Player of the Week
Jabari Parker, Duke
Parker found a lot more success in his second trip to MSG than he did in late November versus Arizona (with the quality of opponent a substantial factor). His wide spanning skills were on full display against UCLA, scoring 23 points, grabbing ten boards and dishing out five assists. He hit 7/13 field goals and 4/8 from distance. His catch and shoot jumper – mid-range and from three – is a thing of beauty, squaring his shoulders and elevating in rhythm. Against EMU at Cameron, Parker went for 23 & 8 with two blocks in 27 minutes. He dissolved the back line of their zone with lob throw downs all afternoon. Parker has surpassed Wiggins with freakish consistency, versatility and overall supreme confidence level.
TJ Warren, NC State
With the rock or without it, inside or outside –Warren is a master. He’s scored 20+ in eight straight games, which includes cracking the 30 plateau three times. In home contests versus ECU and Missouri, Warren averaged 28 points on 52% shooting, 10.5 boards, 2.5 assists, two steals and 1.5 blocks. Warren has a knack for finding soft spots in the defense, and he worked the baseline to perfection vs. Mizzou. If he starts to play through contact and get to the free throw line regularly, his 24 PPG should sustain during conference play. NC State would really benefit from the emergence of a second scorer to take some attention/pressure off their prized sophomore.
Trevor Cooney, Syracuse
The sophomore shooting guard scored 21 points versus Villanova, connecting on five treys and all six of his free throws. Cooney has hit five or more three’s in 7 of the Orange’s 12 games…life is good playing alongside a pure, unselfish point and a role-identified small forward. Cooney is hitting 49% from deep – good for 10th in the nation – a far cry from his 27% mark as a frosh.
Justin Anderson, Virginia
With the Cavalier offense in desperate need of athleticism and playmaking, Anderson has seen a surge in PT; and subsequent productivity. In home W’s over Northern Iowa and Norfolk State, the bouncy left-hander put up 15 points, six rebounds and three assists per game. His three point attempts are a bit exorbitant (12), as Anderson is still a raw ball handler and inclined to settle. He’ll need to improve steadily for Virginia to meet lofty preseason expectations.
Travis McKie, Wake Forest
The MIA efforts from McKie continue. He scored 7 points on seven shots versus UNCG (3 rebounds), and 6 points on six shots at Xavier (5 rebounds). While Bzdelik’s system does not optimally utilize his talents, there is no excuse for the lack of aggression. You’d hardly believe he’s a senior playing for draft stock. Power forward Devin Thomas has chewed up smaller frontlines, but he’s struggled with foul trouble against BCS programs with size: nine points (2/8 FG), four rebounds and four turnovers at X.
Akil Mitchell, Virginia
Speaking of getting lost in the shuffle, Mitchell’s shot attempts are down from 9.3 as a junior to 4.6 as a senior. In fact, his numbers are way down across the board with Tony Bennett using more bodies. It appears his struggles at the FT line (49%) have resulted in diminished looks to score.
Top 5: Southpaws
1.Rodney Hood, Duke – Lethal perimeter scorer with length and athleticism to excel in transition.
2.Marcus Paige, North Carolina – Shot maker extraordinaire has carried the offensive burden for the Tar Heels at 19 PPG.
3.CJ Fair, Syracuse – Smooth operator in the mid-range has developed leaps and bounds. Sticks to his strengths.
4.Justin Anderson, Virginia – Raw athlete on the verge of becoming a huge factor in the ACC.
5.Seth Allen, Maryland – 6’1 energizer bunny at PG was active in his return from a fractured foot: 15 points, three assists & three treys in 21 minutes.
Quinn Cook racked up 13 steals in wins over UCLA (8) and EMU (5). He had eight steals total in the first ten games.
Georgia Tech center Daniel Miller is averaging 14 points (65% FG), nine rebounds and three blocks since December 16th.