Player of the Week
Anthony Davis, Kentucky
Davis takes down POW honors for the third time this season. His breakout 27 point (10-12 fg) 14 reb, 7 block effort against Arkansas looked effortless. His offensive efficiency and game-wrecking defense simply never take a night off, and along with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist he continues to carry his inconsistent teammates. In two road victories this week at Auburn and at Tennessee, he scored 16 PPG on 13/19 shooting, grabbed 7 RPG, blocked 8 more shots and swiped 5 steals (exceptional hands for a big, 1.6 SPG). In 72 minutes of composite court time he did not turn the ball over. Davis leads the country in blocked shots at 4.6 per contest, and is 7th in FG percentage at 64.3%. UK will face an upgrade in the talent of their opposition this week, as Arkansas and Alabama head to Rupp.
Murphy Holloway, Mississippi
After missing three games with a sprained ankle he suffered against MTSU, the Rebels energizer bunny returned with his trademark vengeance. Boasting a double-double on the year (10.6 & 10), Holloway added two more DD’s to his tally in a home win over Arkansas and 2OT road loss at Auburn. He averaged 15 points on 13/19 field goals, snatched 12.5 rebounds per game including 5.5 offensive boards, 2 steals and a block. Holloway logged 46 hard fought minutes against Auburn, five more than any other Ole Miss starter. The Rebels are still a jumbled mess, but seem to have improved cohesion since the dismissal of Dundrecous Nelson from the program.
Rodney Hood, Mississippi State
Hood started out his collegiate career like a house on fire, but has cooled down dramatically in recent weeks. He hasn’t shot 50% in a game with 5+ field goal attempts since December 13th. The talented southpaw scored just 8 points in two games this week, making 3/11 shots and taking an 0’fer from the field versus stifling Alabama (0/6). Road games at Mississippi and Vanderbilt aren’t the perfect recipe for a youngster hitting the proverbial wall. The Bulldogs need his scoring on the wing and offensive versatility going forward.
Marquis Teague, Kentucky
The freshman maestro continues to struggle with the turnover bug and the entire Wildcats offense is feeling the effects. Teague has been caught in between all season; “should I aggressively look to score? Or should priority number one be to distribute?” As a result, he’s frequently failed to accomplish either task. His 4.2:3.2 assist: turnover ratio on the season isn’t a work of art, but makes his 8:4 ratio this week look like Picasso. He hit 7/19 shots in road W’s at Auburn and Tennessee, and is shooting 42.5% on the year.
Jordan McRae, Tennessee
The lanky sophomore’s production has been MIA, so it’s no great surprise that his minutes are being distributed elsewhere. McRae hasn’t cracked the 25-minute plateau since December 20th and he’s only scored in double figures twice during that period (12 & 10 points). In two tight losses at Mississippi State and versus Kentucky he took 8 total FG attempts and scored 6 points. While he possesses explosive leaping ability and tremendous range, he needs to mature physically and improve his skill level dramatically.
Top 5 Shot Swatters
1. Anthony Davis, Kentucky- Self-explanatory.
2. Reginald Buckner, Mississippi- Highlight reel shot blocker with excellent athleticism, length and timing. 2.7 BPG.
3. Hunter Mickelson, Arkansas- 26th in the country in swats (2.5) despite only 17 minutes per game. 6’10 freshman is a developing force, and blocked 7 shots versus LSU.
4. Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt- Working his way back into game shape with 1.4 BPG. He averaged 2.6 blocks last season, or a block every 9 minutes of PT.
5. Kenny Gabriel, Auburn- 6’8 senior has seven 3+ block games. He’s progressed from 0.3 BPG as a redshirt sophomore, to 0.9 as a junior to 2.8 this year.
–Patric Young played 13 minutes off the bench at South Carolina battling tendinitis and a blister. He attempted two shots and committed four fouls.
-Damontre Harris recorded his first career double-double versus Vanderbilt with 11 points and 10 boards (7 offensive).
-17-year old freshman Jarnell Stokes scored 9 points in his 2012 debut versus Kentucky. The 6’9 270 pound PF was thrust right into the action and responded admirably. Big things are expected from the top-20 recruit.
-Vanderbilt hit 58% of its shots, 13/22 three-pointers and assisted on 19 of 23 field goals in a ten-point road W at SC.
-LSU was dealt a harsh dose of road reality this week in losses at Arkansas and Alabama. A home bout versus Auburn on Tuesday should be the remedy.