Player of the Week
Sean Kilpatrick, Cincinnati
Cincinnati was the undeniable AAC team of the week, and it would be hard to give the POTW to any Bearcat player other than Sean Kilpatrick. Cincinnati was the only team in the conference to win two games this week and one of those was a battle with Louisville (at Louisville!) for conference supremacy. Kilpatrick went off for 28 against the Cards (including an 11/11 performance from the line) and scored 18 more in a win against South Florida.
The main knock on Kilpatrick’s performances this week is his combined 12/34 (35%) shooting. He was inefficient, he was turnover-prone (7 in the two games)…and he was magnificent in crunch time. He scored 22 of the Bearcats’ 41 second-half points. He hit 6/6 free throws down the stretch. He scored 14 of the Bearcats’ last 18. And he was the only source of offense for Cincinnati as Louisville made their comeback in front of a raucous home crowd. He currently leads the conference in PPG with 19.6
Joe Jackson, Memphis
Our POTW from last week, Jackson continues to play great basketball. He scored 39 more points this week in a pair of games; unfortunately, the Tigers couldn’t get the road win over SMU. He’s passing great, he’s rebounding great (especially for a 6’1”, 174-lb. guard), and he turned in a pair of 50% shooting performances this week. His team is looking as consistent as just about anybody in the conference aside from Cincinnati, and Jackson is starting to resurrect the NBA draft hype that he garnered earlier in his career.
Isaiah Sykes, Central Florida
Statistically, Sykes is the best rebounding guard in the conference (6.9 RPG) and he continued to establish that fact with a pair of double-digit rebounding performances. Unfortunately for Sykes, he seems to be a good player stuck on a bad team. The Knights have lost six straight and are tied for last in the conference. The do-it-all wing player is averaging 15.2 PPG with 6.9 RPG, 3.5 APG, and 1.5 SPG with a 39% three-point percentage.
Calvin Newell, Central Florida
Now to the flip side of UCF basketball. Calvin Newell wasn’t having a great second half of the season going into this week. (After scoring in double figures in each of his first eight games, he only achieved double-digit scoring in one of his next eight. And then this week happened. He shot 0/11 against Memphis, then shot 4/9 with four turnovers against Louisville. His minutes have declined and his confidence seems to be majorly shaken. We’ll see if he can finish out his collegiate career strong.
Top 5 Names
1.Hippolyte Tsafack, Memphis
What the seldom-used Tigers forward lacks in playing time, he makes up for in having a kick-butt name. The first name seems to come from Greek mythology. I’m willing to bet the 6’8”, 242-lb. big man didn’t take a lot of flak for his unique name growing up.
2.Cannen Cunningham, Southern Methodist
Cannen will always be a good name for a basketball player, although it doesn’t have quite the same effect when its bearer hasn’t made a three all season.
3.Musa Abdul-Aleem, South Florida
It’s international. It’s regal. And it’s one of several solid names on the USF squad (i.e. Shemiye McClendon, Martino Brock, Victor Rudd, John Egbunu, Jordan Omogbehin).
4.Titus Rubles, Cincinnati
This name has some oomph behind it. It packs a punch and it helps when it’s owner is a strong, athletic 6’7” forward.
5.Mangok Mathiang, Louisville
The freshman big man is coming on strong for the Cardinals as of late, and he’s bringing his awesome name with him. The double M’s certainly help.
Power Rankings (Last week in parentheses)
1.Cincinnati (2) – The Bearcats went toe-to-toe with the defending champs in Louisville and came out on top. It’s safe to say that these Bearcats are indeed for real.
2.Louisville (1) – The loss to Cincinnati was tough, but they’ve consistently beat up on other AAC opponents to prove that they belong up here.
3.Connecticut (4) – They absolutely dismantled Houston and their point guard looks like possibly the best player in the conference right now. They get their first crack at Cincinnati on Thursday.
4.Memphis (3) – A road loss to SMU is looking pretty forgivable at this point in the season and they’ve otherwise looked pretty cohesive lately.
5.Southern Methodist (5) – The win over Memphis is the kind of win the Mustangs need to earn the respect of the top dogs in the AAC, but they had to precede it with a loss to lowly South Florida and find themselves firmly entrenched in the #5 spot once again.
6.South Florida (9) – They’re your typical talented young team. One week, they look like a conference cellar dweller, the next, they take down a conference frontrunner in SMU. It was the first win by any of the bottom five teams on this list against the four conference leaders (Cincinnati, Louisville, SMU, and Memphis).
7.Temple (10) – The Owls barely beat Rutgers and looked slightly competitive against Villanova, so that combination jumps them up to this spot.
8.Rutgers (7) – The Scarlet Knights lost to Temple, but manhandled a flat Houston team. There have been some bright spots for them this season, but there have also been some major low points.
9.Houston (6) – They’ve certainly looked like the worst team in the conference lately (see their 80-43 loss to Connecticut), but they have enough proven talent to keep them out of the bottom spot.
10.Central Florida (8) – The collapse of what looked to be a competitive UCF team has been befuddling. Their big four scorers have all trailed off save Isaiah Sykes, and they stand tied for last in the conference thanks in part to their current 6-game losing streak.
1.Cincinnati (2) – The Bearcats went toe-to-toe with the defending champs in Louisville and came out on top. It’s safe to say that these Bearcats are indeed for real. Thank post! friv 2
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6.South Florida (9) – They’re your typical talented young team. One week, they look like a conference cellar dweller, the next, they take down a conference frontrunner in SMU. It was the first win by any of the bottom five teams on this list against the four conference leaders (Cincinnati, Louisville, SMU, and Memphis). I need it
2.Louisville (1) – The loss to Cincinnati was tough, but they’ve consistently beat up on other AAC opponents to prove that they belong up here. Thanks post! Kizi 2