Player of the Week
Gerald Robinson, Georgia Bulldogs
The Tennessee State transfer battled through a rough stretch towards the end of the non-conference schedule, but Robinson has upped his level significantly in the opening stages SEC play. A highly touted recruit in the 2007 class, the explosive scoring ability he exhibited in the OVC is now shining through at the zenith of college basketball. In road games at Vanderbilt and Mississippi, he tallied 21 points per contest on 14/26 shooting (54%), 6/8 from downtown and 8/8 from the charity stripe, while also contributing 4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and a steal. Robinson led a balanced Bulldog attack in a 98-76 demolition at Ole Miss as Georgia shot 64% from the floor and assisted on 26 of 33 field goals. As his distribution and playmaking skills continue to develop, his draft stock will proceed on an upward trend. His athletic gifts are abundantly clear and he's added much needed bulk to his frame.
Tobias Harris, Tennessee Volunteers
"Consistency" and "freshman" rarely go hand in hand, but with Harris the two are firmly interlocked. He scored 15 points (including the final 4 points of the game) and grabbed 9 rebounds as Tennessee overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat Vanderbilt 67-64. Earlier in the week Harris put up 18 points, 10 boards and 2 blocks in a home loss to Florida. He's averaging nearly 16 PPG on the season and has scored in double figures in 16 of 17 games. Harris has also posted four double-digit rebound games in his last six (10 per). The Vols have been wildly inconsistent, and despite a myriad of chaos around him, the freshman phenom certainly hasn't been phased.
Honorable Mention: Terrence Jones, Kentucky- Jones broke the UK freshman scoring record (35 points) set earlier in the season by Doron Lamb, but it's difficult to take much out of dominant efforts versus LSU and Auburn.
Andre Stringer, LSU Tigers
Continuing on the freshman theme, Stringer appears to have hit the proverbial "wall". His last three games: 9 points, 3/13 FG and 2/11 3PT at Auburn, 11 points, 2/8 FG and 1/5 3PT versus Arkansas, and 6 points, 3/16 FG and 0/10 3PT at Kentucky. With a dearth of talent on the Tigers roster, much of the burden has fallen on the shoulders of the 5'9 170 pound guard. He's certainly feeling the effects, now shooting 35% from the floor on the year and attempting over 6 treys per game. With the rigors of SEC play just beginning; it will be interesting to observe how he responds over the long haul. Despite his struggles, LSU stands at 2-1 in the league.
Top 5 "Glue Guys"
Lakeem Jackson, South Carolina- The versatile small forward is the Gamecocks energizer. He won't blow you away from the eye test, but routinely fills up a box score. Jackson is averaging 10 points (50% FG), 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal.
Andre Walker, Vanderbilt- The Commodores point-forward has missed the last four games with an undisclosed illnesss. He's not a scorer, but he's perhaps Vanderbilt's top passer and decision maker. He's putting up 4 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 24 minutes of action.
Chris Hines, Alabama- Workmanlike forward has found increased productivity with extended playing time. Hines doesn't need the rock to leave his mark on the final outcome, grabbing 7 boards, swatting 2 shots and swiping a steal per game.
Darius Miller, Kentucky- The jack of all trades 6'7 guard doesn't get much publicity, but he's an integral cog in the 'Cats offensive and defensive attack. How's this for a stat line: 10 points, 48% shooting, 44% from distance, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block.
Brian Williams, Tennessee- The big man plays his heart out for the Vols, battling on the interior night in and night out. The now 'svelte' Williams is clocking in over 20 minutes per contest, scoring 6 points, shooting 50% and grabbing 8 boards.
After dishing out a total of 26 assists in Kentucky's first 15 games, Doron Lamb had 12 helpers in two lopsided victories last week. UK connected on 21 three's and posted a 31:21 assist: turnover ratio in the two games.
Poor free throw shooting continues to haunt Florida. The Gators hit 11/20 at Tennessee and 12/22 vs. South Carolina (a 3-point defeat).
The young Gamecocks are the ultimate Jekyll and Hyde bunch. They shot 29% in scoring 47 points in a loss at Alabama, turning it over 21 times against 8 assists. In a road victory at Florida they committed only 8 miscues against 14 assists. As Bruce Ellington goes, so goes SC's hope for a W.
Vanderbilt has held its last two opponents to 35% shooting, but the Commodores offensive efficiency is in the gutter. A 16:36 assist: turnover ratio in those two games is not a recipe for long-term success.
Alabama forward JaMychal Green has blossomed into a shot blocking menace with 19 swats in his last six games, and 7 this week alone.
Mississippi State has won back-to-back games behind the return of their two stalwarts, Dee Bost and Renardo Sidney. Bost averaged 16 points and 8 assists, and Sidney 19.5 points and 5.5 rebounds.
Mississippi attempted a whopping 35 three-point attempts (69 total FG attempts) in a home loss to in-state rival MSU, finding the bucket on just 12. Not surprisingly, they got to the free throw stripe only five times. The Rebels are 0-3 in conference play as head coach Andy Kennedy continues to scratch his head at his team's lackadaisical effort.
That's too subjective, to my mind.What do you mean cold? Hot? Best? They all did their best!