Player of the Week:

Kevin Jones 6’8 PF, West Virginia

What a turnaround for Jones, who underachieved as a junior despite having the table set for him with the departure of Devin Ebanks and Da’Sean Butler.

Averaging just a shade under 23 points and 13 rebounds over his last four games,  Jones has been connecting on all cylinders, both as a scorer and on the glass. He’s settling for less jumpers, while simultaneously increasing his efficiency on the perimeter in the process.

Jones finished with 28 points, 17 rebounds and 1 turnover in a hard fought overtime loss to a much more talented Baylor team last week. He’s put his name in the running for conference player of the year as we approach league play, currently leading the Big East in scoring at 21 per game.

Heatin’ up

Jordan Theodore

Last four games: 26 points, 6 assists… 14 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds… 16 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds… 14 points, 4 assists… 11 points, 11 assists. Theo has increased his assist average by 3 as a senior, and currently leads the Big East in dishing at over 7 a game.

Brandon Young

Shadily a great year for Young, who’s averaging 18 points and 5.7 assists over his last four. Young gets to dominate the ball for DePaul, and has put up impressive numbers as a result.

Coolin’ Off

Ashton Gibbs

Just 4 for his last 22 from downtown, including 1-7 stinker in a loss to Wagner.

Mouphtaou Yarou

Just 1 for 6 against American, and 1 for 2 in a loss to Saint Joseph’s.  Yarou isn’t exactly an advanced shot-creator, but 8 shots in two games? Might as well play 4 on 5.

Top Five Most Deadly Three-point Shooters

1. Jeremy Lamb 6’5 SG, UConn

Though you may not associate Lamb with some of the elite sharpshooters in the country, his ability to convert from NBA range with ease will factor in heavily to the danger level he presents as a scorer at the next level.  The way most adept scorers can create jumpers via the dribble-step back, Lamb can do it out to 25 feet from the basket. With sound mechanics and the length to allow him to fire away over his defender, Lamb could be the most prolific threat from behind the arch of any scorer in the nation.

2. Hollis Thompson 6’7 SF, Georgetown

Thompson is the most deadly spot-up threat in the conference, and it should land him a job in the league either this year or the next. Like Lamb, Thompson’s range and length allow for every attempt to be a makeable one. With good size at 6’7, Thompson has an established identity as a stretch forward at the next level.

3. Sean Kilpatrick 6’4 SG, Cincinnati

Kilpatrick is streaky, but when he gets going he’s lethal. He shares the confidence that all shooters require, and gives off the impression that any time he lets it fly there’s a good chance it rips through the net. He’s shooting 41% on 75 three point attempts as a sophomore.

4. Ashton Gibbs 6’2, Pittsburgh

We’ll let Gibbs track record overshadow his inconsistent numbers this year. Despite his recent struggles, he’s still shooting 37% from downtown, after shooting 46%, 39.7% and 42% his previous three seasons respectively. There’s no way to put it other than saying his accuracy is uncanny. As a prospect, you’d like to see him get more elevation on his jumper, but nothing can take away what he’s done from behind the arch in college.

5. Shabazz Napier 6’1 PG, UConn

Napier is converting at a 43% clip from downtown this year, which bodes well for his stock as an undersized guard without a true selling point. Having that ability to dribble over a screen and pop from the perimeter goes a long way in the NBA.

Weekly Thoughts

– Louisville is due for a loss. Just not enough firepower for me to comfortable say they’re a top five team in the country.

– Pittsburgh again showed why they’re incredibly vulnerable in a loss to Wagner. Not enough quickness or athleticism for my liking.

– Georgetown with a strong win over Memphis. Marquette with a bad loss to LSU. There’s a lot of parity in the East this year. Seems like any team can beat anyone, and vice versa.

– Bonehead move by freshman Khem Birch transferring from Pittsburgh. Clearly not getting very savvy advice.