Extra Longhorn

Player(s) of the Week

Myles Turner - Texas

Myles TurnerMyles TurnerAfter putting together a nice couple of games early in his collegiate career, this week against St. Francis was Myles Turner’s official coming out party. The 6’11’’ frosh went off for 25 points, on 11-12 shooting, while hauling down 10 rebounds, and blocking 3 shots in only 25 minutes off the bench. Turner dominating a small school wasn’t his only impressive performance this week. Sunday afternoon he was a key part in Texas’ down to the wire victory over defending champs, U-Conn. Myles notched 7 points, 5 rebounds, blocked 5 shots, and while his shot wasn’t falling like it was earlier in the week, Turner’s length made getting points at the rim very difficult for the Huskies. Already leading the Big 12 in blocked shots, Turner keeps improving seemingly every week, and going forward, I’m sure he’ll be a regular appearance on this section of the blog.

Perry Ellis - Kansas

As the Kansas Jayhawks prepared to kick off tournament play in the Orlando Classic this week, they were desperately needing someone to step up and take control of this young team still reeling from an epic beat down at the expense of the Kentucky Wildcats. KU’s most experienced rotation player, Perry Ellis took his game to another level, and helped guide Kansas to the Orlando Classic Championship.

The 6’8’’ junior, took home MVP honors for the tournament, and averaged a commanding 19.33 points per contest, and 9.66 rebounds in three consecutive wins against Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Michigan State. Ellis’ experience as a low post technician served him well in the Championship game as he consistently took advantage of Spartan defenders on the block, and his energy on the glass was something that he has often lacked during his first two seasons. With the inexperienced Jayhawks still growing, and figuring out their team identity, Perry’s play must continue to add stability, and leadership to keep their trajectory headed upwards throughout the non-conference schedule.

Who’s Hot

LeBryan Nash - Oklahoma State

Senior foward, Le’Bryan Nash, has been on the radar for a long time, and early in his senior season, he’s really coming into his own as the on floor leader and first option for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Nash is currently ranked 2nd in the Big 12 in scoring, by pacing OSU with 18.3 points per game, and he’s also sporting career highs in rebounds and assists, with 6.7 and 2.0 per outing. His athletic ability has always made him hard to handle, but with his new role, he’s taking full advantage, and is getting to the charity stripe 9 times per game during his first 6 games. In his only game this week, Le’Bryan torched Tulsa to the tune of 21 points in only 25 minutes as the Cowboys rolled to a double digit victory.

Who’s Not

Jordan Woodard - Oklahoma

Sophomore point guard, Jordan Woodard, proved he was ready to make the jump right out of high school for the Oklahoma Sooners. After a steady freshman campaign, Woodard has come out of the gate cold in 2014-15. In his first 6 games, Jordan is just 10-40 from the field, and 1-14 from downtown. He’s also had some uncharacteristic games in which he’s turned the ball over more times than he’s dished assists. His 1.3 assist to turnover ratio is a far cry than the 2.19 mark he sported a season ago. The Sooners are a well balanced team, with some good depth, but for them to live up to their pre-season billing, Jordan Woodard will need to find his shot, and take better care of the basketball.

Kelly Oubre - Kansas

Former McDonalds All-American, Kelly Oubre, came into Lawrence with a fair amount of hype surrounding him. Blessed with jaw dropping hops, and a smooth left handed jumper, Oubre had some expectations surrounding him before he had ever set foot on a collegiate basketball court. Over his first 6 games, the young swingman has mustered just 7.8 minutes per game, and 2.2 points per contest. Kelly still has a great deal of potential. He was one of only one or two Jayhawks that had a nice moment against Kentucky. Kelly is shooting a 40% clip from beyond the three point line, but his development may be a little further away than first expected. Playing on a young team, I’m sure he’ll have opportunities to earn more minutes, but for the Jayhawks to reach their potential as a team, Oubre will need to continue to work hard and earn more minutes on the court.

Top 5 Transfer Players

1. Bryce Dejean Jones - Iowa State

It almost wouldn’t be typical Iowa State team without a transfer playing a critical role in Ames, and this season is no exception. Bryce Dejean-Jones, formerly of UNLV, is currently ISU’s 2nd leading scorer (14.8 ppg) 2nd leading rebounder (7.3 rpg) and is also ranked 3rd on the team in assists (2.8 apg). With Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane graduating, Bryce’s experience, and ability to effect multiple areas of the game was imperative if Iowa State hoped to pick up where they left off last season. A potential 2nd round draft pick, the Senior swingman, has adjusted well to playing next to a true point guard in Monte Morris, and not reverting back to his dribble happy, and often ball stopping tendencies.

2. Tashawn Thomas - Oklahoma

Entering the 2014-15 season, Tashawn Thomas was one of the biggest name transfers available, before eventually singing with the Sooners. Despite not overly spectacular numbers, Thomas has made his presence felt for Oklahoma, especially on the block. Averaging 8 points per game, and 5.7 rebounds, he’s meshed well with the returning Sooners, and given them a different look down low next to Ryan Spangler. Recently coming off an 8 rebound 2 block performance against #2 Wisconsin, Tashawn’s length and toughness on the glass paired with Spangler’s below the rim rebounding prowess, has Oklahoma more well built to handle bigger and more versatile teams down the road.

3. Jonathan Holton - West Virginia

West Virginia is off to a terrific start this season, and transfer Jonathan Holton is a major reason behind this early success. The 23 year old forward landed in Morgantown after stops at Rhode Island, and Palm Beach State College. At 6’8’’, Holton already has two double doubles under his belt, and was a key factor in the Mountaineers upset victory over Connecticut. Jonathan is West Virginia’s 2nd leading scorer (12.8 ppg) and rebounder ( 8.0 rpg ) and he’s also stuffing the stats on the defensive end by averaging 2.1 steals and 1.4 blocks per contest. Now that the Mountaineers have captured the Puerto Rico Tip off Championship trophy, there’s no doubt that Holton’s addition will be key in West Virginia reaching the NCAA tournament.

4. Anthony Hickey Jr. - Oklahoma State

With Oklahoma State losing both parts of their starting backcourt from last season, adding a transfer with experience running an offense was an added plus for Coach Ford’s 2014 recruiting class. With over 3,000 minutes logged in his first three seasons at LSU, Anthony Hickey Jr. has stepped right in, and helped guide the Cowboys to a 6-0 start. Averaging 9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.7 steals per game, Hickey has proved himself a very pesky perimeter defender, and a reliable ball handler capable of handling pressure without turning the ball over.

5. Kenrich Williams - TCU

TCU has also started off the season better than expected, and formerly of New Mexico Junior College, Kenrich Williams’ blue collar style of play has meshed well with the Horned Frogs. Coming off a 10 point 11 rebound performance in a win over Mississippi State, Williams has now upped his averages to 8.9 points per game, and 6.6 rebounds per contest. Not only willing to bang in the post, Williams also has a nice face up game, and is a capable jump shooter. As TCU continues to try to build their program, having a sophomore like Kenrich Williams, who’s able to produce right away, is most certainly a good sign for the Horned Frogs going forward.

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