Player of the Week
Dez Wells, Maryland
Wells scored 33 points on 12/18 field goals (surpassing previous career high of 25) in a conference opening 88-80 win at Boston College – including 18 in the final 6:56. Among those 18 points he converted FOUR and-ones and got to the stripe eight times. He plowed through BC’s smaller guards and the Eagles have zero rim protection. The Terps lack a true point guard to get Wells the rock in his comfort spots, but the hope is Roddy Peters grows into that role quickly. He shot just 3-10 versus Florida Atlantic.
Codi Miller McIntyre, Wake Forest
Miller-McIntyre manipulated a traditionally sound Richmond defense like chess pieces, matching a season-high with 26 points (also reached against Kansas in Atlantis). He showed off the full repertoire in the overtime victory, getting to the FT line 13 times (10 makes) and knocking down a pair from deep. The sophomore lead guard is averaging seven free throw attempts per contest and has posted a 4.4:1.5 assist to turnover ratio. Miller-McIntyre possesses playmaker savvy in spades, but a consistent J will go a long ways in solidifying his rapid development.
Marcus Paige, North Carolina
Another resume padding win for the Heels, and another potent closing burst by the sophomore. Paige scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half versus Kentucky, once again displaying his confidence and versatility with ball in hand: finishing in transition, soft touch in the mid-range and a key three-pointer to extend a one-possession lead late in the 2H. Paige iced away the game at the free throw line, connecting on all ten and six in the last 38 seconds.
Boris Bojanovsky, Florida State
The 7’3 native of Bratislava just can’t miss. He’s 16 for 16 from the floor over his last three games, averaging 13 points against Minnesota, Florida and Jacksonville State – not to mention his defensive exploits as a rim protector, blocking 2.5 shots in 22 minutes. Bojanovsky is highly skilled with a soft touch and natural feel. While still raw physically and adjusting to contact, he’s put on 25 pounds since arriving in Tallahassee and is coming quickly.
Eric Atkins, Notre Dame
The Irish have needed Atkins to shoulder some of the offensive burden, but in recent weeks he has not obliged. Atkins is putting up just 6 PPG over his last four, shooting 31% from the floor and 17% from distance. He lacks the explosive quickness to consistently get into the lane and create easy shots. Atkins is undeniably solid (although his turnovers have been on the incline); however, at some point the senior needs to become a playmaker in the big moments. His backcourt mate Jerian Grant is 10/31 in his last three games, but he’s gotten to the stripe 35 times and hit 31 of them. Atkins does not bring that dimension – his physical profile is underwhelming.
Olivier Hanlan, Boston College
Hanlan hasn’t shot 50% in a game since November 22nd at MSG against porous Washington. In five games since, he’s connected on 39% FG and 26% 3PT. Hanlan settled for 8 three’s against DII University of Philadlephia. On the opposite end of the spectrum, he got to the FT line 16 times and dished out eight assists versus Maryland – let’s see more of that. BC was drastically overhyped entering the season… the truth is, Hanlan’s backcourt mates are three-pointer or bust. He has little help.
Top 5: Division 1 Transfers
1.Rodney Hood, Duke | not much debate here. The Mississippi State transfer has played his way into the lottery. Smooth, athletic and multi-faceted – 59% FG & 45% treys.
2.Ralston Turner, NC State | another transfer from SEC country. Turner had been really quiet until his last time out vs. Detroit: 21 points on 6/8 threes. He’s a dependent scorer with intriguing size for the two-guard.
3.Adam Smith, Virginia Tech | the sophomore UNCW transfer is more of a scoring guard at 6’1, and he’s splashed the nets effectively at 14 PPG. Smith is a capable lead guard (3 APG) but not his strength.
4.Evan Smotrycz, Maryland | stretch 4-man is shooting 38% from deep and showing impressive activity on the backboards (nearly seven per game). Foot speed and defense are a different story…
5.Anthony Gill, Virginia | a quiet get for Tony Bennett, Gill is scoring 10 PPG and shooting a ridiculous 68% from the field in less than 20 minutes of action (Bennett’s favoritism towards defense and rebounding). He’s a matchup problem at power forward and deserves more PT.
Pittsburgh freshman Michael Young will be a major contributor during conference play. The 6’8 post threat has put up back-to-back 10 points/7 rebound efforts, and he can pass with 2.5 assists. Young has also drilled 14 consecutive free throws and is shooting 92% on 32 attempts. Jamie Dixon is bringing him along at a comfortable pace, but he’s about ready to bust out.