Player of the Week
Doug McDermott – In what may begin to play out like a broken record, Mr. McDermott wins the award for the second week in a row after a strong performance in front of scouts in Southern California at the Wooden Legacy. This weekly award may have to be renamed "Player of the Week Not Named Doug McDermott" in order to give other Big East players a chance. Creighton’s do-it-all standout continues to state his case for National Player of the Year with a great start to 2013, leading the Bluejays with wins over Tulsa and Arizona State last week. Against the Golden Hurricane, McDermott scored 33 points on 9-of-17 shooting, while pulling down 15 rebounds. The preseason All-American became the first player in the nation this year to score over 30 points and grab 15+ rebounds in a game. Along with a 27-point performance against the Sun Devils, McDermott raised his season average to 27.4 points per game, tops in the conference, and good for third in the nation at the moment.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera – The sophomore guard is helping ease Hoyas fans’ loss of Otto Porter with star performances early this season. Smith-Rivera was named to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off All-Tournament team after leading Georgetown to wins over Kansas State and No. 10 VCU, averaging 25.5 points in the two games on 67 percent shooting.
Davante Gardner – Following a slow start to his senior year, Gardner is finally showing the country why he was voted to the preseason All-Big East team. In a 2-1 week for the Golden Eagles, the Suffolk, Va., native averaged 18.7 points per game, while also pulling down 10 rebounds. Gardner also shot 55 percent from the field in those games.
Cleveland Melvin – As DePaul’s success started to fade with improved opponents, so did Melvin’s production. After averaging 19 points in the Blue Demons first three contests, the senior forward has shot just 23 percent against No. 12 Wichita State and Texas last week. In the two losses, Melvin averaged just 11 points, while only pulling down a combined six rebounds.
JaKarr Sampson – The St. John’s forward has struggled offensively of late, despite his team’s success early in the year. In the team’s last two games, Sampson has shot a combined 5-for-20 from the field, averaging just six points per contest. The sophomore began the year for the Red Storm contributing 12.7 points a game.
Top 5 players most likely to carry their team to a win
Last year, Otto Porter Jr cemented his Big East Player of the Year award with a career-defining performance on the road at Syracuse. The forward led the Hoyas with 33 points in the 57-46 win over the Orange on Feb. 23 in the Carrier Dome. That performance skyrocketed Porter up the draft charts and in the conference’s player of the year debate. Which players are most likely to take over a game like the third-overall pick in the 2013 did? Read below.
1. McDermott- There’s a reason McDermott has been named first-team All-American twice in his three years with Creighton. The forward is incredibly efficient, shooting over 52 percent in all four of his years with the Bluejays. McDermott is also capable of producing eye-popping numbers, scoring 30 or more points in a game 16 times in his college career.
2. Kellen Dunham – The Butler sophomore is capable of burying teams with his jump shot, especially from the outside. Just five games into the year, the Bulldog has post 26 and 32-point performances against Princeton and Washington State. Dunhman is shooting 45 percent from behind the arc and 42 percent from the field in 2013.
3. D'Angelo Harrison – The guard is leading the Red Storm with 18 points per game, or 38 percent of the team’s offense in six contests this year. The junior certainly will have a chance to blow-up in a game, as he has averaged 15.4 field goal attempts per game. Harrison has scored in double-digits in all of St. John’s games this year.
4. Khyle Marshall – The senior forward has been pivotal to Butler’s 4-1 start this season. Marshall is averaging 18.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in the Bulldogs’ games, while 64 percent from the field. The Davie, FL., native has exploded in contests against Vanderbilt and Washington State. Against the Commodores, Marshall was 11-for-15 from the field for 26 points in Butler’s overtime win. The forward powered his team to a win over the Cougars with a 30-point performance in which he shot 67 percent from the field.
5. Fuquan Edwin – Edwin has been an offensive catalyst for Seton Hall early into the season, scoring 18 or more points in three of the Pirates five games. The guard/forward exploded for 35 points against Mercer on Nov. 11, sinking 15 of his 25 field goal attempts. At 6’6, Edwin can create matchup problems for smaller guards with his size, but his quickness is too much to handle for some bigs. As the Pirates enter conference play, don’t be surprised to see the Paterson, NJ,. native lead the team to an upset over a ranked foe.