Mid Major Player of the Week

Charles Bassey

The 6’11 junior for Western Kentucky has had himself a breakout season thus far. Bassey helped propel his team to back to back wins over Middle Tennessee with big double double performances. Bassey registered 16 points for the Hiltoppers in a recent game against MTU, as well as 12 boards on 58 percent shooting. He also added four blocked shots to the box score to help his team win by 15.

Bassey topped that performance in their following game in a rematch against MTU. This time the big man from Nigeria had 23 points on 69 percent shooting to go with 14 rebounds and five blocked shots. What more can you ask for from your center? After winning four games in a row, let’s see just how far Bassey can take this Western Kentucky team with March only one month away.

Who’s Hot

Terry Taylor

The Governors are lucky to have a guard like Taylor on their team for several reasons. At 6’5 230, this young man is one of the strongest guards in college ball and it shows on the court and the box score. He is averaging 10.9 rebounds this season as a guard which in and of itself is incredible.
Taylor had a huge game in a win over Eastern Kentucky on February 4th. The Kentucky native scored 30 points on 62 percent shooting from the field to go with 14 boards, four assists, and a steal. Terry showed off his range as well making 75 percent of his 3-pt attempts. This was the Governor’s third win in a row.

Who’s Not

Anybody going up against Gonzaga

The Zags currently have a 19-0 overall record and an 10-0 record in conference play. Anyone who faces them is in big trouble, even if it is a highly ranked team. Pepperdine who was a .500 team going into the matchup was just overwhelmed by the deep scoring production of the Bulldogs. Gonzaga had six guys score in double figures, four of which had at least 15. If one guy is having an off night, Gonzaga has enough scorers to make up for it then some.

Pacific had a different story against the Zags more recently. Gonzaga just played smothering defense holding the Tigers to just 58 points on 39 percent shooting from the field. You have to get your depth up if you want a chance against this Bulldog team, especially with all the momentum they currently have.

Top 5 Two-Way Performances of the Week in Mid Major

1. Neemias Queta

The junior 7 footer has done an exceptional job protecting the rim for Utah State all year long averaging 3.1 blocks per contest. He has seven blocks in the Aggies last two games which both resulted in wins. Queta had a 14 point game shooting 55 percent from the floor February 4th in a win over Fresno State. The big fella also had five boards and five blocks in just 21 minutes of play.

2. Noah Gurley

The 6’8 Furman junior had himself a heck of a game in the January 30th win over Western Carolina 75 – 69. Gurley had 17 points on 58 percent shooting as well as three assists, two blocked shots and two steals. Gurley did a little bit of everything for his team in the game.
He is averaging just over 14 points per game this season on 45.9 percent shooting. If Gurley could get that a little more efficient and closer to 50 percent, it could really pay off for him.

3. Cameron Krutwig

Krutwig has been consistently solid for Loyola Chicago all season long. In the first matchup of two against Missouri State, the 6’9 senior scored 18 and made all of his free throws in just 23 minutes of play. Krutwig also contributed eight boards, five assists, and a steal in the win.
In the Ramblers rematch against MOST, Krutwig topped his previous performance and scored 19 on 50 percent shooting. He stuffed the stat sheet this game doing everything, adding five boards, five assists, one blocked shot and three steals. He did it all for his team except sell popcorn.

4. Jason Preston

For a 6’4 guard, this young man sure can rebound. January 29th at Buffalo, Preston had 14 points, nine boards and four assists in the 83-69 win. In Ohio’s next matchup, Preston did even more for his team, scoring 17 points on 50 percent shooting. The Orlando native also added 11 boards, six assists and a steal. That kind of production all around the game is so valuable and won’t go unnoticed. One thing Preston has to be careful with is turnovers. He had six of them in each of the last two games which I’m sure he is not pleased with.

5. Corey Kispert

Kispert did a little bit of everything in Gonzaga’s 18th win in a row, this time the Pacific Tigers being the victim. Kispert had a 14 point game to go with two boards, two steals, and a blocked shot. Kispert is averaging a hair under 20 points per game this season. The nice thing about games like these is he is unselfish and has no problem letting his teammates shoot it if they have the hot hand. That is the beauty of the deep Gonzaga team.

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