Archive - Dec 2011
December 8, 2011
A lot of solid action took place last night as a number of marquee teams squared off. Here is the breakdown in today's NCAA Daily:
Patric Young's Big Night Helps #12 Florida Claim OT Victory Over Arizona
(Pat Dooley/Gainesville Sun)
Player of the Week
The Maryland Terrapins don't figure to be much of a threat in the ACC this season, but sophomore Terrell Stoglin will at least keep them relevant. The 6'1" guard has been absolutely dominating the scoreboard this season, and is leading all ACC players in points per game, averaging 22.4. Stoglin displayed his dominance again this week, scoring 31 points in Maryland's 78-71 victory over Notre Dame. Though Maryland didn't project to have a lot of other scoring options this season, the magnitude of Stoglin's breakout has been surprising to me. He's nearly doubled his scoring output from a year ago (11.4 points per game in 2010-2011) and established himself as one of the most electric scorers in the nation. If you discount his 0/9 performance against Alabama, Stoglin's scoring 25.2 points per game, which would be the second highest average in the nation. So if he can continue to perform like he has in the six games this season that he did make a field goal, he might keep the Terps out of the ACC cellar this season.
CJ Leslie has been impressing the nation since his return from a three-game suspension, and until recently, he's been doing it coming off the bench. NC State's 6'9" forward started his first game of the season on Sunday, and scored 14 points on 75% shooting. It was the fifth game consecutive game this season that Leslie has scored in double-figures, and the fourth time he's made at least half of his shots. This is a promising sign for the Wolfpack, as Leslie only managed to shoot 43.3% from the floor a season ago (which is quite poor for a big man). If he can continue to improve his shot-selection (he's shooting 58.7% this season), the sky is the limit for Leslie, who is more known for his freakish athleticism than his offensive prowess. He's clearly at his best around the rim, where he displays an uncanny ability to finish plays through contact. The more he operates down there, the better his team will be.
Dorian Finney Smith
There's no denying Seth Greenburg's prized recruit is a nice talent. In fact, he's having a great season. The versatile forward is averaging 7.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. That is pretty remarkable for a freshman, as he's already leading a respectable Virginia Tech team in both rebounds and assists. Lately, however, his scoring limitations have presented themselves, and the Hokies are suffering because of them. In his team's two losses this week, Finney-Smith averaged 4.5 points per game on 33% shooting. His game doesn't currently revolve around scoring, so this is forgivable, though certainly inconvenient. If he can use his athleticism to finish around the rim better and make open three-point baskets with his solid shooting ability, the Hokies will be a much-better team. If he can get hot by the time conference play starts up, it would give his squad a great third scoring option behind guards Erick Green and Dorenzo Hudson.
December 7, 2011
Welcome college basketball fans to another edition of NCAA Daily. Number of exciting games last night and we will start with the fantastic finish that went down at the second game at Madison Square Garden last night for the Jimmy V Classic:
Jae Crowder's Late Three Seals Win Against Washington
(Tom Enlund/The Journal Sentinel)
Player of the Week
Terrence Jones, Kentucky
While some of his key numbers may be on the decline, Jones' decision to return to Lexington is looking like an abundantly prudent one. He's no longer overdribbling and settling for rushed jumpshots (49% FG), and when he attacks the hoop he's finishing with bad intentions. He threw down four power slams in Kentucky's two victories over St. John's and UNC, including a beautiful pump fake/driving dunk in the grill of John Henson. His defensive disruption is reaching new heights as well. On the week Jones averaged 20 points on 50% shooting, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 3.5 blocks. After getting to the free throw line 20 times in the season's first six games, Jones got to the stripe 16 times against SJU alone (11 makes). Jones has re-emerged in our mock lottery at the #11 spot.
Murphy Holloway, Mississippi
The southpaw deserves some major love after filling up the stat sheet for a second consecutive week. Holloway's performance led the way in thrilling road victories over DePaul and Penn State, as the Rebels improved to 7-1 on the season with an RPI of 11 (the computers are on their side for a change, at least momentarily). He picked up his third and fourth double-doubles of the season, putting up 13 points per game (55% FG), 11.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 4.5 steals. He's an absolute menace on the boards with thievery on his mind at all times on the defensive end of the floor. Holloway is undersized and lacking overall skill level, but he's strong, has great length and plays HARD. On a sour note, his 46% at the FT line has become all too familiar.
December 6, 2011
Not too many games to report on last night, but the news never stops for college basketball and its future at this time of year. So, here is todays NCAA Daily:
Breaking Down Some Rising Sophomores in 2011