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Archive - Jan 2011 - Blog entry

Date
Type

January 30th

Pac Ten Blog

Player of the Week

ACC Blog

Player of the Week

Iman Shumpert

Iman ShumpertIman ShumpertLess than a week after crowning Iman Shumpert my ACC Co-Player of the Week, he goes and gives statisticians everywhere hand cramps with a triple-double explosion in last Tuesdays victory over Virginia Tech. On Tuesday, Georgia Tech was hosting a game against a very good Virginia Tech opponent. They were coming off a loss at Virginia, but had won their two previous home games against North Carolina and Wake Forest in an impressive fashion. I'll let the 6'5" junior tell the rest of his story with his unreal stat line of 22 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and 7 steals. Shumpert also took control of one of the best scorers in the ACC, Malcolm Delaney, holding him to a season low 8 points on 3 of 11 shooting. Shumpert also forced Delaney into 8 turnovers. With Delaney getting eaten alive, the Hokies didn't stand a chance, falling 72-57 to the suddenly respectable Yellow Jackets. Shumpert still has his weaknesses. His efficiency/shot selection is questionable, and his attitude has been considered a red flag by some. The potential is there though. He has good size with long arms. He's quick, explosive and powerful enough to be effective on both ends of the floor. If he can put it all together then he'll be a great NBA prospect.

Hot

Ryan Kelly

Whether you choose to include Kyrie Irving or not, there is no denying that Duke's backcourt is one of the strongest in the nation. Nolan Smith, Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins along with hybrid forward Kyle Singler give Duke a great chance to repeat as national champions this season. However, they have a weakness and it's the overall depth of their frontcourt. The Plumlees are athletic and doing some things well, but alone they can't make up for the departures of flop-wizard Lance Thomas and lumberjack Brian Zoubek. Where, oh where will they find a little depth? Enter 6'11" Ryan Kelly, the skinny sophomore sharpshooter who's suddenly becoming a very helpful role player for Coach K and the Blue Devils. His averages on the season are very modest (18.7 mpg, 7.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg) but recently he's seen a great improvement, averaging 28.3 minutes, 15 points and 6 rebounds a game in his last three games. He's been very efficient during this period, shooting 84% from the floor and 80% (8/10) from behind the arc. What Kelly does on the offensive end is open up the court. A big man with such a potent shooting stroke requires attention, which gives Dawkins, Smith and Singler more space to penetrate. Defensively, Kelly's length provides a good shot-blocking presence (1.6 blocks in 18.7 minutes a game). Overall, Kelly is becoming more important than we thought he would be earlier in the season. He's been a pleasant surprise for Duke, and they surely hope he can continue to make a significant impact.

January 28th

Big East Blog

Player of the Week

Ben HansbroughBen HansbroughBen Hansbrough, G, Notre Dame

Hansbrough put up 28 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists in a win over Marquette, and followed with a 19 point, 7 assist 4 rebound performance in a win at Pittsburgh. He put the Panthers away with a spin move in the lane and a finish at the rim, showing the national television audience that he's more than just an underappreciated little brother who can only shoot from the outside.

January 26th

SEC Blog

Player of the Week

Lance Goulbourne, Vanderbilt

Lance GoulbourneLance GoulbourneThe 6'8 junior from Brooklyn, NY has been invaluable to the Commodores 14-4 mark. Since entering the starting lineup on December 8th he's scored nearly 10 points and grabbed nearly 10 boards a night. In Vanderbilt's two wins this week over Mississippi and St. Mary's CA he averaged 14.5 points, 13 rebounds and 3.5 assists (3 turnovers), draining two threes and 11 of 13 free throw attempts. He notched a pair of double-doubles this week, the first two of his collegiate career. A solid athlete with tremendous versatility, length and quick leaping ability, Goulbourne is finally playing a role that suits his strengths. His reputation as a three-pointer marksman is quickly fading as he continues to make massive forward strides in his all-around game. On a negative note, while he's making plays, his ball handling woes are peaking. Goulbourne has committed 14 turnovers in his last four outings.

Hot

Tony Mitchell, Alabama

Mitchell has quietly produced a big time season and deserves more national recognition. The Tide's frontcourt, spearheaded by Mitchell and JaMychal Green, has turned the fortunes of Alabama's season. They've won 7 of 8 contests including a home victory over Kentucky and road win at Auburn this week. In the two triumphs Mitchell scored 15 points per game on 12/20 shooting (60%) from the field and 3/7 from behind the arc, tallying 6.5 boards, 2.5 steals and a block. The 6'6 small forward is all over the court and his athleticism never fails to wreck at least a segment of the game. His defensive prowess leads to fast break offense, where he and his teammates excel. The Tide has an excellent chance to reach 6-1 in conference play with home bouts versus LSU and Mississippi State upcoming.

Honorable Mention: Sam Muldrow, South Carolina- 21.5 points (61% FG), 10.5 rebounds, 4.5 blocks and 3 three-pointers.

January 25th

Big Ten Blog

Player of the Week

January 22nd

ACC Blog

Co-Players of the Week

Glen Rice Jr/Iman Shumpert

Iman ShumpertIman ShumpertNo, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are not a good team. In fact, they rank among the Mike Scott-less Virginia Cavaliers and the ACC-bomination Wake Forest Demon Deacons at the bottom of the barrel. That's why I'm so impressed they managed to win their last two games against North Carolina and Wake Forest by 20 and 35 points respectively. Now for a team that came into the week with a 7-8 overall record, that's not too bad. Hardly bad at all, I would say. All (and I mean ALL) credit goes to the scrappy duo of Glen Rice Jr and Iman Shumpert. Glen Rice Jr. has always been a favorite of mine. At this point in his collegiate career, he's a radical role player (hey, I just watched Brink!, alright?). His shooting ability isn't off the charts, but he's adequate enough to be the best shooter on his team. He's also a talented defender, an unselfish passer, he runs the floor well, and rebounds at a high rate for a 6'5" guard. He's a jack of all trades. His partner, junior Iman Shumpert, is playing just as well. This season, he leads his team in points per game (16.4), rebounds (5.5), assists (3.4) and steals (2.6). Though his stats on the season are good, both he and Rice turned it up a notch. Bam! (I'm watching too much TV.) In their two wins this week, Rice and Shumpert have combined for, get this, 47.5 points a game on 63% shooting. It's hard to lose when your two best players put up those kind of numbers. Provided neither player declares for the draft this season (and they would be wise not to), the future of the Yellow Jackets isn't all too bleak.

Hot

Erick Green

Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen get a lot of credit for the success of the Virginia Tech Hokies, and rightfully so. However, there's another player on the team who should also be getting recognition for his play this season, and that's sophomore Erick Green. At the beginning of the season many people pegged Virginia Tech as the second best team in the ACC and a top 25 team in the nation, but things were looking down after a 4-4 start in a tough non-conference schedule. Due to injuries, Erick Green was named the starting point guard against Penn State, despite only scoring 2 points in his previous game. Since he's been named a starter, Green has scored double digits in all nine games and the Hokies have a 8-1 record during his tenure as a starter. On the season, the 6'4" guard offers another solid scorer (10.4 points per game), another ball-handler to pair with Delaney (2.2 assists) and a great in-zone defender (2.1 steals). He's coming off a career high 24 points on 12 of 16 shooting in a 17 point win at Maryland. Green is a fantastic role player, and he's helping the Hokies play at the high level that we all knew they were capable of.

Big East Blog

Player of the Week

January 21st

Pac Ten Blog

Pac-10 “Co-Players of the Week”

January 19th

SEC Blog

Player of the Week

Gerald RobinsonGerald RobinsonGerald Robinson, Georgia Bulldogs

The Tennessee State transfer battled through a rough stretch towards the end of the non-conference schedule, but Robinson has upped his level significantly in the opening stages SEC play. A highly touted recruit in the 2007 class, the explosive scoring ability he exhibited in the OVC is now shining through at the zenith of college basketball. In road games at Vanderbilt and Mississippi, he tallied 21 points per contest on 14/26 shooting (54%), 6/8 from downtown and 8/8 from the charity stripe, while also contributing 4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and a steal. Robinson led a balanced Bulldog attack in a 98-76 demolition at Ole Miss as Georgia shot 64% from the floor and assisted on 26 of 33 field goals. As his distribution and playmaking skills continue to develop, his draft stock will proceed on an upward trend. His athletic gifts are abundantly clear and he's added much needed bulk to his frame.

Hot

Tobias Harris, Tennessee Volunteers

"Consistency" and "freshman" rarely go hand in hand, but with Harris the two are firmly interlocked. He scored 15 points (including the final 4 points of the game) and grabbed 9 rebounds as Tennessee overcame a 17-point deficit to defeat Vanderbilt 67-64. Earlier in the week Harris put up 18 points, 10 boards and 2 blocks in a home loss to Florida. He's averaging nearly 16 PPG on the season and has scored in double figures in 16 of 17 games. Harris has also posted four double-digit rebound games in his last six (10 per). The Vols have been wildly inconsistent, and despite a myriad of chaos around him, the freshman phenom certainly hasn't been phased.

January 17th

Big Ten Blog

Player of the Week