Eye of the Storm
Player of the Week
DeAndre Kane - Iowa State
So far this season, the Iowa State Cyclones have entered two tournaments, won them both, and DeAndre Kane has walked away with a pair of tournament MVPs. The Diamondhead Classic was his first, and now Kane has been named the Most Outstanding Player of the Big 12 tournament. Seemingly born for the spotlight, DeAndre ‘s normally middle of the road long range game vaults into an entire new level come tournament play, and his confidence is electrifying as he displays not only his well rounded offensive game, but his strength and grittiness as a defender and floor leader.
In three games last week, Kane has averaged 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists per game and shot a sizzling 63% from deep, including a 5 for 6 performance in an upset win over Kansas.The senior point guard’s steadiness at the stripe help also helped fend off Baylor down the stretch as Kane went 8 for 8 from the free throw line despite a regular season clip that is well below 70%. DeAndre Kane and Iowa State now prepare to enter their third and most difficult tournament of the season, and expect them to be as dangerous as ever when the games matter most.
Andrew Wiggins - Kansas As Kansas struggles to find an identity without Joel Embiid, one thing has been very clear. Big 12 Freshman of the Year, Andrew Wiggins, is ready to rise to the challenge. After stringing together 93 points in three games, Andrew is showcasing just how much he’s improved over the course of the year. It’s not just in the points column where Wiggins makes his presence felt, he’s averaging 3 steals per game and 1.6 blocks in this span as well, and no Oklahoma State player he guarded shot higher than 38% in Kansas’ first round game of the Big 12 tournament. A sharp shooting Iowa State team proved to be a larger challenge, but in an off night Andrew still managed 22 points and 7 rebounds. As Kansas continues to adjust to life without Embiid, look for Wiggins to continue to carry the load for the Jayhawks as they enter the NCAA tournament.
Melvin Ejim - Iowa State The Big 12’s conference player of the year, Melvin Ejim did not disappoint in Kansas City this past week as he maintained the high level of play we’ve come to expect from him this season. Ejim averaged 17.6 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists this week and joined his teammates DeAndre Kane and Georges Niang on the Big 12 All-Tournament team. Melvin started off the week with a 24 point 10 rebound double against Kansas State and followed it up with 19 against Kansas, and 10 point 9 rebound 3 steal outing in the Championship game against Baylor. Melvin Ejim has had a truly fantastic senior year, and as the awards and accolades continue to roll in, Melvin and the Cyclones keep winning.
Demarcus Holland - Texas The Texas Longhorns are back in the NCAA tournament this year, and Rick Barnes and crew are a tough matchup. They have two big men with elite size and strength, a polished forward scorer and a talented three guard lineup. One of those guards, Demarcus Holland is going to need to step up his game headed into the post season. Holland has now failed to score in double digits in 8 straight games. In the Big 12 tournament, he only averaged 4 points per game and didn’t look like himself in a blowout loss to tournament runner up Baylor on Friday night. Demarcus isn’t a guy who has carried a heavy burden as a scorer this season, but when his offense gets going he’s proven to be an important cog in the Longhorns success. Texas is 6-1 when he hits double figures, and during his current 8 game streak in which he’s failed to hit 10 points, Texas’ record is a pedestrian 3-5.
Naadir Tharpe - Kansas Kansas’ junior point guard, Naadir Tharpe hasn’t shown much of his sharp shooting lately. He’s done a fantastic job of distributing and taking care of the ball. Look no further than his 4/1 assist to turnover ratio in the Big 12 tourney, but the element of his game that has been lacking is his shot. During the Big 12 tournament, Tharpe only mustered 6.5 points per game on 20% shooting from the field. In a game where Kansas desperately needed points against Iowa State, Tharpe went 0-3 and all of his 5 points came at the foul line ( two on a technical foul ). With the Jayhawks now a team that needs guys to step up, it seems natural that a guy like Naadir, who is a 38% 3 point shooter on the year, can be a player that could rise to the challenge, but over the past three games, that hasn’t been the case.
Top 5 Players to watch in the NCAA Tournament
1. Andrew Wiggins - Kansas Mentioned earlier in our player of the week column, Andrew Wiggins has shown all the signs of a guy ready to make a splash in the NCAA tournament. Putting up his two highest scoring games of the season in a 5 day span, Wiggins seems to be hitting his stride at the right time of the year.
2. DeAndre Kane - Iowa State Kane’s success as a tournament player is well documented, and NCAA spotlight seems like just another venue for him to make a splash. A transfer from Marshall, you can bet Kane is ready to finally get a chance to play in college basketball’s biggest spectacle.
3. Marcus Smart - Oklahoma State Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart has had an up and down sophomore season, but one thing is very clear when watching Smart. This guy wants to win. He’s shown the ability to almost single handedly will his team to victory multiple times this season, and although the Cowboys may not be the most talented team in the field, Marcus Smart makes them as dangerous a 9 seed any team will see in the tourney.
4. Marcus Foster - Kansas State Kansas State’s freshman star and All-Big 12 second teamer, Marcus Foster, is a big moment player. Over the course of the year, he’s proven to have a tendency to show up in crunch time, and be a guy who can either catch fire from downtown or get to the hoop when the Wildcats need him most. With a first round matchup against Kentucky, Foster will want to prove what he can do against a team full of higher ranked freshmen.
5. Cameron Clark - Oklahoma In his senior season, Cameron Clark has shown the ability to get a hot hand against high level competition. Clark hung 32 points on both Kansas and Michigan state, and with this being Clark’s last NCAA tournament, you can bet he’ll want to go out on a high note, and hopefully lead his team deep in the Big Dance.
Reading is my second love. I enjoy to say that’s why I took myself into this situation. I was hoping that I'd find more here.Behance
Thanks for sharing that pen with us. I too have been trying to find a pen that will write on acrylics etc. It's now on my have to have list. Thanks, Happy Mother's Day. L. friv 4