Big East Blog

Player of the Week

Maalik Wayns PG, Villanova

Maalik WaynsMaalik WaynsMan does he look quick. Wayns has been impossible to keep out of the paint, using that quick first step off the dribble and rock solid strength at the rim. It's amazing to think that a 6'1 guard can score 29 points on only 1 three point make, but that's what Wayns did in a loss to St. Louis (thanks to his team's inability to defend the 3). His ability to change direction on the dime with speed in the open floor will allow him to succeed as a change of pace guard at the next level. If he raises his percentage from downtown and increases his range, Wayns would be a threat to crack the lottery.

He's averaging 22 points, 5 assists and 4.5 rebounds as a junior, and should be considered a viable candidate for Big East Player of the Year.

Heatin' up

Jason Clark, G, Georgetown

26 and 28 points back to back. 10 for his last 14 from downtown. The rim must look like a hula hoop to Clark.

Gerard Coleman SG, Providence

He scored 20 in consecutive games. I'd say that's noteworthy considering he's coming off the bench. He also attempted 18 free throws against Southern U. Pretty impressive.

Herb Pope PF Seton Hall

Pope's been on a tear this year, going for 32 and 9, (2-2 from 3), and 17 and 10 this week. He looks lighter on his feet around the rim, and has shown he's capable of scoring outside the paint. He's averaging 21 points and 11 rebounds, all-star numbers for the big fella.

Kevin Jones PF West Virginia

29 and 13, followed by 23 and 10. Again, when those 3s and midrange jumpers are falling, Jones looks the part of an NBA player. The rebounding numbers are even more promising.

Brandon Young PG, DePaul, Cleveland Melvin SF, DePaul

The sophomore duo has been lighting it up. 24 and 23 points respectively this week for Young, 25 and 20 for Melvin. If he keeps putting up numbers, Melvin could generate some buzz based off his ideal length and athleticism for a 3.

Coolin' off

Ashton Gibbs

17 for last 51? Very un-Gibbs-like.

Dominic Cheek, SG, Villanova

After dropping 22 a game over his first 3, Cheek has clearly digressed. 2-12 for a combined 7 points in his last two games? Bizarre.

Myles Mack G, Rutgers Eli Carter G, Rutgers

Freshmen starting backcourt AKA 27 for 81 from the field AKA 33%. Yikes.

Top 5 Senior Prospects

1. Kris Joseph SF, Syracuse

Easily the top senior prospect of the pack, Joseph's physical attributes are tailor made for NBA jerseys. Long and athletic is always an effective combination in terms of qualities that translate to next level success. He's improved at creating shots off the dribble, and although far from proficient, Joseph has proven capable working out of the triple threat position in isolation. He's more likely to get drafted based off his athleticism, but if Joseph can develop a three point shot the way former UCLA forward Trevor Ariza did, he could find himself in a professional rotation sooner than you'd think.

2. Yancy Gates

He's got the package, he just hasn't put it together. When Gates is on he's tough to stop, possessing an effective skill-set for a kid with strong physical tools. Gates can play inside and out, forcing less limber forwards to uncomfortably drift away from the rim. He needs to cut down on disappearing acts, but if he can keep that motor revved he'd be a more sought-after prospect.

3. Darius Johnson Odom G, Marquette

If DJO was a few inches taller he'd have more respect. Stuck between point and shooting guard, Johnson-Odom can create and score off the dribble from practically anywhere on the court. He's got range from outside and shows explosiveness attacking the rim. The fact that he can handle the ball and put it through the net should keep him on the radar for teams with shallow depth and a dull back court.

4. Kevin Jones SF/PF, West Virginia

I've been tough on Jones, but only because of unwillingness to bang underneath. This year he's averaging 12.3 boards a game, almost 5 more than the measly 7.5 he grabbed as a career high last season! We've seen the touch Jones' can show from the outside, but we haven't necessarily seen the bully. Mix a bully with some finesse, and Jones has a shot to contribute at the next level.

5. Ashton Gibbs G, Pittsburgh

Remarkably consistent, reliable and poised, Gibbs is like a gift under the tree that's not wrapped. No surprises, you know what he is. It's just a matter of deciding if that's what you wanted. Though he doesn't have the quickness or explosiveness scouts drool over, his ability to run a team and knock down shots makes him a likeble and safe potential reserve.

Weekly Thoughts

Jeremy Lamb needs to understand his role, which will be the best player on the floor 99% of the time. He was virtually non-existent down the stretch against Florida State in a game that needed a hero. Lamb needs to realize that this year, his role is to play that hero.

Freshman Ryan Boatright likely played his way into the rotation on Saturday for UConn. 14 points off the bench, including 3-3 from the line, down 3 with 7 seconds left.

Irish suffer heart-breaking loss with Tim Abromaitis out for the season. It would be safe to say that Notre Dame is officially a non-threat.

Stephen Van Treese out indefinitely for Louisville. Despite their 5-0 start, with all of the inuries it just doesn't seem like it's their year.

Still think Cuse is the team to beat. Too much experience, depth, talent. And Melo.

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