the key, hitting a three-pointer to give Creighton a 63-60 lead with 2.5 seconds remaining.
The forward finished the game with 39 points on 15-of-26 shooting, including 5-for-9 from behind the arc. McDermott also finished with six rebounds in the game. Earlier in the week, the senior recorded his fourth double-double of the season in a 76-63 win over Georgetown, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
The preseason all-conference pick has begun to live up to the billing as Marquette has begun to rise up the Big East standings. Gardner has scored at least 20 points in two of the Golden Eagles’ last three games, including a 29-point performance in an overtime loss to then-No. 4 Villanova on Jan. 25. Against the Wildcats, the forward shot 9-of-16 from the field, and also grabbed 11 rebounds four his fourth double-double of the season. In seven games in January, Gardner, who is averaging nearly 15 points per game, scored at least 20 points in three contests.
Known more for his defensive prowess, Edwin had a strong offensive week in which the Pirates went 1-1. Against DePaul on Jan. 25, the forward was 11-for-20 from the field, scoring 30 points in a 86-69 win. The New Jersey native was efficient offensively once again in Seton Hall’s next game, a 64-57 loss to Butler on Jan. 29. Edwin scored 20 points on 8-for-18 shooting, while also grabbing three rebounds and registering six steals.
As Butler continues to struggle in their debut season, their leading-scorer has also had difficulties on the court, of late. Dunham shot a combined 7-for-20 in two games last week, finishing with 22 total points against St. John’s and Seton Hall. Against the Red Storm on Jan. 25, the guard went 4-of-10 from the field, finishing with 13 points and zero assists. The Indiana native once again struggled to find his shot against the Pirates on Jan. 29, going 3-of-10 and just nine points in the game.
The Georgetown guard, who is averaging over 17 points per game, also struggled shooting in his team’s last contest. Against Villanova on Jan. 27, Smith-Rivera was 2-of-11 from the field, finishing with just eight points in a 65-60 loss. He also missed all six of his 3-point opportunities. For the season, the guard is shooting over 45 percent from the field, including 42 percent from behind the arc. Half of the Indiana native’s points came from the charity stripe, and he only managed to grab one rebound and register one assist against the Wildcats.
Grading the preseason 1st Team Conference Selections
Doug McDermott A+ – McDermott has continued to improve upon one of the most prolific collegiate careers in recent years. The senior is currently second in the country with 25 points per game, is on his way to earning his third-straight first-team All-American honor.
Markel Starks B+ - Georgetown’s senior guard has seen his numbers increase across the board this season. His scoring is up nearly four points to 16 a game, and has also increased his rebound and assists numbers. Along with D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, John Thompson III has the finest backcourt in the conference.
Davante Gardner B - After a slow start to the season, Gardner has really picked up his production as conference play began. The forward is currently averaging nearly 15 points per game to go along with six rebounds for the Golden Eagles. While his shooting percentages have declined since last season, Gardner is also getting nearly six more minutes of playing time per game.
Bryce Cotton A- - The leader of a Providence team that is sitting at 15-6, Cotton is second in the conference, averaging 20.5 points per game. He’s also leads the conference in assists, averaging nearly six per game. Not only has the senior seen his scoring and assist numbers increase, but Cotton also plays nearly every minute for the Friars, averaging 39.4 minutes of playing time per game.
DAngelo Harrison B – The junior guard has not seen a prominent rise in his scoring numbers, but that’s not to say Harrison isn’t having a successful year. He ranks third in the conference in scoring at 17.7 points per game, and also is pulling down four rebounds a game. However, he has yet to pull St. John’s over the hump, as they sit ninth in the conference with a 2-6 record.
Semaj Christon B+ - Perhaps the player with the greatest professional prospects, Christon has been on a tear of late, scoring at least 20 points in four of Xaviers’ last six games. He’s averaging 17 points per contest and nearly four assists.