Player of the Week
Kellen Dunham The sophomore led Butler to a 76-70 over in-state rival Purdue on Dec. 14, finishing with a game-high 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Dunham also pulled down four rebounds for the Bulldogs in the victory. The guard also went for 15 points and five rebounds against Evansville in a 68-59 win on Dec. 21. Following the week, Dunham sits in second in the conference with 19.5 points per contest.
Cleveland Melvin The forward averaged 23 points in two DePaul wins this past week. In a Dec. 15 game against Chicago State, Melvin dropped in 18 points for the Blue Demons, going 8-of-11 from the free throw line. The senior also grabbed 11 rebounds and registered four blocks against the Cougars. This past Wednesday, Melvin scored 28 points in a 78-58 victory over Houston Baptiste. He went 11-for-20 from the field, while also pulling down 12 rebounds to complete the double-double.
D'Angelo Harrison St. John’s leading-scorer continued to light up opponents last week, going for over 17 points in all three of the Red Storm’s games. Against No. 2 Syracuse on Dec. 15, the guard finished with 21 points on 6-of-19 shooting, while also grabbing six rebounds. Three days later, the junior scored 18 points on just 5-of-8 shooting in a blowout win over San Francisco. Harrison wrapped up his week with a 29-point performance against Youngstown St. on Dec. 21. The guard also finished the game with six rebounds and four assists against the Penguins.
Semaj Christon The highly touted point guard struggled to find his groove on the offensive end of the court last week, averaging only 8.5 points in two games for the Musketeers. Against Cincinnati on Dec. 14, the sophomore shot 3-for-7 from the field, finishing with eight points and failed to get to the free throw line. In the two previous contests, Christon attempted 16 and 17 free throws respectively. The guard once again failed to connect on his jump shot against Alabama on Dec. 21, finishing with nine points on 4-of-11 shooting.
James Bell The Villanova guard struggled to convert his offensive opportunities in the past week for the Wildcats. Against fellow Big 5 school LaSalle on Dec. 15, Bell finished with just three points on 1-of-7 shooting, including 1-for-6 from behind-the-arc. His poor shooting continued on Dec. 21 against Rider, going 3-for-9 from the field for just eight points. The senior was also able to register just one rebound and one assist against the Broncs.
Top 5 Prospects Updated
1. Doug McDermott Its seems as though Creighton’s rise to national prominence in recent years has been directly related to the play of decorated senior Doug McDermott. The efficient scorer, shooting 50 percent from the field, is averaging a conference-leading 25.3 points per game to go along with seven rebounds. McDermott’s size allows him to play with his back to the basket, but also is a good face-up shooter to create matchup nightmares for opponents. Heading into 2014, the senior appears poised to receive his third consecutive first-team All-American honor.
2. Semaj Christon Despite his recent struggles, Christon remains one of the premier pro prospects in the Big East due to his athleticism. While still learning the in’s and out’s of the point guard position, the sophomore has elite ability when attacking the basket, either finishing strong around the rim or by creating opportunities for teammates. At 6’3, he has good size in today’s NBA, and has the length to create turnovers on the defensive end of the floor.
3. Chris Obekpa The native of Nigeria has become the nation’s premier shot-blocker in just two seasons playing for St. John’s. Obekpa is following up on his stellar freshman campaign by leading the nation in blocks in his second year with 5.1 per game. The sophomore can single-handedly control the paint and protect the rim, and with great size and a 7’4 wingspan, the forward/center has the potential to be a great interior presence at the next level. While he still needs to develop his offensive game, there’s no denying Obekpa’s defensive potential.
4. Fuquan Edwin Edwin has seen improvement in his game every year at Seton Hall and, despite having an unconventional game, is an intriguing prospect on both ends of the court. While he is only averaging 13.8 points per game in his senior season, the forward is closing in on the all-time school record for steals. Along with his great defensive potential, Edwin is also able to be effective on the offensive end without needing the ball in his hands on every possession.
5. D'Angelo Harrison The high-volume scorer leads St. John’s with 19 points per game this year and his offensive abilities make him a quality prospect for a team looking for a consistent shooter. Harrison is shooting nearly 40 percent from the field thus far this year, and is capable of blowing up on a nightly basis. In six of the Red Storm’s 11 games this season, the guard has scored over 20 points, including a season-high 29 on Dec. 21.