Player of the Week
Daniel Oturu, Center, Minnesota
The sophomore big man has been one of the most dominant players in the country all season, and this week was nothing different as he won Player of the Week for the second week in a row. In a double overtime loss to Purdue, Oturu dropped 29 points while also grabbing 18 rebounds on an efficient 12-23 from the field. Against Northwestern, Oturu dropped 19 points and grabbed 16 rebounds on 6 of 10 from the field while also rejecting 5 shots. He followed those performances up with 22 and 10 in their loss to Michigan State on Thursday. Oturu has moved all the way up to being projected as a top 10 pick in our mock draft as scouts love his athleticism and fluidity, high motor and productivity on both ends of the floor. He’s a legitimate rim protector on top of all the offensive prowess, averaging 3 blocks per game on the season. It’s becoming like the movie groundhog day with regard to Player of the Week honors in the Big Ten for this Golden Gopher.
In the midst of a 6-game winning streak, none have been bigger than their upset over Penn State at home. The Scarlet Knights held standout Lamar Stevens scoreless in the first half. What’s even more impressive is that they won without starting guard Geo Baker who is out indefinitely with a thumb injury. Ron Harper Jr. was huge in this game scoring 22 points and down the stretch scored countless buckets to keep the pressure on the Nittany Lions. Jacob Young was also huge scoring 13 points off the bench. Jacob young has been great over the last three games he is averaging 17 points per game while also grabbing over 5 boards.
Ayo Dosunmu, Guard, Illinois
While he put up 18 points twice this week, and Illinois went 2-1, his shooting numbers dropped this week. In a loss to Michigan State, Ayo dripped 18 points on 8-20 from the field. Against Purdue he really struggled going 3-11 6 points while also grabbing 7 boards. Against Wisconsin, Ayo also dropped 18 points on 7-15 from the field. For the week, Ayo shot only 39% from the field which is 7% decrease from his season average. Ayo averaged 14 points, 3 assists, and over 6 boards a game this week.
Kaleb Wesson, Center, Ohio State
While Ohio State is on a three-game losing streak, Wesson has played fantastic. While he did not shoot great against Maryland (5-13) he still scored 15 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Against Wisconsin, he was unstoppable scoring 22 points on 7-10 shooting while also grabbing 13 rebounds. Against WVU, Wesson scores 17 points, but 10 came from the line as he shot 3-11 from the field. For the week, Wesson averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 15-34 (44%).
Anthony Cowan, Guard, Maryland
Cowan scored 20 points against Ohio State, on really efficient 4-9 from field. Efficient performances are exactly what Cowan needs to have to truly showcase his skills. He scores a lot but usually does not have incredible percentages. This game was huge because he showed he can score without taking a ton of shots against a really talented conference foe. Leading Maryland to a huge conference win over a really solid team. Maryland is on a three-game winning streak
While they did beat Oturu and Minnesota, Purdue lands on this part of the list for their performance against Illinois. They shot 25% from the field, (15-60) and scored only 37 points. Six of thirteen players that appeared in this game went scoreless while half of the coreless players took multiple attempts from the field. This was a dreadful performance shooting the ball and one they hope to forget about.
Miles Dread, Forward, Penn State
The sophomore has really struggled to find his shot recently. Against Iowa Dread was huge scoring 14 points, but did not shoot well from the field at all. 3-11 from the field including 2-8 from three. His struggles continued against Rutgers, where the Nittany Lion’s desperately needed somebody to step up other than Myron Jones, Lamar, and Watkins. Dread went scoreless in 21 minutes missing all four of his shots which were all three point attempts. On the season Dread is shooting a dreadful 31% from the field which dropped over 6% from last year, while his three-point percentage (29%) also dropped around 6%.
Top 5 Draft Prospects
Luka Garza, Center, Iowa
The junior currently leads the Big Ten in scoring at 22 points per game. Garza has been incredible on the offensive side all season. Garza has also been a force on the boards averaging 10.7 per game which is good enough for second in the conference. Through 15 games, Garza has posted double digits in all but one game. This includes a 44 point 8 rebound performance against Michigan, and a 34 point 12 rebound game against Penn State. Garza has posted 9 double-doubles so far on the season. While his numbers would make him appear to be someone that should be listed higher on this list, his lack of athleticism and quickness will make it a challenge for him to find his way in the league.
5. Anthony Cowan Guard, Maryland
A true volume shooter, Cowan can really score the basketball. Since stepping on campus as a freshman he has been a certified bucket. On the season he currently ranks fourth in the conference in scoring at 16.7 per game, which is the highest of his career. One this he would definitely like to improve is his field goal percentage which is at 39%. The scoring numbers are the for Cowan, now is he can become a bit more efficient he will be a problem at the next level.
4. Kaleb Wesson– Center, Ohio State
After an impressive sophomore season, Wesson has improved even more. Increasing his averages in blocks per game, free throw percentage, three-point percentage, and rebounds per game. On the season, Wesson is averaging 14 points and 9 rebounds on 46% shooting while playing about 25 minutes oer game. Through 15 games, Wesson has grabbed double digit boards 6 times, and has recorded 9 rebounds in 10 of 15. Wesson has scored double digits in all but one game including two 20 point performances.
3. Ayo Dosunmu, Guard, Illinois
After being considered by some as a first-round pick last year, Ayo wisely opted to return to Illinois. Much to the dismay of the rest of the Big Ten, Ayo has been on a mission. Leading Illinois in scoring at 15.3 points per game and ranking seventh in the Big Ten. While his shot from deep has regressed a little, Ayo has improved his overall field goal percentage and his free throw percentage. To go with his scoring, Ayo is averaging 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Ayo has been a consistent scorer reaching double digits in 12 of his 16 games so far this season while also reaching 20 points four times.
2. [ Player Cassius Winston], Point Guard, Michigan State
The reigning Big Ten player of the year is having another solid season. While the Spartans have struggled to put it all together at times, Winston has been great. Averaging 18.9 points per game which is third in the Big Ten. While playing two minutes less per game his point output is the same. He is also averaging 6.3 assists per game which is fourth in the conference. Winston is a true point guard who can score at will and pass to get others involved. His best game of the season came against Michigan in a must win game, Winston posted 32 points and dished out 9 assists. With 13 double digit scoring performances on the season, Winston has also eclipsed 20 points 9 times through 14 games.
1. Daniel Oturu, Center, Minnesota
Oturu is one of the top players in the country, and has been dominating opponents every time he steps on the court. Deandre Ayton went number one overall in the draft and Oturu’s numbers are almost identicle. Ayton averaged 20 points and 11.6 boards, while Oturu averages 19.1 points and 12.4 rebounds. Oturu is shooting 63% from the field while Ayton shot 61%. Oturu is also a better shot blocker averaging 3.1 per game while Ayton only averaged 1.9. I made this comparison to show how dominant Oturu has been, with big name prospects like Lamelo and James Wiseman, players like Oturu are very much over shadowed.