Archive - Nov 2011
Player of the week
Tim Frazier, Penn State.
The basketball team in State College is understandably an afterthought these days with the scandal centered on the football team. But maybe it shouldn’t be. After three wins in three games, it’s clear who has taken the reins after standout Talor Battle’s departure. Not only has 6-foot-1 junior point guard Tim Frazier put up 16, 19 and 26 points (20.7 avg.) his first three games to lead the Big Ten, he also heads the class in assists (8.7 per game) and steals (3.3). Penn State’s only returning starter has a 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio so far, consistent with last year’s (2.11, sixth in the Big Ten), and he’s shot 51.2 percent from the field. Last season, Frazier only averaged 6.3 points, but led the team with 5.1 assists per game. Now, wins over Hartford, Radford and Long Island aren’t exactly signs of first-year coach Patrick Chambers leading the Nittany Lions to the promised land, but good things might be in store. Penn State also has freshman Trey Lewis to look forward to, who has shot 6-of-13 from 3-point range and is averaging 9.7 points in three starts.
Ben Brust, Wisconsin. The sophomore reserve guard, who scored all of 10 points in 15 games last season, put up career highs in back-to-back games, scoring 14 Nov. 12 against Kennesaw State and 17 Wednesday against Colgate. The 3-point specialist drilled all four attempts in the Badgers’ opening win, then hit four of his first five in the 68-41 win on Wednesday. He’s 8-of-16 from beyond the arc through two games. Look for this to be a trend for the Badgers, who hit double-digit 3-pointers in both games (15 and 10, respectively).
Draymond Green, Michigan State. It’s hard to call someone out after two games, especially this big-bodied senior forward who is one of the top NBA prospects in the Big Ten. But Green but has looked flat-out sloppy in the Spartans’ two tough opening games. He has 10 turnovers, just four assists and has shot just 10-of-34 (29.4 percent) thus far. Green missed a 3-pointer Tuesday against Duke that could have brought the Spartans within two after they fell into a 20-point hole. He still came out of the first pair of games averaging a double-double (11.5 points, 12.5 rebounds) while playing 15 more minutes than his next-closest teammate. He had an impressive 18 rebounds in the opener against North Carolina, then seven against Duke. He was expected to lead this team after averaging 12.6 points and 4.1 assists per game last year, and still has ample time to get it going. He has hoisted up too many shots, though, and the assist-to-turnover ratio must improve. That shouldn’t be a problem as the Spartans start play against teams not ranked in the national top 10.
Thusrsay's edition of "NCAA Daily Links" was posted late due to site difficulties:
Hello again folks, only 17 more Thursdays until we get into the heat of March Madness! Here are some big news stories happening today:
LBSU shocks No. 9 Pittsburgh Behind Ware's Career Night
(Devin Ugland/Daily 49er)
Player of the Week:
Dorenzo Hudson isn't a household name, but his performance in Virginia Tech's opening week is certainly worth a bit of recognition. The fifth year senior had a relatively quiet 9 points in game one, but followed with outbursts of 18 and 31 in games 2 and 3 respectively. Personally, I think the slow start was directly related to point guard Erick Green's absence. Hudson (like his predecessor, Malcolm Delaney) seems to be much more effective with a second ball-handler in the backcourt with him. This is apparent in his statistical output, as Hudson is averaging 24.5 points per game on 65% shooting in the two games that Green has started. Virginia Tech is very fortunate to have Hudson with the team this season after his injury last year. With Delaney and Allen having graduated, the Hokies will look to Hudson (along with Victor Davila and JT Thompson) for senior leadership. If Hudson can provide that and continue to score at a high rate, the Hokies might sneak up on a few teams. They'll have an excellent opportunity to see what they're really made of on Wednesday against Syracuse.
Hey, I didn't expect to be writing about him either. In fact, I doubted NC State would even be worth a mention prior to the return of CJ Leslie, but the Wolfpack is starting to make some noise, and it's primarily because of 6'8" forward Richard Howell. Coming off a season where he averaged a mere 7.8 points per game, Howell has burst out of the 2011-2012 gate, averaging 19.5 PPG on 55.6% shooting. He's also managing to pull down 11.5 rebounds while dishing out 3 assists and swatting 2 shots per game. All of this while only averaging a single turnover and shooting 81.8% from the stripe. Maybe this kind of efficient production is a fluke due to the flakey competition NC State has played so far. Maybe NC State's first-year coach Mark Gottfried is responsible, or maybe it's just the fact that he doesn't have Tracy Smith (graduated) and CJ Leslie (suspended) in his way at the moment. Anyway, if he continues to play well the Wolfpack could finish higher in the standings than I initially thought.
Jones isn't playing this year, so I'm not sure if he technically qualifies as "cold", but I don't feel there are a lot of better candidates at this point. It hasn't even been a full week yet. Some teams have only played one game. The competition has been pretty soft so far, and guys like Daniel Miller, Carson Desrosiers and Terrence Shannon are putting up big numbers. All things considered, nobody has really disgusted me yet, so this week I'm letting the players off easy -- or at least the players who are playing. Turns out Miami's DeQuan Jones will not be playing in the 2011-2012 season due to allegations that he accepted $10,000 while being recruited by Miami. This is an extreme disappointment, as Jones is perhaps the most electric athlete in the ACC, and consequently a very fun player to watch. He's still practicing with the team and could return next season, but this is yet another big blow for the Hurricanes, who have already lost forward/center Julian Gamble for the season and star center Reggie Johnson for a few months due to injuries.
Top 5 ACC Centers
1. Tyler Zeller - Zeller's not the most physical center you'll find, but he's one of the most mobile 7-footers in the country and he's got an impressive and expanding skill-set. His defense is underrated and effective, but he definitely needs to improve his defensive rebounding.
2. Mason Plumlee - Players with Mason Plumlee's size, athleticism and passing ability are quite rare. He's a tough player defensively and has a nice shooting stroke on the offensive end. His listed height of 6’10” is fine for Coach K, but it might make his ideal position power forward at the next level.
3. Reggie Johnson - As I alluded to before, Johnson suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee while playing in a pick-up game over the summer. If the 300-pounder can recover quickly, he'll be a devastating weapon for the Hurricanes during ACC play.
4. Bernard James - James is a perfect fit for Florida State due to his excellent shot-blocking ability and his tough, physical defense. He's also proven to be useful on the offensive end, scoring 18 points on 8/9 shooting against UCF on Monday.
5. Daniel Miller - I could have gone a few different ways with #5 on this list, but I opted to give the prestigious honor to Georgia Tech's Daniel Miller. The still green center put up 14 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists and a block in a win against Delaware State on Monday. I'm sure the Yellow Jackets’ new head coach Brian Gregory would love to see similar performances from Miller against better competition throughout this season.
Welcome back basketball fans! Hope you enjoyed the 24 hour Madness. Seth Sommerfeld stayed in yesterday's chat the entire time, hopefully he is sleeping off his basketball hangover. To those who stopped by last night, it was definitely a good time. Hoping we can have some more in the future. On to the Daily:
Mike Krzyzewski Sets All-Time College Basketball Wins Record
Hello again College Basketball fans, hope that this 24 Hour College Basketball Madness is treating you well! If you would like to chat while watching the games, Seth Sommerfeld has been up watching every single game, so come on by: http://www.nbadraft.net/ncaa-hoops-tip-marathon-chat. I will be stopping by later on, but first, the Daily:
Mike Krzyzewski Goes For Win 903 Tonight
(Dwayne Simpson/Sporting Alert)