Mid Major Blog
Player of the Week
Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, SG, Sophomore, 6-5 185 lbs.
Franklin led the Aztecs to a key victory over #14 UNLV (17-3) this past Saturday by scoring 24 points and gathering 10 rebounds. He shot the ball well (8-18 shooting, 8-8 free throws) and provided lots of energy and emotion. Franklin held UNLV guard, Oscar Bellfield, to 1-12 shooting and attacked the boards throughout the whole game. Following up his impressive performance against UNLV, Franklin finished with 12 points and 5 rebounds against New Mexico (15-3). San Diego State beat New Mexico, 75-70, and now ranks atop the Mountain West Conference. For the season, Franklin averages 15.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.4 SPG, 40.6 FG%, 29.6 3P%, and 74.1 FT%.
Dominique Morrison, Oral Roberts, SF, Senior, 6-6 210 lbs.
Oral Roberts is riding a 10-game winning streak into this weekend and much of the credit for that winning streak can be attributed to Dominique Morrison. He’s been dominant in nearly every game during the 10-game winning streak, including a 38 point-7 rebound performance against South Dakota State (15-5) and a 27 point-5 rebound outing against IPFW (9-9). Oral Roberts is currently 17-4 (9-0 in conference) and Morrison leads the team in scoring (20.1 PPG). Also of note, Morrison is shooting 49.3 FG%, 83.8 FT%, and 45.6 3P%. If he could become more active on the boards, Morrison could earn some NBA Draft prospect consideration. Currently, he’s averaging 4.7 RPG.
St. Joseph’s Red Hawks (12-7)
St. Joseph’s has lost two consecutive games against teams that will be vying for the Atlantic 10 Conference title: Xavier (13-5) and UMASS (14-5). St. Joseph’s had a chance to legitimize itself as a power in the Atlantic 10, but by losing both games they now sit near the bottom of the conference. Much of the season remains, but the Red Hawks have some work to do. In the two pivotal losses St. Joseph’s shot a combined 10-41 (24.3%) from three-point land and committed 16 more turnovers than their opponents.
Top 25 Teams
12. Murray State (19-0)
Beat Morehead State (9-11), 66-60 and Tennessee Tech (11-8), 82-74. Isaiah Canaan finished with 20 points against Morehead State.
14. UNLV (16-3)
Lost a key game against #16 San Diego State (16-2), 69-67 and beat TCU (10-7), 101-78. In the San Diego State game, UNLV guard, Anthony Marshall, finished with 26 points, but Chace Stanback and Mike Moser were held to a combined 16 points. UNLV guard, Oscar Bellfield, shot 1-12 and finished with four points.
16. San Diego State (16-2)
Beat #14 UNLV (16-3), 69-67, and New Mexico (15-3), 75-70. San Diego State is the frontrunner in the Mountain West Conference and will be a tough outing for any Mountain West opponent. Aztec standouts, Chase Tapley and Jamaal Franklin, are averaging 16.7 and 15.5 PPG, respectively.
19. Creighton (17-2)
Beat Missouri State (11-9), 66-65, and Southern Illinois (6-13), 90-71.
23. Saint Mary’s (18-2)
Beat Portland (5-14), 69-61, and Pepperdine (7-11), 61-47. The Gaels have not scored many points in their past two games, but they lead the West Coast Conference and are ranked 9th nationally in assists per game (17.3).
Mid-Major Power Rankings
1. San Diego State (16-2)
2. UNLV (17-3)
3. Saint Mary’s (18-2)
4. Murray State (19-0)
5. Gonzaga (15-3)
6. Creighton (17-2)
7. Xavier (15-3)
8. Memphis (12-6)
9. New Mexico (15-3)
10. Harvard (15-2)
Top 5 West Coasters
1. Orlando Johnson, Santa Barbara, SG, Senior, 6-5 205 lbs.
Johnson ranks 13th nationally in points per game (20.3) and he’s a “must guard” type of player. He can shoot inside and outside, he can pull-up off the dribble and nail a jumper, and he can get to the hoop. He has a solid frame and he’s built himself into a second round NBA Draft prospect for this upcoming summer. For the season, Johnson has scored in double figures in every game but one and he’s collected four double-doubles. His most impressive games came against #14 UNLV (36 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 3 steals, 11-24 FG, 3-7 3P, 11-16 FT) and #16 San Diego State (26 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, 9-21 FG, 2-4 3P, 6-9 FT). He’s averaging 20.3 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.1 BPG and shooting 44.3 FG%, 41.4 3P%, and 67.0 FT%.
2. Chace Stanback, UNLV, SF, Senior, 6-8 210 lbs.
Stanback is one of the most talented mid-major players in the country. He does not always play up to his ability or talent level in every game, but when he’s ready to play tenaciously he can fill up a stat sheet and lead his team to victories. Stanback leads the Rebels in scoring this season (14.7) and he has shot the ball consistently well (50.3 FG%, 47.6 3P%, 83.7 FT%). Against UL-Monroe, Stanback scored 29 points on 10-13 shooting (8-9 from three-point land). He’s a long, slender type of player that relies on being in a groove to build his confidence shooting the ball. Picture a taller, longer, and more athletic version of Voshon Lenard and that’s Stanback. He could improve his effort on defense, but he’s an overall great player. For the season, he’s averaging 14.7 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.3 APG and 0.8 SPG.
3. Mike Moser, UNLV, PF, Sophomore, 6-8 195 lbs.
Moser led the nation in rebounding through mid-December, but he has since lost that standing and now ranks fourth (11.4 RPG). Still, he’s a beast in the paint (9 double-doubles), he’s willing to use his body to gain rebounding position, and he uses his quick “hops” to get easy put-backs. Moser’s best outing this season undoubtedly came against then #1-ranked North Carolina (16-3) when UNLV beat the Tarheels, 90-80. In that game Moser finished with 16 points, 18 rebounds, and 6 assists. Moser has been a key ingredient in UNLV’s strong season thus far and will be an important factor in UNLV’s success come tournament time. For the season, Moser averages 14.0 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.8 SPG, 47.5 FG%, 33.8 3P%, and 79.3 FT%.
4. Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s, G, Junior, 6-4 190 lbs.
Dellavedova is a Matt Bouldin (former Gonzaga guard) prototype. He displays the same type of fluidity with the ball as Bouldin and he can both score and pass efficiently. With Dellavedova leading the charge, Saint Mary’s is 18-2 and has beaten the other two powerhouses in the West Coast Conference – Gonzaga (15-3) and BYU (16-5). Against Gonzaga, Dellavedova finished with 26 points (10-16 FG, 5-10 3P) and 6 assists. Against BYU, Dellavedova finished with 18 points (5-11 FG, 3-7 3P), 6 rebounds, and 12 assists. His poise and comfort with orchestrating Saint Mary’s offensive system make Dellavedova one of the best guards among mid-majors.
5. Rob Jones, Saint Mary’s, PF, Senior, 6-6 240 lbs.
Jones lacks great foot speed, but he makes up for it with his physicality and emotional style of play. His best game this season came against BYU (16-5) when he put up 24 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. He has 13 double-doubles on the season and he’s been a fundamental part of Saint Mary’s 18-2 run so far this year. The two-man combo of Matthew Dellavedova and Rob Jones make Saint Mary’s a potential “dark horse” in the NCAA Tournament.
Elias Harris, Gonzaga, F, Junior, 6-7 240 lbs.
Robert Sacre, Gonzaga, C, Senior, 7-0 260 lbs.
Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga, PG, Freshman, 6-1 180 lbs.
Drew Viney, Loyola-Marymount, SF, Senior, 6-8 210 lbs.
Casper Ware, Long Beach State, PG, Senior, 5-10 170 lbs.
Chase Tapley, San Diego State, PG, Junior, 6-2 200 lbs.
Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State, SG, Sophomore, 6-5 185 lbs.
Kevin Olekaibe, Fresno State, PG, Sophomore, 6-1 180 lbs.
Great to see Matthew Dellavadova from SMC get some love! He'll be playing for Australia in the Olympics, hope in the backcourt with Kyrie Irving! Bogut at the 5, Aussies hopefully can medal.
Is it me or does Matthew Dellavedova look drunk every time he plays
Dellavadova is a goofy guy, sometimes he be hittin tho. Steindl needs to step up for them.
Matthew Dellavadova! From the same hometown as I am!