Player of the Week
Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
After showing signs of growth during his freshman year with Texas Tech, sophomore guard Jarrett Culver has emerged as the go-to scorer this season with the departures of Zhaire Smith and Keenan Evans. During the Red Raiders’ first go-around against a power 5 school, Culver dropped 18 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists en route to the 78-63 victory over USC. Culver followed up the performance by scoring a season-high 26 points while shooting 50% from the field during the 70-52 win over a sneaky-good Nebraska team. Culver then wrapped up the week by adding 20 points to go along with six assists and five rebounds to conclude the 93-62 blowout over Northern
Colorado. The ability to effect the game in multiple facets is why Culver is a prospect to look out for the 2019 NBA Draft, as he is potentially poised to sneak his way towards the first round.
Who’s HotCameron McGriff
Oklahoma State has gotten off to an unexpectedly impressive start with a record of 4-2 against more than worthy opponents. Junior forward Cameron McGriff has certainly done the most with his opportunities which has risen steadily over his first three stints with the Sooners. That being said, this may be the year he finally breaks out and becomes the
face of the program. Oklahoma State was able to fend off an exciting Memphis team 84-64 on Thanksgiving. While McGriff only was able to attempt seven shots from the floor, he still managed to put up a double-double consisting of 11 points and 12 rebounds. He also had two blocks and committed zero fouls in the process. While McGriff and the rest of the Sooners weren’t able to pull off the upset against Villanova, the team was able to recoup and defeat No. 19 LSU 90-77 last Sunday. McGriff perhaps has his best outing of the season, dropping 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting. In order for Oklahoma State to be a horse in the race, McGriff will need to remain consistent and reliable on both ends of the floor.
Quentin Grimes, Kansas
After having a more than impressive freshman debut against a ranked Michigan State team, Quentin Grimes has failed to maintain the lofty expectations during the course of the season thus far. He’s been virtually a non-factor for Kansas, as he’s failed to reach even double-figures in scoring during the team’s last three outings. He’s also seen a dip in minutes during the three-game skid as well, which means that head coach Bill Self is still trying to figure out the rotations for this relatively new roster. It appears that Kansas hasn’t missed a beat, however, as the Jayhawks are back as the No. 1 ranked team in the country. With that being said, Grimes can add another dimension to this team and make them an even more dangerous offense that currently presented.
Top 5 Table Setters
1.) Alex Robinson, TCU
The senior point guard for TCU has capitalized on the increased workload with Jaylen Fisher still sitting out via injury. While Robinson is a more than capable scorer, currently averaging 14.0 per game, it’s worth-noting that the Horn Frogs rely on him heavily to orchestrate the offense. His Big 12 leading 9 assists per game has turned TCU into one the more efficient offenses in the conference. His most eye-opening performances includes 14 assists versus Fresno State and 13 in the most recent victory against Eastern Michigan.
2.) Nick Weiler Babb, Iowa St.
The grad senior Nick Weiler-Babb has been the stabilizer for Iowa State during the early part of the season. While he hasn’t had that one game that stands out from the rest, he’s been very consistent with his distribution of the basketball, garnering at least five assists in three game and six in one. It’s also important to know that Weiler-Babb has gone two straight contest without committing a turnover, which certainly plays into the strength of the Cyclones. There’s a lot of mouths to feed on Iowa State, and Weiler-Babb’s unselfish play enables this offense to function at a high level.
3.) Kerwin Roach II, Texas
After coming off less than desirables performances, senior guard Kerwin Roach II has began to gain his groove back on the offensive end of the court. Roach had perhaps one of the most impressive individual games of the season, scoring 32 points as well as adding seven assists en route to the 92-89 upset win over No. 7 UNC. Despite struggling to shoot from the field against No. 11 Michigan State, Roach still was able to make an impact by setting up his teammates with five assists. For a player who is known to be a score-first guard, it’s encouraging to see the unselfishness in Roach’s game.
4.) Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
While Culver’s scoring is most definitely coveted, the playmaking ability has also seen an uptake from his freshman campaign. Culver has earned at least four assists in five of his six games played so far this season. He has really put the responsibility on himself to run the offense. His ability to know when to pass and when to score has made Culver one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the Big 12.
5.) Isaac Likekele, Oklahoma St.
While turnovers were a glaring issue for freshman guard Isaac Likekele during his first few games of his collegiate career, he’s been able to clean up the flaws and establish himself as one the staples for Oklahoma State for the present and future. The freshman had a near triple-double effort during the Sooners’ victory over No. 19 LSU. He finished the game with nine points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. While Likekele is nowhere near a finished product, head coach Mike Boynton has given him the keys to the offense early on in the season.