Player of the Week
Doron Lamb, Kentucky
Lamb broke the UK freshman scoring record (formerly held by Jamal Mashburn) with a 32-point outburst versus Winthrop. His efficiency was mind boggling, connecting on 11-12 field goals, 7-8 threes and 3-3 free throws in 29 minutes. Lamb is now shooting 52% from the floor on the season, including 56% from distance (4 attempts per) and 81% from the FT stripe. He had always been praised for mastery of the intermediate game at a ripe age, but his range was heavily questioned entering collegiate ball. No longer. The long-range shot is now an offensive staple. Lamb has now scored in double figures in seven of eleven games, and appears to be the 'Cats most reliable playmaker in crunch time.
South Carolina's Freshman Backcourt
The youthful duo of Bruce Ellington (31) and Brian Richardson (15) combined to score more than half of SC's points in a 16-point road loss at Furman. They lit it up from behind the arc, with Ellington drilling 6 trifectas and Richardson adding 4 more of his own. Their accuracy from downtown is not an aberration, as they make over four three-pointers per game at a nearly 40% clip. Perimeter defense, however, leaves much to be desired.
Mississippi's State Shooting
The Bulldogs have bigger problems than failure to knock down shots, but the "brawl" has been discussed ad nauseam. In three games at the Diamond Head Classic (1-2), Mississippi State failed to crack the 40% mark from the floor in any of them. They shot 35% in a loss to Washington State and knocked down just 8-28 three pointers. The Bulldogs shot 39% in a win over San Diego, but still converted on only 5-23 from deep. They saved their worst effort for last, shooting 27% on 6-25 treys in a loss to Hawaii. Dee Bost can't return fast enough..
Top 5: Wing Verticals
-Vanderbilt leads the SEC in field goal percentage, but their free throw shooting has been atrocious. They're 49/82 from the foul line over the last three games, a shade under 60%. Festus Ezeli is the prime culprit, hitting just 11 of 26.
-Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie scored 40 of Georgia's 56 points in a 56-53 win at Mercer. The Bulldogs backcourt of Gerald Robinson and Dustin Ware went scoreless.
-Florida's offensive tailspin continues. In a home loss to Jacksonville they connected on 36% FG, 21% threes (3-14) and 68% FT. They also turned the rock over 17 times against 9 assists. In a victory over Radford they shot 40% FG, 9-25 from deep and 52% (11-21) from the foul line. On the season they're scoring 69 points per game.
-After struggling to compete on the boards in the early going, Mississippi wiped the glass clean in Cancun. Over the three-game tournament they outrebounded their opposition 124 to 72.
-For Auburn, any win is a good win right now. They defeated South Carolina Upstate 68-54 behind a strong performance by Frankie Sullivan. The junior guard, in just his third game back from an ACL injury scored 14 points, dished out 6 assists (0 turnovers), grabbed 5 rebounds and swiped 5 steals.
-Games to watch: Wednesday- Vanderbilt versus Marquette, Friday- Kentucky at Louisville and Florida at Xavier, Saturday- South Carolina versus Boston College.