Player of the Week
Doug McDermott Anytime you pass Larry Bird on a list, you know you’ve had a good week. McDermott tied a career-high with 39 points against No. 6 Villanova on Feb. 16, passing the former Celtics great for 13th on the Division 1 career scoring ranks. The forward helped the Bluejays beat the Wildcats for the second time this season on 13-of-17 shooting, including 4-for-6 from the 3-point line. The senior also grabbed seven rebounds in the 101-80 win in Omaha.
McDermott followed up with a 25-point, eight rebound performance against Marquette on Feb. 19, pushing him further up the career-scoring list to No. 11. In doing so, he passed Tyler Hansbrough and Elvin Hayes. In the 85-70 win, he finished 9-of-12 from the field and also dished out three assists. The forward has now scored 25 or more points in six consecutive games, going for more than 30 on three occasions.
Justin Martin The Xavier big man just had his most productive week of the season, going for at least 20 points in back-to-back games against Marquette and DePaul. Against the Golden Eagles on Feb. 15, Martin scored 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He also grabbed seven rebounds in the 81-72 loss.
Against the Blue Demons on Feb. 19, the junior forward scored a season-high 22 points in an 83-64 win. Martin was 6-for-7 from the field, including 3-of-3 from behind the arc. The Indianapolis native was effective getting to the line, and converting 7-of-11 off his free throws. For the second consecutive game, Martin grabbed seven rebounds.
Bryce Cotton The Providence point guard continues to be one of the most productive players in the Big East no matter what statistical category. In both of the Friars’ games last week, Cotton scored 22 points. In a 84-61 win over DePaul on Feb. 15, the senior was 7-for-14 shooting to go along with four rebounds and six assists. Cotton nearly led Providence to an upset of No. 9 Villanova on Feb. 18 when they took the Wildcats to double-overtime. Although he couldn’t pull off the team’s second win over a ranked opponent this season, Cotton’s influence could bee seen all over the court, as he finished with seven rebounds and nine assists.
Darrun Hilliard II The junior forward struggled last week, especially in Villanova’s blowout loss to Creighton on Feb. 16. Hilliard was 2-of-5 from the field against the Bluejays and finished with just nine points. The Bethlehem, Pa., native, who is shooting nearly 47 percent from the field this season, was a combined 5-for-15 against Creighton and Providence on Feb. 18. In 43 minutes against the Friars, Hilliard scored 11 points, but failed to grab any rebounds.
Rysheed Jordan The St. John’s freshman continues to be a key contributor as the Red Storm have turned around their season in conference play. In an 82-60 win over Georgetown on Feb. 16, Jordan scored a season-high 24 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He also dished out three assists to go along with two rebounds.
Top 5 Draft Prospects Updated
1. Doug McDermott The Creighton superstar has continued to build on his resume this season, climbing the Division 1 career scoring marks and leading the Bluejays to a No. 11 ranking. McDermott is leading the country with 25.8 points per game.
2. Semaj Christon The athletic point guard has built on a strong freshman campaign last year by increasing his shooting and scoring averages this year for Xavier. Although he’s not expected to be a high-volume scorer at the next level, Christon has shown this year that he is capable of putting up big numbers offensively when his team needs scoring.
3. Fuquan Edwin Unlike the players listed above, Edwin separates himself from other players on the defensive end of the court. This season, he is averaging 2.9 steals and 3.8 rebounds per game. He’s shown that he’s also capable of being a productive scorer, averaging over 14 points per game and has scored at least 20 points in seven games this season.
4. Tyler Harris The sophomore forward continues showing promise as an athletic big that can run the court but also can play in the post. Harris is shooting over 42 percent this year and is averaging 12 points per game in his first season with Providence.
5. Bryce Cotton Cotton remains one of the most versatile players in the Big East, ranking second in the conference in scoring (21.3/game), first in assists (5.9/game) and grabs over 3 rebounds per game for Providence. Although his size becomes a real factor in the professional ranks, the point guard has shown this season that he is capable of being a productive player on both sides of the court.