Player of the Week

Jake Layman, F, Maryland

The 6’8" junior has been a big reason why Maryland continues to play top notch basketball. So far, he’s been logging big minutes for the Terps, averaging a shade under 30 minutes per game.

While Layman didn’t light it up this week, his uniqueness and ability to change the flow of a game makes him very valuable. For his size, his handles are above average. He runs pretty well for his size too, and contact at the rim doesn’t bother him too much.

Last Saturday, Layman got production by being aggressive, getting to the hole, and going 11-14 from the free throw line. On Wednesday, Layman went 3-5 from deep en route to an efficient performance in a close game against North Carolina Central. So far this year, Layman is averaging 15.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, and 1.9 apg.

His usage percentage, player efficiency rating, and offensive rating are both Top 10 in the conference. This POTW award is more for Layman’s complete body of work so far this year. With Dez Wells injured, looks for Layman to take even more control offensively.

Who’s Hot

Maurice Walker, Minnesota

The 6’10" senior has had a great start to this year averaging 11.2 points per game and 5.3 boards per game. He’s very efficient from the floor offensively, ranking tenth in the conference currently while having less than eight shot attempts per game.

I’d like to see the rebounding numbers increase just a little bit more. He does have some issues turning the basketball over during games. Still, compiling 33 points, 13 boards, and a field-goal percentage of over 80% is a solid week.

Sam Dekker, F, Wisconsin

Ho hum. That’s back-to-back 17 point games for Dekker while shooting 65% from the field. Regardless of the high expectations that follow Dekker wherever he goes, you have to give him his kudos. Add 15 boards and a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, and that’s a nice stat line over two games.

He’s able to be efficient because he understands his strengths and weaknesses so well. His in-game analysis is top notch as well, especially when he recognizes a mismatch for himself or a teammate. The type of basketball that Sam Dekker plays isn’t flashy. The most important thing is he’s completely fine with that.

Who’s Not

Zak Irvin, Michigan

It’s quickly gone from frustration to bewilderment to downright absurd for Michigan basketball. Some of that has to do with the severe lack of leadership, production, and the ability to overcome adversity from guards like Irvin.

It’s pretty simple: Irvin is slowly becoming one dimensional, and that dimension is jacking up a TON of three-pointers. Currently, he’s averaging 7.5 three-point attempts per game. He also ranks third in the conference in field-goal attempts. That would be somewhat ok, except that Irvin is shooting 42% from the field and only 37% from deep.

Irvin’s recent shot selection has a lot to be desired. He is consistently shooting pull-ups after two dribbles from just a foot within the arc. The biggest red flag in his game right now is his amount of free throws per game: a measly 1.8 attempts. Ick.

If Irvin has problems scoring the basketball, he doesn’t provide very much value at all offensively. So far this year, Michigan has played 10 games; Irvin only has 5 assists.

Adam Woodbury, C, Iowa

Woodbury had a bit of a rough week, going 3 of 13 from the field, including a minimal role in Iowa’s loss to Iowa State.

My biggest issue with Woodbury is that he’s pretty limited laterally when guarding more athletic big men. Garbriel Olaseni has been playing solid so far this year, and Fran McCafferey has taken notice with Olaseni starting to cut into the amount of minutes that Woodbury plays. To me, Woodbury will have to produce much more on offense for him to continue to have a significant role in Iowa’s plans during conference play.

5 Worst Losses by B1G teams so far this year

Honestly, it was really hard to whittle down the five worst games for a B1G team so far this year. There have been way too many to choose from. When broadcast companies are scrambling to find graphics for a school because nobody has any idea who they are, you know things are going bad.

5th worst:
December 17th- Incarnate Word wins at Nebraska 74-73

Incarnate Word beat Princeton earlier and lost by 15 to UTEP. But raise your hand if you’d heard of Incarnate Word before they beat the Huskers (alums excluded).

4th worst:
December 8 – Michigan loses to Eastern Michigan 45-42

Wolverines went 4-21 from deep.

3rd worst:
December 6 – Rutgers pummeled by Seton Hall 81-54.

Halftime score of this game: 47-25 Hall.

2nd worst:
November 25 – Rutgers loses at home to St. Peter’s 68-50

Losses for St. Peter’s so farthis year: Canisius, Hartford, Niagara. Good Lord.

The worst:
December 6 – Michigan loses to NJIT 72-70

I’m pretty sure NJIT stole their logo/mascot from Robert Morris in Pittsburgh. Google both those images. Even the color schemes are similar. Maybe Beilein made a deal with Nucky Thompson?