Co-Players of the Week
Mike Muscala, Bucknell Bison
Muscala is having a very good senior season for the Bucknell Bison. He’s probably the most consistent player in the country right now. Last week he led his Bison to a victory over Colgate, by scoring 25 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and blocking 7 shots. Muscala is becoming relevant in the draft talk and has a chance to get drafted based on his size, agility and offensive polish.His 20 ppg, 11 rpg, and 2.7 bpg easily place him among the top big men in college basketball.
Doug McDermott, Creighton Blue Jays
McDermott led his #12 Blue jays to another victory over NIU, with a very impressive 31 pts and 4 rebounds and a 25 pts and 6 rebounds effort in a loss at Wichita St. McDermott has been a question mark on whether he would enter the draft this year, especially since he has been quoted saying he enjoys college life and has no money needs since he plays for his father at Creighton. I think the one factor that changes his mind is if he wins the NCAA player of the year award, which he seems to be the ultimate choice to receive this year.
Juvonte Reddic, Virginia Commonwealth
He can flat out shoot the basketball period. Over his last two games Early has produced to the tune of 16.5 ppg and 11 rpg in two wins for the Rams. This is very impressive on a really talented and balance VCU team. Currently averaging 13.5 ppg and 7.8 rpg, the 6’9” junior forward will be someone to keep a close eye on for the rest of the season. He could appear on the draft board very soon if his Rams continue their winning ways. This year draft is going to be about finding the hidden gems and Early could very well be one come June.
Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga Bulldogs
Olynyk has continued to improve on his 2013 draft stock, even though his Bulldogs lost a tough game at Butler last week. He’s currently averaging 16.8 ppg and 6.8 rpg on a very deep and talented Gonzaga basketball team, currently ranked 10th in the nation. He’s still managed his production after entering into conference play, which is a good sign he’s able to remain consistent with the extra attention he’s receiving on the offensive end. When watching Olynyk, what really stands out is how well he runs the floor, his natural footwork around the basket, and his ability to finish. For those who questioned my comments on his athleticism and ability to run the floor please watch this clip below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4d_uAD1tmw
Nate Wolters, South Dakota State
Nate Wolter’s has come on lately and led his Jackrabbit team to four consecutive wins and has improved his production over that span and currently averages 20 ppg, 5.8 rpg, and 5.8 apg. Wolters is definitely one of the top five scoring PG’s in the country that has great size at about 6’4”. He’s right there with Lorenzo Brown (NCSU) and Erick Green (VT) fighting for the next point guard being taken after Isaiah Canaan. The major concern with Wolter’s is the same many have with Brown, can he defend at the next level successfully.
Doug McDermott, Creighton Blue Jays
McDermott has stayed very consistent during the season and his game at Cal last week was no different. He scored 34 points (10-17 FG/ 4-7 3FG/ 10-10 FT), pulled 9 rebounds in 33 minutes of play. He continues to display his solid offensive skill set, although his improvement on defense is very evident and he’s been able to impact games on defense.
Tony Mitchell, North Texas
Mitchell should get the “Where’s Waldo” Award for college basketball. Mitchell had been on a tear over his last four games, and then he followed it up with a 0 point effort in 31 minutes where he was 0-3 from the field. Then on Saturday he followed it up with a 24 pt and 8 rebound game against Florida Atlantic in the overtime win. I do think something is not right in the North Texas locker room as they have been unstable all season. His stock has dipped but I expect him to emerge as a top 15 pick due to his potential and his athleticism. He’s going to be the most versatile and athletic player in this year’s draft class. Mitchell’s touch around the basket is what makes him intriguing to GM’s because most guys classified as “athletes” don’t have the ability to finish with finesse as well as power around the basket. He also has a high motor (intensity level), which gets him in foul trouble at times but NBA teams would rather have a high energy player than a player that’s emotionally inconsistent during the grueling NBA season.
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State Racers
Canaan has remained consistent over the season even though his assist numbers have taken a hit from last year. We can attribute this to the young roster he’s inherited due to the graduation of seniors. Currently averaging 21 ppg and 4 rpg and leading this team to a 14-4 record is an accomplishment for the veteran guard.
Anthony Bennett, UNLV
The potential lottery pick has cooled off over his last two games, not reaching double figures in either contest and averaging 9 ppg and 4 rpg. It will be interesting to see how he performs over the next week, it may be the pressure of his recent success or maybe teams are focusing on him more since conference play has started.
TOP 5 Mid Major Teams
Butler University #9
Gonzaga University #10
New Mexico #15
Virginia Commonwealth #19
Wichita State University