Player of the Week
Rasir Bolton, Penn State
Tony who? The freshman Rasir Bolton is showing shades of Tony Carr, the Nittany Lions’ departed star, in his early college career, and he seems to be the latest in a long line of talented Penn State guards. After dropping 17 in a narrow loss to Indiana, he torched Colgate for 27 , including a 7-9 shooting performance from beyond the arc.
He just turned 19 in September, but he plays with the fearlessness of a seasoned college hoops veteran. He seems to have the green light, and understandably so as he is connecting on 43% of his three-point attempts. It will be interesting to see if he slows down when the slate gets tough as Big Ten play begins in under a month.
Amir Coffey, Minnesota
Coffey exploded for 32 against a ranked Nebraska squad and followed that up with a quieter but efficient 12 point performance against Arkansas State. The rangy shooting guard is expanding his offensive game to carve out a role for himself as a distributor, recording 6 assists in each game this week. The junior is an underrated scorer on the wing and is taking over as the go-to guy for the Gophers this year. He will have a lot of pressure to create looks for himself and with the kind of efficiency you showed last week, he can handle it just fine.
Tyler Cook, Iowa
A popular pick for a breakout year, Cook is now an upperclassman big man wth a grown man’s body at the power forward position. He had an excellent game, hitting 75% of his shots en route to a double-double of 26 and 11 against in-state rival Iowa State. That now gives him an average of 20 and 11 over his past three games. Cook is one of the better big men in the Big Ten this season and if Iowa is too finally get over the hump and seek a tournament berth once more, they must hope Cook’s production only continues to improve from here.
Brad Davison, Wisconsin
Wisconsin is looking like the Badger teams of old this season, primarily due to the utter dominance of Ethan Happ as well as the emergence of D'Mitrik Trice. But Davison, who was second on the team in scoring last season as a freshman, seems off in year two for him in Madison. He’s shooting 35% this season and his PPG has dipped from 12.1 to 7.9. And he capped it all off with 0 points in a 45-minute OT game against Marquette this week. Davison has shot 40% or below in each of his past 6 games. You have to think he will break out of his sophomore slump eventually and when he does, the Big Ten had best be on high alert when the Badgers come to town.
Ryan Cline, Purdue
Superman did his part but the closest thing to the sidekick for Carsen Edwards, Ryan Cline, had a rough pair of games this week. Going 4/29 from the floor (13%) and 1/15 (7%) from the arc, Cline did not hit his first three in this two-game stretch until late in the second half of the second game against Texas. Purdue is keeping it close against several good opponents, but someone besides Carsen Edwards will have to play well in the waning stages of any game to seal the deal against quality opponents.
2) Michigan State
4) Ohio State
11) Penn State