The Real McCoy

Player of the Week

Brandon McCoy – C – UNLV

In his first college game, McCoy went to town during a 108-66 victory over Florida A&M. The 7’1 center has showed an elite inside-outside game scored 25 points (11-19) and hauled in 18 rebounds (9 offensive) in only 23 minutes. With a usage rate like that, expect a lot of big performances from McCoy this season. He also went 3-4 from the free throw line, which, albeit a small sample size, is encouraging.

Brandon McCoyBrandon McCoyIn addition to his scoring and rebounding, McCoy played an impressively well-rounded game for someone in their first college game. He had three assists and only one turnover. Additionally, he recorded two blocks with only one foul. If he is able to be smart and stay on the court, he will be receiving over 30 minutes a game in closer games.

There are very high expectations for the top 20 recruit. He surprised some by passing up on bigger-name schools in major conferences to play for UNLV, and will be given the opportunity to shine all season.

Who's Hot

Jon Elmore – G – Marshall

Despite his struggles from deep (3-11 in the opener, followed by 0-4), Jon Elmore has been on fire lately. He scored 38 points in the season opener, an OT win against UT Martin, and added 8 assists as well. He only had one turnover. In the following game, an 83-74 win over Southern, he scored 20 points and had 6 assists. He had 4 turnovers in this game, but was still very efficient.

What impresses me most about Elmore is his ability to get to the line. the 6’3 guard is not the most athletic player ever, yet he always seems to be at the rim drawing contact. He shot 13-14 from the charity stripe in his first game, and followed that up with a 10-11 performance. That is good for 92% on 12.5 attempts per game. Those are James Harden numbers.

Elmore has been known in the past as a shooter, which is encouraging for him going forward. While he is shooting 20% right now, he converted 35% of his attempts from long range both of the past two seasons. When the junior guard figures out how to balance his driving and shooting game, he will be atop the college scoring leaders all season. In addition to the aforementioned stats, he also has 2.5 rebounds per game and 1.5 steals.

Caleb Martin – G/F – Nevada

The Martin twins, Caleb and Cody Martin are off to a fantastic start after transferring from NC State. Caleb, coming off the bench, is averaging 25 ppg on 54% shooting. He has made all but one of his 19 FTA across 2 games. The 6’7 wing is versatile with his ability to rebound, pass the ball and defend.

He was also key in Nevada’s 88-81 win over Rhode Island Monday night, including one play late in the second half in which he made an off-balance NBA-range three as the shot clock expired. Despite this being the Martins’ first season playing with the Wolf Pack, they have already established themselves as leaders of the team.

It was a huge out-of-conference game for both teams, and one that the committee will go back to in March. Junior guard Jordan Caroline also came up big in that game, contributing 28 points and 12 rebounds. It is worth noting that the three aforementioned players attempted 40 free throws against URI, while the entire Rams roster took 18.

Calvin Hermanson – F – Saint Mary’s

The 6’6 junior forward has started the season off extra hot from the field. In his first game, an 85-68 win over Saint Francis, he shot 9-10 from the field, including 5-6 from three. That was good for 24 points to go along with 7 rebounds. In his next game, He shot 5-7 from the field and scored 16 points.

His shooting splits through two games are 82/67/86, which is unheard of. Hermanson’s scorching start has been key to this Saint Mary’s team that is heavily relying on three players, him, Jock Landale and Emmett Naar. He is a fantastic catch and shoot player, and when he is in the zone, he has the green light.

Who's Cold

EC Matthews – G – Rhode Island

The senior guard was has had a very tough start to the season. Over two games, he is averaging 14 points per on 13 shots per game. He has only attempted 4 free throws per game. His three-point jumper is not falling, as he shot 0-4 in the opener and 2-7 in the loss to Nevada. He is shooting 38.5% from the field, including 18% from deep. For someone that has been known as a scorer, it is disappointing to see him start his final year in college like this.

In addition to his scoring woes, Matthews is having a hard time distributing. Through 2 games, he has 1 assist and 7 turnovers. His assist numbers have consistently gone down since he averaged 2.3 a game freshman year. Combined with a big early season loss to Nevada, the Rams are off to a tough start.

Matthews has also recently been ruled out 4-6 weeks with a fractured wrist that he injured against Nevada. Matthews showed a lot of heart in that game by coming back after being in a lot of pain, but missed two key free throws late in the game.

Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)

The top two teams in the CAA last year both had an opportunity to make an early statement on the road, and were not up to the task. Charleston (1-1) was on the road against the top Mid Major team, Wichita State. This is a team that is known for their defense, and has a lot of continuity with all five starters returning from last season. They were not up for the task at hand. The score at halftime was 47-22 in favor of Wichita State. Although they were able to pick things up in the second half for a final score of 81-63, the first half was much more telling for this Charleston team. Sophomore Grant Riller was the lone bright spot for the team, as he scored 20 points on 7-13 shooting. There are no excuses for that first half, considering the team is essentially the same as it was from last year. They will have to significantly improve if they have any hopes of playing in March.

The reigning CAA champs, UNC Wilmington, had a much more manageable opponent in Davidson. With that said, they also did not step up to the plate. This was another game that was basically over in the first half, after Davidson went into the break up 50-32. Senior forward Peyton Aldridge tore up the Seahawks to the tune of 37 points on 15-24 shooting. While Wilmington lost some of their better players from last year, they still expected more from the team this season. Only Devontae Cacok came to play. The junior forward had a monster game with 22 points and 17 rebounds on 9-15 shooting. The CAA will need to improve significantly if they want any teams in March Madness outside of the conference champion, who at this rate, will be in a play-in game.

Top 5 Mid Major Freshman Spotlight:

1) Brandon McCoy – C – UNLV (#16 in ESPN100)

As mentioned earlier, McCoy is off to a fantastic start with a big opening game of 25 and 18. It's early, and there's a lot of season left, but if this game is any indication, McCoy could be a huge ste forward for the Runnin Rebels program. UNLV has a good roster this year, and are definitely a team to keep an eye on.

2) Jordan Goodwin – G – Saint Louis (#55)

The first of two top-100 Saint Louis recruits, Goodwin is off to an interesting start to his college career. His shooting has been absolutely abysmal, as he is shooting 5.6% from the field. You read that right. One of his 18 attempts has gone in. With that said, he has been doing a little bit of everything. He made 6 free throws in both of his first two games, good for an average of 7 point per game. In addition to that, he is averaging 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. When the shot starts falling, Goodwin will develop into a force for this team.

3) Josh Anderson – GF – Western Kentucky (#80)

Anderson is still awaiting clearance from the NCAA to play. There is still no timetable for a decision to be made. He was missed in their opener, an 85-80 home loss to Missouri State

4) Hasahn French – F – Saint Louis (#90)

French has been a very solid role player for the Spirits, playing 28.5 minutes a game and averaging 9.5 points, 7 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals. He may take some time to develop, but he has a very solid game.

5) Kellan Grady – G – Davidson (NR, #94 on 247sports)

Grady is off to a fantastic start to his college career. He made 7 of his 10 three point attempts in his first game en route to 23 points. The following game, he scored 24 in a big home win over UNC Wilmington. He is shooting 57% from the field, and is contributing 4.5 assists to go with 3 rebounds. He has yet to commit a turnover.