Player of the Week
Sharife Cooper (Auburn) — The 6-foot-1, 180-pound freshman guard impressed all who witnessed his collegiate debut against Alabama where he recorded 26 points, nine assists, four rebounds and three steals. This stat line matched season-high totals by Auburn players in points, assists and steals. Cooper’s 26-point performance tied the current record for the most points in a home debut by any freshman in Auburn history. It is safe to say the kid absolutely showed-out, scoring or assisting 16 of the Tiger’s 29 made field goals: Yes, he contributed to 55% of the team’s total points. He followed up that performance by topping it with 28 points on Wednesday against Georgia. Like many others, I am beyond excited to see what Sharife Cooper (pictured) has got in store for the rest of this season.
Iverson Molinar (Mississippi State) — The 6-foot-3, 190-pound sophomore from Panama averaged 22 points, 5.5 rebounds and two steals in back-to-back victories over No. 13 Missouri and Vanderbilt. He poured in 30 of his 44 points in the latter portion of the week. He posted 20 points, three rebounds and two assists in a huge win against Missouri. Molinar tied his career-highs in both scoring and rebounding with 24 points and eight boards; as well as tallying four steals at Vanderbilt.
Alabama — Since Dec. 22nd, the Tide have amassed six straight wins in which four of them resulted in double-digit victories. As of this past week though, Bama handled Auburn (94-90) in a hard-fought battle and decimated Kentucky by 20 points (85-65). Primo and Petty Jr. led their team in scoring throughout both matchups.
Texas A&M — After their close matchup with Auburn concluding in a 2-point victory for the Aggies, they’ve dropped two straight games to South Carolina and Tennessee. In both games individually, they scored just 54 points on 34% shooting from the field as they displayed clear difficulty getting shots to fall this past week.
Justin Powell (Auburn) — This freshman guard is easily one of the biggest role players the Tigers have to offer currently upholding the second-most floor time on the team. He leads them in rebounds (6.1 RPG) and assists (4.7 APG) but has not performed up-to-par in the last two matchups for Auburn. Usually recording an average of 11.7 PPG, Powell only posted four points against Arkansas and then added just two points against Texas A&M. ***INJURY UPDATE*** After suffering a concussion against Texas A&M and missing the team’s two subsequent games, Powell has returned to practice this week in hopes to get back on the court for matchups against Georgia and Kentucky.
Top 5 Glass Cleaners
Tolu Smith (Mississippi State) — Smith is currently the best rebounder in the SEC with 105 total boards. He’s grabbed 45 offensive rebounds (OR) averaging 8.8 RPG: Duly noted that there lies a 14-rebound difference between the next player with the most ORs at 31. Allow that stat sink in and understand Smith’s utter dominance around the rim.
Connor Vanover (Arkansas) —Vanover marks the next-best rebounding performance with 82 total boards. He’s tied for the most defensive rebounds (DR) in the SEC with 65 on an average of 5.4 DRPG.
Darius Days (LSU) — Days is the key rebounder for this Tiger unit, grabbing 81 boards boasting an average of 8.1 RPG: 57 of which coming on the defensive end and 24 from the offensive end.
Dylan Disu (Vanderbilt) — Disu is tied with Vanover grabbing the most defensive rebounds with 65 total. He snags a majority of his boards on this end of the floor averaging 5.7 DRPG combined with just 1.6 ORPG.
Herbert Jones (Alabama) — Like Disu, Jones has 79 rebounds on the season averaging 7.1 RPG. He is arguably the most balanced rebounder in the conference with 49 on the defensive end and 30 on the offensive side.