Player of the WeekRick Jackson
Jackson may not have the flash or the scoring numbers, but his consistent play for the 5th ranked team in the country should get him some recognition. He’s had a double double in all but 2 games, while leading the Big East in rebounding at 12.5 per contest. Against Michigan State, Jackson put up 17 points and 16 boards, providing the Orange with an inside force that can score in the post or off second chance opportunities. Shooting 58% from the floor, Jackson has been a big reason for the Orange early season success.
In a week of few games, it was pretty easy to pick out the cold player of the week. Congratulations Darius Johnson-Odom, your inspiring 1 for 9 performance at Wisconsin has earned you the worst performance of the week honors, and a third non-conference loss. Marquette is going to need DJO to get it going if they want to make a Big East run when conference play begins.
Top 6 Impact Freshmen
Brandon Young, G, Depaul
The top performing freshman in the conference, Young has quickly become the team’s most reliable scorer for a team who’s missing consistent contributors. He excels in the open floor and sports a jump shot that looks good even when it misses. He’s scored in double figures 8 of his first 10 games, including a 31 point clinic he ran against Central Michigan where he shot 6-6 from downtown.
Sean Kilpatrick, G, Cincinnati
Kilpatrick has been a nice spark off the bench for the undefeated Bearcats, averaging almost 11 points per game as the team’s primary outside threat. Shooting 41% from behind the arch, Kilpatrick allow the Cincy offense to spread the floor and let the team’s go-to players to work in space. His best game of the season came against Wright State, scoring 26 points on 5-5 from three.
Gerard Coleman, G, Providence
A smooth left hander, Coleman has made an early impact on his team’s 10-2 start. He thrives in the open court using his athleticism and explosiveness, and has a capable midrange game off the dribble. His ability to create his own shot is what separates him from most freshmen, and as his range and outside consistency improve, so will Coleman as an offensive threat.
Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse
Waiters has looked good when he’s seen court time, providing a much needed scoring punch for a poor shooting team. He has a scorers mentality, finding ways to beat you to the rim or pull up from outside. He’s a guy who can get into a little bit of a rhythm, which can been difficult in only 15 minutes per game. In a season high 22 minutes this past weekend, Waiters scored 17 points and dished out 5 assists, showing off his playmaking ability as a combo guard. Look for Waiters to get better and better as he gets comfortable adjusting to the new size and speed of the game.
Vander Blue, G, Marquette
Blue was recently inserted into the starting lineup, and responded quickly with a 21 point game in a blowout victory. He has a high motor and just screams energy, finding ways to be effective on both sides of the ball early on in his career.
Shabazz Napier, G, UConn
Shabazz has provided support for Kemba Walker in the backcourt, who finds defenses zeroing in on him night after night. Though Napier hasn’t shot the ball that well, his quickness and ability to make plays for others makes him valuable to the Huskies rotation. His outside game should come along, making him a player to watch for later on in the season.
– After a great win against UNLV, Louisville lost at home to Drexel. That’s what happens when your starting backcourt combines for 26, and the rest of the team combines for 20.
– The Panthers lost their first game of the season to Tennessee this past weekend. That’s what happens when you miss 17 free throws (25-42, 59%).
– Cincinnati has remained undefeated after their first nine games. On what looks to be an extremely balanced team, the Bearcats have six players averaging 8 points or more, with nobody averaging more than 12 a game.
– Marshon Brooks continues to light up the scoreboard, scoring 33 in a win against Alabama. He’s now averaging almost 29 points per game over his last 6. Someone put this kid on National TV.