Adams' Family

Player of the Week

Jaylen Adams – G – St. Bonaventure

Jaylen AdamsJaylen AdamsWhat a week for the senior guard. Against Duquesne, the Bonnies needed all 40 of his points for an 84-81 victory. He shot 14-22 from the field and 8-13 from deep. Adams also added 7 assists for good measure. This type of scoring efficiency is simply amazing, and tough to follow up. But Adams followed it up with an even better, even more efficient game. Against Saint Louis, a 79-56 win, Adams scoring 44 points on 14-18 shooting, 10-13 from three. He had another 6 assists in this game as well. Over two games, that adds up to 84 points on 21-26 from three. That is one of the best two-game stretches you will ever see, even in a season flooded with [Trae Young] hype.

On the year, the 6’2 senior is averaging 20 points, 5.2 assists, 4 rebounds and 1.4 steals. He is shooting 47% from the field and 51% from three, which is up from 36% last year. While this rise may be somewhat of an outlier, there is reason to believe he has seriously improved his long-range shooting. He takes 6.5 free throws per game and shoots them at an 82% clip.

Adams is someone who will certainly get attention from NBA scouts. Although he is not a lottery pick, you are drafting on ability to contribute here and less on potential like some picks. It is clear that Adams can play. He can score and pass, and also gets rebounds and steals. This is the type of player teams want to run their second unit, especially if he can continue to develop as a lead guard.

Who’s Hot

Jock Landale – C – Saint Mary’s

Landale has been producing at a high clip all year, averaging 22.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game on 66% from the field. Even with that in mind, his last two games have been very impressive. Against San Francisco, he had 26 points on 11-17 shooting to go with 12 rebounds. The following game, a 65-52 win over San Diego, he dropped 34 on 15-22 shooting. He also hauled in 18 rebounds.

Any Player of the Year hype Landale receives will be well-deserved. He has been phenomenal for the Gaels, as their only truly reliable scorer. Without him, there is no way they are ranked where they are with the record they have. It is also worth noting that against Gonzaga, in their biggest game of the year to date, he shot 12-15 on his way to scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Jovan Mooring – G – UNLV

Mooring is coming off the best game of his college career to date. At Nevada, in one of UNLV’s bigger games of the year, the 6’2 senior scored 31 points to go with 7 rebounds. He shot 11-20 from the field, including 6-12 from deep. While the Running Rebels should not grow accustomed to this type of performance from him, it is nice to know that when they needed it, he was able to step up and deliver on the big stage for his team.

Who’s Not

Wichita State (18-5, 8-3)

Losers of 3 of their last 5, the Shockers have significantly cooled off since their hot start to the year. Whether it is their defense not playing up to my par or simply not having enough talent to dominate the American like they used to in the MVC. No one has really dropped off a cliff in terms of production. Landry Shamet and [Shaquille Morris] are still playing at a high level. I just feel that they lack a true number one option. No one on the team averages over 15 points per game, and only three players are in double figures. While they were a media darling at the start of the year, that hype is surely almost gone by now, as they have proven to be an upper-end AAC team that is noticeably behind Cincinnati.

Brandon McCoy – C – UNLV

Against Nevada, McCoy was a no-show. He played just 23 minutes before fouling out, going 1-6 from the field for 8 points. That was to go with 8 rebounds and 3 turnovers. Nevada is a team that lacks height as well, making this performance relatively inexcusable. Additionally, McCoy has seen his stock drop throughout the season as people take notice of his lack of versatility. He will have to either learn to shoot the three or become athletic enough to switch onto multiple positions. At the moment, he plays like the type of center that the NBA is eradicating.

Power Rankings

1) Cincinnati Bearcats (22-2, 11-0)

The Bearcats remain undefeated in the strongest mid major conference. Their winning streak has now reached 15 games, and they are looking as strong as ever. They boast an elite defense, allowing 56.1 points per game, which is 2nd best in the entire country. UCF scored 13 in the first half against them. They are also rank 10th in rebounds per game.

Jacob Evans has emerged as the most impressive of the bunch, though they are an incredibly well-rounded team. Evans averages 13.7 points on 46/41/79 shooting to go with 4.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks. This is a great stat-line that NBA teams will look into. The 6’6 guard projects well as a 3-and-D player at the next level.

2) Saint Mary’s Gaels (23-2, 12-0)

Winners of 18 straight, including a fantastic road win at Gonzaga, the Gaels are playing excellent basketball at the moment. Jock Landale has continued to bully opponents, including 34 and 18 in his last game against San Diego. Emmett Naar would be leading the NCAA in assists any other year with 9 per game. He only trails Trae Young.

With the win over Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s has shown that they can match up with good teams. I have been pleasantly surprised by the Gaels this year, especially after two early losses had people questioning how good the team really was. They will look to finish the season strong and get a high seed.

3) Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-4, 11-1)

The Bulldogs have done all that they can to bounce back from the loss against, Saint Mary’s, winning all five of their games since. However, they did lose their home game against the Gaels, the only team comparable to them in the WCC. While they were able to get some quality wins earlier in the season, there is no way to justify them over a team with a better record that just beat them. 3 is as high as they can be right now in these rankings. The Bulldogs have a lot of good players. Josh Perkins has continued to shoot well from deep. Rui Hachimura and Killian Tillie have progressively gotten better as the season goes on. Freshman guard [Player: Zach Norvell Jr.] has seen his minutes increase as the season continues. They get another shot at the Gaels and will do everything they can to take advantage of it.

4) Rhode Island Rams (19-3, 11-0)

Since the return of [Player: E.C. Matthews], the Rams have been phenomenal. The senior guard averages 14 points per game on a team that desperately needed his scoring. He and Jared Terrell are the only players averaging double figures for URI. Terrell has been the more impressive of the two senior guards, seeing significant improvement in his game this year. He averages 18 points per game on 47/42/87 splits. He also gets 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game. This is a well-rounded team that has been playing fantastic basketball, and should be a lock to with their conference, the A-10, and play in March.

5) Wichita State Shockers (18-5, 8-3)

The Shockers have been exposed as an above-average mid major team and not some slept on title contender as some were saying earlier in the year. The play of Landry Shamet has come back to earth somewhat, though he is still having a fantastic year averaging 14 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists. He shoots 50% from the field and 45% from deep. They have struggled against equal competition, splitting the season series with Houston and losing to SMU and Temple. While they are a deep team, I feel they simply lack the upper-end talent to truly compete with the elite teams in the country.

6) Houston Cougars (17-5, 7-3)

Coming in just behind Wichita State, the Cougars have looked impressive all-season long. Led by Rob Gray, who is averaging 18 points and 4 assists per game, Houston has a number of different contributors who have been playing very well. The AAC is a very difficult conference, and the Cougars have done well to be sitting at 7-3, good for third. They put up 70 points against Cincinnati, which is an accomplishment despite the loss. They will get another chance to play them at home, a game that would do wonders for their resume if they were to win.

7) Nevada Wolf Pack (20-5, 9-2)

The Wolf Pack have played well all year and have gotten off to a good start in a underratedly deep conference, the MWC. Caleb Martin is having a fantastic season. The 6’7 GF averages 20 points a game and 5 rebounds on 51% from the field and 47% from deep on 6 three-point attempts per game. His twin brother, Cody Martin, has also been playing quite well. Cody averages 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.5 blocks/steals. He is a very well-rounded player and is shooting 52% from the field. They also get great contributions from Jordan Caroline, who averages 17 points and 9 rebounds. This team is talented and can score a lot on you.

8) Boise State Broncos (20-4, 10-2)

Only sitting below Nevada because they lost to them, the Broncos are the current leaders of the MWC. Winning four straight, they have a number of guards and wings who score around 10 points per game and a few rebounds, but this team is really the Chandler Hutchison show. The 6’7 senior averages 20 points per game on 48/35/72 splits. He also averages 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists to go with 1.4 steals. If Hutchison can continue his elite play throughout the season, this Boise State team has a great chance to win their conference or be in play for an at-large bid.

9) New Mexico State Aggies (20-3, 7-0)

The fourth ranked defense in the country (62.1 points allowed per game), the Aggies have been good all season long, most impressively with a win over a Miami team that was ranked #6 at the time. Zach Lofton, now on his third school, has been playing phenomenally. He averages 20.5 points and 5 rebounds on 49/42/77 shooting. His line from the previous game, a win over UT Rio Grande, was 34 points, 6 assists and 4 steals on 10-17 from the field and 7-12 from deep. That is elite scoring.

10) Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun (20-3, 10-0)

Louisiana is undefeated in conference play and has had some very impressive performers. JaKeenan Gant averages 15 points and 6.5 rebounds. He shoots 61% from the field and also records 2.5 blocks per game. With his three-point shooting at 37%, he is a definite prospect for the NBA. We will see how good this Louisiana team really is when they play in the tournament, if they make it that far, but to be where they are at right now is impressive nonetheless.

Freshman Spotlight

Kellan Grady – G – Davidson

Grady has been playing very well all season for the Wildcats, with an uptick in production of late. In his past three games, he has scored 26, 23 and 15 respectively. He also shot over 60% in all three, including 6-7 in the game he scored 15. The 6’5 guard has demonstrated impressive IQ, with an assist:turnover ratio of 1.9:0.7. His shooting splits are 50/40/76. On the season, he is averaging 16.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.8 steals per game. As he plays more seasons, expect his usage rate to increase. This is a player that will be running the offense for years to come.

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