Player of the Week
Trevor Cooney, Syracuse
With CJ Fair and Jerami Grant clearly suffering from post-Duke game hangovers, the 6’4 sophomore carried the Orange offensively versus Notre Dame. Tyler Ennis orchestrated the show masterfully as usual, but Cooney was the only Syracuse player to crack double figures. He tied a school record with 9 three-point makes (12 attempts) en route to scoring 33 of his team’s 61 points. On the defensive end he recorded a 4+ steal game for the fifth time in 22 games. While the marquee names stole the show against Duke, Cooney quietly hit 5/8 shots, knocked down two mid-range jumpers, and recorded a key offensive rebound + put back in the final minutes of regulation. Cooney ranks in the top 50 nationally in both three-point makes (59) and deep accuracy (41%).
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
Standing at 6’5 220, Brogdon is an absolute ox of a combo guard. He’s averaging 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2 steals during the Cavaliers six-game winning streak. To make matters more complicated for defenders, Brogdon has drained 12 of 21 three-pointers over that stretch. The redshirt sophomore leads a balanced scoring attack at 11.8 PPG, reaching double figures in all nine conference games. He’s shooting 89% from the foul line, and got to the stripe 9 times vs. Boston College. Brogdon should be using his powerful frame to soak up contact more frequently (2.5 attempts).
Daniel Miller, Georgia Tech
Stop the presses. After three years and change, Daniel Miller is finally playing aggressive basketball and anchoring the middle for the depleted Yellow Jackets. Over his last four games – with Robert Carter sidelined by a knee – Miller is putting up 17 points (61% shooting), 10 rebounds and 3 blocks per game. Tippy toeing around smaller defenders with indecisive post moves appears to be a thing of the past. Instead of freezing with ball in hand, he’s making quick decisions and confident moves. His combination of size (6’11 275) and skill (excellent passer) has never been in question; the light has clicked on for Miller.
Behind restored confidence, Sulaimon has put together back to back dynamic efforts. He made two extremely high-degree of difficulty three-pointers (one 4-point play opportunity) in the final 48 seconds at Syracuse, including a buzzer beater to send the game to overtime. Clutch jumpers aside, Sulaimon constantly squeezed his way into the middle of the Cuse zone to find open shooters – his six assists tied a season-high.
Sulaimon followed up that monumental effort with 19 points, 5 assists, 4 boards and 2 steals in a disintegration of Wake Forest. The other half of Duke’s shooting guard monster, Andre Dawkins, has drilled 22 treys in his last six games at a 52% clip. He’s averaging 2.4 three-point makes in less than 15 minutes per game. He’s got the prettiest stroke in college basketball right now and legitimately automatic with time and space to fire. Duke’s floor spacing with him on the court is surreal, while of course sacrificing on the defensive end.
Talib Zanna, Pittsburgh
Zanna played a meek second half against Duke, and passive play has become his trademark. He scored 2 points on three shots versus Virginia (3 rebounds), failing to up his level against a physical defense — too many point blank misfires, a non-factor with his back to the basket. Indeed, I’m pretty sure my analysis was identical four years ago.Lamar Patterson
Patterson shot 7/28 versus Duke and UVA, but responded with 25 points on 4 three’s and 9 free throw makes at Miami.
Olivier Hanlan, Boston College
In true head-scratching fashion, the prolific scoring Hanlan hasn’t attempted above 10 FGA for six consecutive games. His total of 22 free throws against Syracuse and UNC serves to explain his dearth of recorded shots there — but he also attempted 1 FT each against Georgia Tech and Notre Dame. I’m not sure what’s going on in Chestnut Hill, but his scoring and playmaking is way down since mid-January.
Top 5 High Flyers
1.Jerami Grant, Syracuse
2.KJ McDaniels, Clemson
3.Justin Anderson, Virginia
4.JP Tokoto, North Carolina
5.Nick Faust, Maryland
North Carolina sophomore Brice Johnson converted on all 8 of his field goal attempts versus Maryland. On the opposite end of the spectrum, NC State freshman Kyle Washington finished with a goose egg in his 8 tries at UNC.
Florida State leading scorer Ian Miller sprained his ankle versus Clemson and sat out vs. Virginia Tech.
Codi Miller-McIntyre, the engine for everything Wake Forest does offensively, rolled his ankle versus Georgia Tech and was unable suit up at Duke.
Maryland freshman Roddy Peters has essentially fallen out of Mark Turgeon’s rotation. He’s played 15 minutes in the past two games, scoring zero points and committing six turnovers.