Player of the Week:
Dedric Lawson – Memphis – F – Fr.
The 6-foot-9 Memphis freshman is playing some of the best basketball in the conference. In the Tigers last game against SE Missouri State, Lawson had 28 pts, 14 rebounds, 2 steals and a block. Lawson was a McDonald’s All American, a 4 star prospect who was rated the 2nd best player in the State of Tennessee. Who was number 1? Skal Labissiere. On the season, he is averaging 15.9 PPG, 9 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.6 SPG, and 1.9 BPG in just a hair under 30 MPG. Of all the players in the AAC, Lawson has among the biggest upsides.
Shaq Goodwin – Memphis – F – Sr.
14.1 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.3 BPG, 50 FG%, 72.5 FT%
Goodwin is quietly having a great senior year. On 12/2, against Louisiana Tech he logged 18 points, 12 rebounds, 3 Assists, and 2 Blocks. Goodwin is a solid free-throw shooter and has done a good job getting to the line. He is a solid defender and is top 5 in blocks per game in the AAC this year. If he can continue to show versatility on both sides of the ball his stock may begin to rise.
Rob Gray Jr. – Fr. – G. – Houston
25.4 MPG, 18.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 49% FG, 42.9% 3PT
Gray Jr. is lighting it up from downtown and showing NBA range at the same time. He has scored in double digits in every game he has played including dropping 26 against Murray St. on December 2nd. Gray is extremely efficient and explosive but still hasn’t faced high level opposition.
Nic Moore – Sr. – G – SMU
15 PPG, 4 APG/1.6 TOV, 41% FG, 42% 3PT
Moore is one of the top guards in the AAC, and possibly the country. He has a good assist to turnover ratio this year and is scoring well while shooting over 40 percent. Moore may not have the size for the NBA, but should have a solid career playing overseas.
Devonta Pollard – Sr. – F – Houston
17.2 PPG, 7.2 TRB, 56.6 FG%, 86.7 FT%
Pollard is averaging 10 more points than his career average and about 2.5 more rebounds as well. Houston hasn’t really played anybody, so it will be interesting to see if Pollard will continue to perform as well against top competition.
Troy Caupain – Jr. – G. – Cincinnati
Caupain is having a rough year. He is playing a ton of minutes and has very little to show for it. Has been held under 8 pts four times. On 11/28, he scored 16 on 14 shots, illustrating his lack of efficiency.
Jalen Adams – Fr. – G. – UConn
7 GP, 127 Min, 16/41 FG, 4/13 3PT, 7/9 FT
Adams numbers say it all. He is shooting too many 3’s and not distributing enough and it’s affecting his playing time. For being rated by some as the top freshman in the AAC, he has largely been a disapointment. Regardless, he is clearly someone to continue to monitor.
Top 5 NBA Prospects through Early December
1. Daniel Hamilton – So. – SG/SF – UConn
29.7 MPG, 12.6 PPG, 9.4 RPG(League Leader), 6.3 APG(League Leader)/2.3 TOV 44% FG, 33% 3PT, 83.3% FT
What kind of versatility does Hamilton possess? He currently leads the league in assists at 6.3 per game and rebounds at 9.4 per game. He needs to cut down on his turnovers, but is almost always in the right position to make a play. At 6 feet 7 inches, Hamilton is a superb rebounder with the size to play either the 2 or 3 positions. While he struggles to create off the dribble, his length, versatility and shooting ability gives him a lot of intrigue.
2. Dedric Lawson – Fr. – SF – Memphis
He still must improve upon his (60%) FT and (17%) 3 pt shooting, but it’s early. He is only a freshman and has started every game for the Tigers. Since arriving at Memphis, he has already won AAC rookie of the week, and will probably win the monthly award as well.
3. Amida Brimah – Jr. – C – UConn
20.9 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 5.4 TRB, 3 BPG
Brimah is one of the top defensive players in the AAC. He leads the conference in blocks per game at 3, despite playing 20 minutes game. He is a 7 footer which means that he will get a look from NBA teams but at this point is very one dimensional. Brimah lacks the offensive prowess to be a starter in the NBA at center. However, with his defensive upside he could succeed as a defensive stopper.
4. Rodney Purvis – Jr. – G – UConn
29.4 MPG, 14.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.9 AST
Rodney Purvis is shooting 41% from the 3PT line this year and is top 10 in the AAC in scoring. Since Purvis has come into the NCAA he has been a pure shooter, many believe he is a 2nd round talent if he can continue to shoot at the level.
5. Shaquille Harrison – Senior Guard/Tulsa
32.9 MPG,19.1 PPG(League Leader), 5.5 RPG, 2.3 AST, 2.3 SPG, 45% FG, 63.6% FT
Harrison might be one of the most consistent players in the American Athletic Conference. He currently leads the league at 19.1 PPG, and averages 5.5 RPG, which is pretty impressive for a 6-foot-4 guard. Harrison gets a ton of minutes at 32.9 per game and makes them count, averaging 6 more points a game this year than last. Projecting him for the next level, a team may like his athleticism, mixed with the experience of being a 4 year Division 1 player. A deep tournament run could also help his stock as not many Tulsa games end up on TV.