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The G is Silent

Player of the Week

Michael Gbinije, Syracuse

Michael GbinijeMichael GbinijeThe Orange have had a pretty disappointing season, though you may not gather that if looking at their results without context. Their 7-4 ACC record is unproven (if not misleading), as they've only faced one ranked team since conference play began (a 93-83 loss to UNC). Fortunately (or not), they'll get plenty of chances to put some big wins on their resume over the next few weeks, as five of Syracuse's next six games are against ranked opponents. While we all know Rakeem Christmas will come correct, he won't defeat the likes of Duke/Louisville/Notre Dame/Virginia on his own. This is where our Player of the Week comes in. Michael Gbinje started the season modestly, but has been steadily been developing into an excellent overall player. His line this week really showcases his versatility. Gbinje averaged 22.0 points (65.4% shooting, 5/9 from three), 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 4.0 steals over two games for the Orange. The 6'7" guard has been known as a defender first since his brief Freshman year with Duke. He transferred to Syracuse thereafter, but struggled to establish a bigger role playing behind CJ Fair and Jerami Grant. Now that the depth chart ahead of him has cleared away, Gbinje has broken out. Michael can now be classified as a defender, a passer, a scorer, and even the consistent perimeter shooter (shooting 41.7% from deep on the season) that the team has so desperately needed. Between Gbinije; Christmas; and the wild card, Trevor Cooney; the Orange may be able to salvage this injury-plagued season. Their real test begins now.

Hot

Tyus Jones, Duke

Save for senior Jerian Grant, there has been no better playmaker in the conference this season than Tyus Jones. The freshman has averaged 5.3 assists against just 1.7 turnovers for an ACC-best 3.2 A/TO ratio. Now that we've established that 3.2 is a good number, let's compare it to what he did this week. Over Duke previous two victories, Jones dished out a total of 19 assists to only one turnover. For those of you that are really, really bad at math, that's a 19.0 A/TO ratio. That's a mark of poise (albeit one of a small sample size), a rare quality for such a young player being asked to handle the ball as much as he has been. Sure he has that Jahlil Okafor guy to throw the ball to, but all that means to me is that he understands how to play with scorers, which in my opinion is an overlooked quality of a great point guard. Jones is doing more than just distributing though. He also managed to score an average of 14.0 points and pull down an average of 5.5 rebounds over this past week, both of which are above his season numbers (11.3 and 3.4, respectively). His real value as a scorer tends to come from his perimeter shooting ability. He's shooting 39.5% from behind the arc this season on 3.2 attempts per game. He also gets to the free-throw line at a good pace (4.4 FTA per game), and converts when he's there (86.8%). His steady presence will prove valuable as we head down the stretch of the season. I'd be interested in seeing him develop at Duke for another year, but all of his aforementioned qualities could be enough to get him drafted in the first round this summer.

Olivier Hanlan, Boston College

The Eagles are on a bit of a losing streak, though that's not due to a lack of production from Oliver Hanlan. The 6'4" guard has been playing extremely well recently, averaging 24.7 points on 58.9% shooting over his last three games. It would seem as though the Junior is looking to be more aggressive scoring the ball again, after transitioning to the point guard following the summer. Oliver handled the new role about as well as could be expected, given the roster he had to work with, but with the exception of assists, all of his offensive numbers are down from a season ago. Hanlan is shooting nearly half as many free-throws as he was last season, and only making 70.9% of the few attempts he gets (down from 81.1% a year ago). He's scoring over three fewer points per game than he was last season at the stripe alone. If this recent play indicates that his aggressiveness in looking for contact will pick up again, he'll become an even more dangerous scorer. At this point, it may all seem moot for the last-place Eagles, but next year, Hanlan could be the best scorer in the conference.

Cold

Justin Anderson, Virginia

'Twas a rather tough week for Justin Anderson. The Virginia standout only scored 2 points on 1/9 shooting from the floor in the Cavaliers' victory over the Louisville Cardinals last Saturday. Shortly after the game, it was announced that Anderson had suffered an injury to his shooting hand, and estimated that it would be 4-6 weeks until he could play again. Obviously, this is unfortunate for all involved. Virginia has been playing out of their minds (ranked 2nd in the Nation, with a 22-1 record), but now loses arguably their best offensive player. Anderson himself was in the midst of a breakout season, and was even being discussed by draftniks as a potential lottery pick. It's a downright shame, though perhaps not devastating. Virginia has always been a balanced team on both ends of the floor. Justin was probably their most talented individual player (certainly their best perimeter shooter), but the team never had to rely on him to run plays. There's no reason to think his absence will cripple the team leading into the ACC tournament, especially when you consider the Cavaliers' upcoming schedule. 4 of their remaining 7 games will be played at home and 5 of their remaining 7 games will be played against against teams with losing records in conference play. In fact, the team only plays one more ranked opponent in the regular season (Louisville). With a little luck, Virginia could have Anderson back by the time the ACC tournament kicks off, no worse off than they would have been had he not been injured at all.

Top 5 Forwards

1. Montrezl Harrell, Louisville - Harrell is coming off a monster performance against Pittsburgh, in which he scored 28 points (12/17 shooting), pulled down 12 rebounds, and swatted 5 shots. He's best known for his energy, athleticism, and hustle; but he's really staring to turn the corner into star status. I expect his draft stock will be even higher by the time June comes around.

2. Justise Winslow, Duke - Justise Winslow's statistical output has been somewhat inconsistent this season, but that's to be expected from a freshman dealing with the injuries he has. What hasn't been inconsistent is his effort defensively. Winslow may be the top defender in the entire ACC, and he still has room to get better on both sides of the court. It's no wonder he's expected to be a lottery pick.

3. Pat Connaughton, Notre Dame - Listed at 6'5", Connaughton does not have the typical physical profile of a power forward. He has, however, managed to emulate the role exceptionally well. Despite his size and inclination to play on the perimeter (a 45% shooter from outside, on 6.0 attempts per game), Connaughton is shooting 48.2% from the floor and pulling down 8.0 rebounds per contest.

4. Brice Johnson, UNC - Johnson is a classic case of a great athlete getting even better. After adding 40 pounds of muscle to his frame over his first two seasons, the 6'9" junior is averaging career-highs in points (12.2), rebounds (8.0), FG% (56.9%), FT% (62.5%), and free-throw attempts (3.0).

5. Jamel Artis, Pittsburgh - Artis has been red-hot the last few weeks, averaging 20.4 points (53.6% shooting) and 7.6 rebounds over his last eight games. Jamel is a good athlete with a good motor that could very well be considered a legit NBA prospect before long. Only a sophomore, Artis has plenty of time to establish a case for himself.

McDunkin
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Ingle!

Ingle!

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Great Sport

I believe that kids should be engaged into sports from the very childhood. They become much healthier in such a way. Thus, I allow my kids spend a lot of time on sport activities. And, thus, help them with homework. When home assignments are too hard for me, I use homework help services at Homework-desk.com.

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nice post

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