Player of the Week
Garlon Green, TCU
As a guy who picked Green to breakout this season, I was disappointed in how he has played this year so far. He has only scored in double figures in 3/9 games and just had an abundance of struggles. In his past three games, Green has been given his three highest minute totals of the year and he has not put them to waste and has been on fire. He’s averaging 22.3 ppg on 53.5% shooting, while hitting a scorching 61.5% of his shots from deep. Not only that but he’s getting to the line at a much better rate (18 FTA last 3 games, compared to 18 in his previous 9 before that). In his last game his 31 points tied Pierre Jackson as the highest point total for a Big 12 player this season.
Aaric Murray, WVU
After being one of the biggest transfers in the country, expectations were set very high for the 6’10 junior. Clearly those expectations were not met earlier in the year as WVU started 4-4, with Murray not even averaging double digit points on the season. However, it seems like he’s finally getting into his rhythm and Coach Huggins seems to have gained some trust in him. His minutes are going up and if not for foul trouble likely would’ve played 78/80 minutes in the past two games, where he has averaged 17.5 ppg 9 rpg 4 apg and 3 bpg in two wins. Hopefully the trend continues and we get to see the talent that led many to think Murray was a future lottery selection.
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Smart was a on a tear earlier in the year, and may have actually had the most impressive performance on any Big 12 Player (including Jeff Withey triple double) when he lit up Lorenzo Brown of NC State. He has cooled off dramatically since. For a guy who’s so competitive and plays fairly smart (no pun intended), it’s disappointing how inefficient he has been recently. Over his last five games his assists are down to 4.2 per game, and turnovers are up 3.4 per game which is a poor ratio of 1.24. The real struggle for Smart this season has been his shooting though, as he has shot over 50% once, and 40% three times all year. Since the big game he had against NC State, his FG% is a putrid 32.3%. Many jumped on his bandwagon after an excellent start, but it seems many are cooling on this star as he just can’t seem to get it going right now.
Top 5 2nd Year Players
1. Ben McLemore-This one is obvious as he has not only been the best player in the entire conference so far, but he’s getting some hype as far as going #1 overall in this upcoming draft.
2. LeBryan Nash-Looks much better and more comfortable than he did last year. His efficiency isn’t great, but it’s improved and his talent is undeniable.
3. Kyan Anderson-Anderson has been great for TCU in his 2nd season and is one of the better shooters in the conference. His PG play could use some work, but he’s been without Amric Fields, and Garlon Green is just starting to pick up his play, which should make Anderson’s job easier.
4. Julien Lewis-While he wasn’t on McClellan’s level last year, Lewis has been a pleasant surprise in wake of the Myck Kabongo suspension and has actually been the best guard on Texas all year so far.
5. Sheldon McClellan-While this has been a rough year for him, he’s still very talented, one of the best scorers in the conference, and could still turn it around.