Player of the Week

Matt Stainbrook - Xavier (C, Sr., 6-10, 270, Bay Village, OH)

Matt StainbrookMatt StainbrookXavier began its week with a tough-to-swallow 69-66 overtime road loss to Providence. Along with the play of teammates Myles Davis and Jalen Reynolds, Stainbrook was a key reason why the Musketeers kept it close. Despite being limited by foul trouble in the first half, the 6-foot-10 center picked up his third double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds to go along with four assists. He led the team in points on 8-for-19 shooting and matched Dee Davis for the team-high in assists. Being a though he’s Xavier’s biggest presence in the paint, the team’s attack under the basket was close to non-existent when Stainbrook went to the bench with two fouls with a little over six minutes to go in the first half. He was on pace for a double-double heading into intermission with six points, five rebounds and three assists.

The Musketeers returned home to defeat DePaul 89-76. Stainbrook shot a perfect 7-for-7 from the field on his way to 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block. He was his usual dominating self as he spearheaded Xavier’s 54-24 scoring advantage in the painted area while helping the team erase DePaul’s 13-point lead in the second half, the largest deficit the Musketeers have overcome this season.

The Ohio native capped off the week with a 12 point effort in Xavier’s 66-53 win over No. 21 Georgetown, helping the team capture its first Big East road win of the season and completing its season sweep of the Hoyas. Prior to the win, the Musketeers were on a five-game road losing streak, which was its longest since an eight-game skid in 1987. Stainbrook was 4-for-6 from the field with four rebounds, two assists and one steal. The senior was the anchor to a defense that held Georgetown’s motion offense in check for most of the game. The Musketeers limited the Hoyas to a season-low 16 first half points on four made baskets. He hit a layup with 1:28 left on a quick and deceptive inbounds play that put the team up 58-47 heading into the final minute.

Over the course of the three games, Stainbrook averaged 15.3 points on 59 percent shooting, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.

Who’s Hot?

SirDominic Pointer - St. John’s (G, Sr., 6-6, 196, Detroit, MI)

The Red Storm were up 10 points over No. 5 Duke with 8:35 remaining, but failed to close the Blue Devils out as they rallied to defeat the Johnnies 77-68 at Madison Square Garden. The win gave Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski his 1,000th career win. Pointer finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double. He was 9-for-17 shooting from the floor and added four assists, three steals and three blocks. The senior guard led the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. St. John’s traveled to Creighton three days later, where it suffered a 77-74 lost to a Bluejays team that sits at the bottom of the Big East standings. Pointer was brilliant once again for the Red Storm with 13 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for his third straight double-double. He also recorded team-highs in assists (six), steals (three) and blocks (three) for the second game in the row.

Darrun Hilliard II - No. 7 Villanova (G, Sr., 6-6, 215, Bethlehem, PA)

Hilliard broke out of a three-game slump to score a game-high 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting, including 6-for-10 from beyond the arc, in a No. 7 Villanova 71-50 home win over Creighton. He added five rebounds, two assists and two steals. The senior was very productive in his 32 minutes of play. He was responsible for 14 of Villanova’s 29 points in the first half. The Wildcats’ leading scorer (13.4 points per game) drilled a 3-pointer with 4:04 left in the game to give the team its biggest lead, 67-43.

Myles Davis - Xavier (G, So., 6-2, 195, Plainfield, N.J.)

Davis has had several decent scoring outings this season but has flown a bit under the radar. The sophomore guard had 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting in Xavier’s loss to Providence before scoring a career-high 25 points on 8-for-14 shooting and grabbed a team-leading eight rebounds in the team’s win over DePaul. Davis was 5-for-8 from the floor in the first half and used two scoring bursts the keep the Musketeer’s in the game. He scored six straight points to cut DePaul’s lead to 37-33 with less than four minutes remaining before halftime. Later, he scored five points to bring Xavier within four, 44-40, with a little over one minute left in the half. He ended the week with a game-high 19 points against Georgetown on 6-for-9 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from the 3-point line. During a stretch in the first half when the Hoyas went scoreless from the field for over 11 minutes, Davis scored 13 points. He was 5-for-7 from the floor and shot 75 percent from behind the 3-point line during that time span.

Who’s Not?

Luke Fischer - Marquette (C, So., 6-11, 245, Germantown, WI)
Over his last five games, Fischer had averaged just 6.0 points on 34 percent shooting and 4.2 rebounds. Prior to this five-game stretch, he was averaging 13.1 points on 81 percent shooting and 5.2 rebounds over his first seven games. Teams in the Big East have figured out how to stop the 6-foot-11 center. First by not letting him get to spots in the paint where he’s most effective scoring the ball, and by throwing an extra defender on him when he does get the ball down low. This week, Fischer scored seven points on 2-for-6 shooting against Georgetown, but did make an impact on the defensive end with five blocks despite playing in foul trouble. He followed that up with six points on 3-for-6 shooting in the Golden Eagles 10-point loss to Seton Hall. Marquette has lost four consecutive games and are just 2-8 since the start of Big East play.

Jaren Sina - Seton Hall (G, So., 6-2, 185, Lake Hopatcong, N.J.)

The sophomore guard has not shot over 37 percent in any of Seton Hall’s last seven games, shooting a combined 8-for-39 in that span while averaging just 5.2 points per game. Sina was expected to make a bigger jump in terms of his overall season statistics from last season, but has struggled with his shot from the field and from the 3-point line. In three games this week, he averaged 6.3 points per game on 24 percent shooting, including 19 percent from long range.

Top Five Double-Double Performances

LaDontae Henton - Providence (F, Sr., 6-6, 215, Lansing, Mich.)

The country’s ninth leading scorer dropped 24 points on 9-for-18 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds in Providence’s overtime win over Xavier. It was his third double-double of the season. He led the team in points and rebounds. Henton had 12 of the Friars’ 32 points at the half and five boards. The senior took over the game with 1:24 left in overtime, scoring on a layup before making a jumper and converting on a 3-point play after getting fouled. He gave Providence a 67-64 advantage with 26 seconds remaining, which they never relinquished.

Kris Dunn - Providence (G. So., 6-3, 205, New London, CT)

Dunn recorded his fifth double-double of the season against Xavier with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The country’s leading assist man was two dimes shy of a triple double, notching eight. With Dunn’s double-double, it was the first time Providence had two players register a double-double in the same game since March 14, 2014 when Henton (26 points, 14 rebounds) and Bryce Cotton (18 points, 10 assists) accomplished the feat versus Seton Hall in the Big East Tournament Semifinals. Dunn had 10 points and four rebounds by halftime. He and Henton combined for 44 points and 20 rebounds.

SirDominic Pointer - St. John’s (G, Sr., 6-6, 196, Detroit, MI)

Pointer has had three straight double-double performances. That’s impressive, but in each game he has stuffed the stat sheet across the board. He recorded 15 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, six blocks and two steals in a win against Marquette. In the Duke loss, he scored 21 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and three steals. He then scored 13 points, grabbed 10 boards, dished out four assists, blocked three shots and came up with three steals in St. John’s loss to Creighton. If it weren’t for the Red Storm’s 0-2 record this week, Pointer would have been my Player of the Week in the Big East.

Angel Delagdo - Seton Hall (F, Fr., 6-9, 225, Bajos De Haina, Dominican Rep)

In the Pirates’ loss to DePaul earlier this week, Delgado went for 19 points and was a monster on the glass with 19 rebounds. It was his sixth double-double of the season. Both his points and rebounding totals were career and team highs. Eight of his rebounds were on the offensive end. He was 7-for-11 shooting from the field. Prior to this game, the freshman scored 12 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against Butler. To end this week, he picked up his seventh double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds against Marquette. Delgado has rebounded at an elite level all season, ranking second in the nation among freshmen in rebounding with 9.1 boards. Since the start of Big East play, the freshman has averaged 10.6 points and 10.6 rebounds.

Joshua Smith - Georgetown (C, Sr., 6-10, 320, Kent, WA)

Against Marquette, Smith imposed his will on the Golden Eagles’ front line en route to 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. He was 6-for-8 shooting from the field and 6-for-7 from the charity stripe. He also had two assists and two steals.

Sterling Gibbs - Seton Hall (G, Jr., 6-2, 185, Scotch Plains, N.J.)

It’s safe to say that Gibbs is turning himself into a star. He was responsible for 24 points, including 11 straight for Seton Hall early in the second half, and dished out 10 assists to lead the Pirates to a 80-70 win over Marquette. He was 9-for-17 from the field, including 6-for-12 from the 3-point line. Gibbs hit consecutive 3-pointers to put Seton Hall up by 24, 60-36, in the second half. The Golden Eagles responded with an 11-2 run, but he then came out of a Seton Hall timeout to hit his fifth 3-pointer of the half and sixth of the game to help push the Pirates’ lead to 65-50 with 6:42 to play.

Jalen Reynolds - Xavier (F, So., 6-9, 222, Detroit, MI)

The sophomore forward scored 14 points to go along with a season-high 13 rebounds for his second double-double of the season in Xavier’s loss to Providence. After scoring just two points in the first half, he scored 12 points in the second half on 4-for-5 shooting. He was instrumental in helping the Musketeers come back after the Friars led by as many as 14 after intermission. Reynolds cut the lead to four, 60-56, with 1:18 left in the second half and then came up with a steal on the following possession that led to a breakaway dunk, which cut the lead to two.

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