Mid Major Player of the WeekTaevion Kinsey
The 6’5 athletic guard out of Columbus, Ohio has made a significant jump in production now in his 3rd season at Marshall. Kinsey (pictured) is a multi-threat player on the offensive side of the ball capable of excelling playing without the ball in his hands and can also handle it like a true point guard. His explosive athleticism allows him to finish around the rim with ease. His mid range game is a strength and seems very comfortable getting to his spots. Kinsey being able to shoot from range at a decent clip while also having the ability to put the ball on the floor and fly by defenders is eye catching to say the least.
Kinsey now being seven games into his junior year, the progress he’s made each season is apparent. He is currently averaging 21.7 points per game on a ridiculously efficient 65 percent shooting from the floor and 41.7 percent from beyond the arc. He’s also averaging a very solid 2/1 A/TO ratio. This young man has the potential to be a very solid defensive player as well given his quickness and 6’5 frame. He shows flashes on defense like in the the Thundering Herd’s win over RMU. Kinsey had a nice game offensively scoring 17 points on 77 percent shooting but he also recorded three steals and a blocked shot in the win. Taevion Kinsey is perhaps the biggest reason Marshall is 6-1 so far this season. Expect him to continue improving. Kinsey is now projected as a late lottery pick for the 2021 draft.
The 9-0 Bulldogs rank number one in the country right now and for good reason. Corey Kispert is the leading scorer for this undefeated Bulldog squad averaging over 21 points per game on 61 percent shooting from the field and over 51 percent from deep. Very efficient numbers for the 6’7 forward. Drew Timme must be mentioned as well being the second leading scorer on this team, averaging over 19 points per contest on an impressive 61 percent shooting.
Two more players on this team have been very impressive this season so far. One being Jalen Suggs and the other being Joel Ayayi. Suggs is averaging 15 points per game this year and pretty much the floor general of this team averaging a team best 5.9 assists. His ability to score on his own in a number of ways, distribute the basketball, and play the passing lanes on defense the way he does has him ranked high on many draft boards. Ayayi actually leads the Bulldogs in rebounds per game despite being a guard. That just shows his nose for the ball and aggressiveness. He also averages 11.6 points per game on 60 percent shooting. Gonzaga does not appear to be slowing down any time soon. Full speed ahead for the talented Bulldogs.
Who’s NotNeemias Queta
The seven footer from Portugal has some potential to be a nice center but he has some components of his game that need work. Based on his numbers from his freshman and sophomore seasons, he has taken a small step back in his third season from a production standpoint. In the last few games for Utah State, he seems to have a good game on just one end of the floor but not both.
Utah State played SJSU back to back on 12/21 and 12/23. Queta had just eight points in the first contest but did have an okay all around game also contributing nine boards, five assists, and an impressive six blocked shots. Two days later, he had another good game on one end of the floor but not the other. Another big defensive performance grabbing 11 rebounds to go with another six blocked shots. But again, the big man only had nine points. A good thing is that Utah State won both of these games so there isn’t much to feel bad about. If this young man can add some moves on offense as well as improve his jumper and free throw shooting, he can become something special.
This 6’4 freshman has supreme quickness and a lethal first step when putting the ball on the floor. He is quickly becoming the focal point for USF and is one of their top rated recruits ever. Despite a heartbreaking one point loss to Memphis on the road, Murphy still had a nice game with 20 points on 50 percent shooting to go with four boards, three assists and two steals. Murphy has some strong potential and should continue to improve as the season goes on.
Top 5 Forwards/Centers
The 6’11 junior has had a very strong start to the 2020-21 season. He is capable of huge outings on offense and defense. Bassey had 27 in Western Kentucky’s most recent win over Alabama shooting a clean 78 percent from the floor to go with 12 boards. Bassey is a monster protecting the rim plain and simple. Could be the best rim protector in college basketball averaging 3.4 blocks per game this year. He is not afraid to bang down low and dunk on guys. He has a nice low post game. He is able to knock down the open three ball if defenders don’t respect his shot. Athletic and can move his feet on defense getting switched onto smaller players. High motor, high energy player.
The 6’7 senior is leading the number one team in the nation in scoring. That must feel good. Kispert had a dominant performance in the Zags most recent win over DXST. Anyone who can score 25 points on 62 percent shooting in just 23 minutes of play deserves some attention. A great thing to see if your’e not too sure about this young man is the steady improvement he has shown since he joined the Gonzaga program. He went from averaging 6.7 points freshman year to, eight points his sophomore year, 13.9 his junior year, and now averaging over 21 points per game just speaks to the work this young man has put in over the last few years.
3. Paul Atkinson
The 6’10 junior from West Palm Beach, Florida is having a superb season for Yale averaging 17.6 points per game on 63 percent shooting from the field. Atkinson scored only nine points per game in each of his two seasons with the Bulldogs but time in the gym and getting another 10 minutes of playing time per game has him scoring almost twice as much as a junior. He is his teams’ leading scorer and second leading rebounder. If he can improve his mid range shooting and his 30 percent three point shooting, he can become even more of an offensive threat.
4. Noah Gurley
The Furman forward is having a nice season and has made a jump from last year defensively. Gurley is contributing 14.6 points per game for Furman this year so far on over 48 percent shooting. He also averaged at least a steal and a block per game so he is certainly active on both ends. In nine games this year, the 6’8 forward 35.9 percent from beyond the arc which isn’t terrible but if he can get that number closer to 40, it would pay off dividends for him and his team.
The 6’9 senior has shown improvement in scoring all four years at Loyola Chicago. He’s a smart low post big man with very solid fundamentals and a soft touch around the basket. Not the most athletic guy out there but has good awareness, especially in transition being a rim runner with good hands. Great at using his 255 lb. frame to get position down low on bigger players. He excels at dribble handoffs, give and go situations. Krutwig is also active on defense playing the passing lanes looking to turn defense into offense.