Mid Major Blog

Player of the Week

Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga Bulldogs

Kelly OlynykKelly OlynykThe 7 foot Junior center, resembles a Grateful Dead (Dead Head) more than he does a standout basketball player. He has transformed his basketball career going from a bench warmer over the last couple of years to a solid contributor and potential first round draft pick. He’s currently averaging 17 ppg and 7 rpg on a very deep and talented Gonzaga basketball team, currently ranked 9th in cbb. In the Zags last game he had 33 points (12-15 fg), also grabbing 10 rebounds in the victory over the Santa Clara Broncos. When watching Olynyk, what really stands out is how well he runs the floor, his natural footwork around the basket, and his ability to finish. Olynyk is yet another Canadian prospect looking to make the jump to the NBA and has begun to garner first round notice.

Who’s Hot

Mike Muscala, Bucknell Bison

Muscala is still very invisible to the big time college basketball scene, but he continues to perform and put up big numbers against solid competition. Against #12 Missouri, he managed to keep the game close in a hard fought 66-64L on the road. Muscala posted 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the defeat against the SEC’s Missouri Tigers. I look for this kid to work his way onto the draft board, sort of the same way Anthony Bennett did a few weeks ago. His 19 ppg, 10 rpg, and 2.5 bpg easily place him among the elite big men in college basketball.

Cleanthony Early, Wichita State Shockers

He can flat out shoot the basketball period. Over his last two games Early has produced to the tune of 31 ppg in two wins for the Shockers. His Head Coach, Gregg Marshall was quoted as saying, “he’s never had a player with the skill set of early before during his career.” Currently averaging 15 ppg and 5 rpg, the 6’8” junior forward will be someone to keep a close eye on for the rest of the season. He could appear on the draft board very soon if his shockers continue their winning ways. This year draft is going to be about finding the hidden gems and Early could very well be one come June.

Nate Wolters, South Dakota State

After being inconsistent in the early part of December, Wolters has averaged over 25 ppg in his last four appearances for the Jackrabbits. Wolters is definitely one of the top five scoring PG’s in the country that has great size at about 6’4”. He can knock down open shots and at the next level that’s becoming a loss art. I would compare Nate Wolters to a Mark Price/ John Paxson type point guard, whom can distribute the ball among his playmakers and knock down the open three from the pass out of the double team.

Doug McDermott, Creighton Blue Jays

McDermott has stayed very consistent during the season and his game at Cal last week was no different. He scored 34 points (10-17 FG/ 4-7 3FG/ 10-10 FT), pulled 9 rebounds in 33 minutes of play. He continues to display his solid offensive skill set, although his improvement on defense is very evident and he’s been able to impact games on defense.

Tony Mitchell , North Texas

Mitchell has continued his strong play and started to perform over his Last 3 games, averaging 19 ppg and 11 rpg, which is a huge improvement over his prior disappointing performances. His demeanor has changed and he appears to be trying to uplift his teammates even though his team is having a disappointing season. His stock has dipped but I expect him to emerge as a top 15 pick due to his potential and his athleticism. He’s going to be the most versatile and athletic player in this year’s draft class. Mitchell’s touch around the basket is what makes him intriguing to GM’s because most guys classified as “athletes” don’t have the ability to finish with finesse as well as power around the basket. He also has a high motor (intensity level), which gets him in foul trouble at times but NBA teams would rather have a high energy player than a player that’s emotionally inconsistent during the grueling NBA season.

Anthony Bennett, UNLV Runnin’ Rebels

Bennett has continued his excellent play over the last three basketball games averaging over 20 ppg and 9 rebounds. He continues to get comfortable with the college game and the challenge for him comes as conference play starts and teams begin to focus more on him. Bennett is currently shooting 40% from behind the arc, not bad for the 6’8” freshman.

Who’s Cold

Isaiah Canaan, Murray State

Canaan is having a very up and down season with a young basketball team. He’s playing extended minutes, which has caused him to turn the ball over more frequently than he has in years past. He’s still scoring, but he needs to find a way to get his teammates easy opportunities. There has been a lot of red flags about Canaan, not having the ability to be a pass first point guard at the next level.

TOP 5 Mid Major Teams

Gonzaga #9

San Diego State University#16

Creighton University #13

Wichita State#23

Butler University #14

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Olynyk: One thing that didn't

Olynyk: One thing that didn't stand out from his great performance was his ability to run the floor.

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Joined: 06/12/2011
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mitchell and olynyk

I think Olynyk does run great. But he's got that natural sort of ease. Unusual prospect though ...not sure about his lack of rebounding. I love Tony Mitchell. I think he has the most pure athletic talent of anyone in this draft...save maybe archie goodwin. WIll be interesting to see who looks best at the end of this process, Bennett or Mitchell.

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