Player of the Week
Patric Young, Florida
After struggling for the better part of two weeks, Young re-emerged as a paint force in Gator victories over Arizona and Rider. He produded his best statistical line of the season, and his career, in an overtime battle against UA with 25 points on 12/15 shooting (1/6 FT), 10 rebounds (6 offensive), 2 blocks and a steal in 38 minutes. It was a pleasure to see Young get aggressive in a big game and punish the Wildcats undersized front line. Head Coach Billy Donovan claimed Young could have went off for 45 points if he received more touches in established position. Perhaps we can expect less backcourt chucking and more post entries from Florida in the near future. He followed up that effort with a 12 & 10 double-double against Rider, converting 5/7 field goal attempts and snatching 5 more offensive boards. The bruising frontcourt of Texas A&M will test his tenacity on the 17th.
Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt
Taylor scored a career-high 30 points in the Commodores impressive road victory at Davidson. He cashed in on 12/17 field goal attempts and drained 3 three-pointers for the second consecutive game. For the season he's upped his shooting accuracy to 51% from the floor and nearly 37% from distance. The athletic 6'7 wing added 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, a steal and his typical three turnovers. Taylor has six games of 3+ TO's on the year, as ball handling (or lack thereof) continues to haunt his draft stock.
BJ Young, Arkansas
The electric freshman has taken the burden of Arkansas' offensive woes on his shoulders, scoring in double figures for the seventh straight contest in a 24-point effort (back to back 20+) at Oklahoma on Saturday. Young has become the go-to-guy in short order, making 9/16 shots and 3/7 treys, while also dishing out 3 helpers and swiping 3 steals. His efficiency has been remarkable (51% FG, 39% 3PT) given his lack of clean looks and dearth of teammates to occupy defensive attention.
Losing at Oakland doesn't qualify as a shameful loss, but losing at home to 1-9 Austin Peay certainly does. The Vols couldn't hold onto a 7-point halftime edge, turning the rock over 19 times and allowing AP to shoot an unfathomable 59% from the field. Tennessee's perimeter stalwarts, Trae Golden (1/9) and Cameron Tatum (0/6), combined for 8 points and 5 turnovers in 60 minutes of court time. Expect the Volunteers to be an underdog at Charleston on Thursday night.
Ralston Turner, LSU
The Tigers are playing big time basketball with three consecutive W's over legit competition; now imagine if their top scoring option was factoring into the decision. Turner has scored 11 total points in the last two games, hitting just 5/15 shots and 1/7 threes. He's down to 35% shooting on the year, his minutes are diminishing and his scoring average has dipped below double digits. At 6'6, he's the only member of LSU's diminutive backcourt depth chart that can get consistent clean looks. He needs to start converting.
Top 5 "Glue Guys"
1. Darius Miller, Kentucky - The Wildcats unsung hero made this list last year as well. A class of super freshmen has stolen his notoriety and playing time for a second consecutive season, but the versatile senior leaves his mark. Miller has taken his game more inside this year, and he's not afraid to take and make big shots.
2. Lance Goulbourne, Vanderbilt - Goulbourne averages 10 points without a single play being run for him. He knows his role on a team loaded with offensive options, and fills that role to a T. He has a nose for the ball and is perhaps the 'Dores best rebounder, even with Festus Ezeli back in the fold.
3. Will Yeguete, Florida - The 6'7 France native is quickly winning over the coaching staff and Gator fans alike. He's played 25+ minutes in four straight games, averaging 8 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and nearly 3 steals per contest. Yeguete is a sleeper prospect, but won't remain so for long.
4. Brian Bryant, Mississippi State- Although currently serving a three-game suspension, the Bulldogs starting SG does a little bit of everything. He's an active rebounder at 6'3 (5.6 RPG), pressure release ballhandler, capable playmaker off the dribble (2 APG) and integral piece defensively.
5. Kenny Hall, Tennessee- Hall is coming off his best game of the season, hitting all 5 shots en route to a 12 point/10 board performance. He's the Vols best interior defender and his length is a major factor on the offensive glass. Averaging 7 points and 6 rebounds in 20 minutes, it's no wonder his PT is on the incline.
- Mississippi State's offensive output in a 106-68 thrashing of Troy was remarkable. The Bulldogs hit 56% of their field goals (40/71), 52% of their threes (16/31) and assisted on 30 (five players with 3 or more) of their 40 buckets. Dee Bost scored 28 points, handed out 9 helpers and drilled 7 trifectas. Arnett Moultrie continued his rampage with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists.
- In his first collegiate game after attaining eligibility, Mississippi freshman LaDarius White packed the box score with 16 points, 4 threes, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 26 minutes before fouling out. The 6'4 White will add another weapon to an already super-athletic Rebels squad.
- Festus Ezeli scored 15 points, corralled 6 rebounds and blocked 2 shots in his first game of the 2011-2012 season. He showed his rust fouling out in 21 minutes, but still managed to get to the free throw line 10 times. It's time for the real Vandy to show itself.
- LSU guard Andre Stringer missed Saturday's game versus Boise St. after fainting during practice. He's probable for Thursday's game versus UC Irvine, which is encouraging news.