Player of the Week
TJ Warren, NC State
In comfortable wins over EKU and FGCU last week, Warren scored 60 points (65 minutes) on 23/41 shooting from the floor and a perfect 12/12 from the stripe. He followed up that effort with 22 points, eight boards and three steals in a 21-point victory over Northwestern in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Warren is efficiency to the max, but high percentage looks for him would not be so for others. He’s a lethal inside/outside scorer with tremendous variety, touch and feel. He leads the ACC at 22.6 PPG (19 nationally) and ranks sixth in FG% at 53.7. The more trips to the free throw line the better – he has the agility and skill advantage over opposing PF’s every single night.
Tyler Ennis, Syracuse
Just another day at the office for Mr. Ennis… His calming presence at the controls gets a traditionally lackluster Syracuse half-court offense organized, and he simply refuses to turn the ball over. In back to back wins over Baylor and Indiana he’s posted a ridiculous 17:1 assist: turnover ratio – with eight steals. He’s yet to surpass two turnovers in a game. Ennis flirted with a triple-double in the Orange’s routine disposal of the Hoosiers, finishing with 17 points (6/8 FG), eight assists and seven boards in 38 classy minutes. Eye catching athleticism or not, he’s well ahead of the curve.
Quinn Cook, Duke
Speaking of “head of the snake” lead guards, Quinn Cook fits the bill. After a pair of quiet efforts on the distribution front, Cook responded in kind versus Michigan: 24 points, 10/10 from the line, nine assists and ONE turnover. He scored all 24 of his points in the final 15:55 of the game. Cook currently sits at #9 in the country in assist: turnover ratio at 5.38:1. The Blue Devils – who are fighting through some identity issues and growing pains with him – would be absolutely lost without his orchestration.
Brice Johnson & Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina
UNC undoubtedly has the most impressive pair of victories in the season’s opening month, and their two young bigs have been integral pieces. In W’s over Louisville and Michigan State: Johnson – 13.5 points, 67% FG, 5.5 rebounds and two blocks; Meeks – 14 points, 79% FG, 9.5 rebounds and four helpers. They’re separated by about 70 pounds and worlds of athleticism, but both are highly skilled with huge ceilings. And clearly they raise their level with the spotlight on; unlike a highly recruited teammate who shall remain unnamed.
Jarell Eddie, Virginia Tech
The senior has recorded three double-doubles in the past 12 days; this includes a 19 point, 11 rebound, four assist, and four block stat-stuffer versus Seton Hall at the Barclays Center. For good measure, he poured in a career-high 34 versus Winthrop last time out, connecting on 13/18 from the field and 6/8 from distance. Eddie has led the Hokies to a highly competitive 6-3 mark, more than adequately filling the void left by Erick Green.
The entire Virginia team vs. Wisconsin
The Cavs stepped on the court in Charlottesville as 4.5-point favorites with the chance to snag a marquee win over unbeaten Wisky. How you say… fail? Virginia scored 38 points in front of their home crowd, shooting 23% overall and 1/11 from three. After draining 7/8 threes in his prior two outings, Joe Harris shot 1/10 from the floor (a transition layup), 0/4 from deep, and frankly looked absolutely overmatched. He showed no ability to complete plays through contact, firing the ball off the backboard on numerous occasions. All in all, Harris looked TIGHT. The whole team did. Justin Anderson, who played his best collegiate game at Missouri State on November 30th, didn’t make a field goal in 28 minutes. The Badgers made him look like an athletic kid without a clue offensively…
Trae Golden, Georgia Tech
Golden looks real pudgy these days, and his inability to break down his man is apparent. This issue is only exacerbated by his inability to shoot straight. Over his last three games – against Mississippi, St. John’s and Illinois – he’s hit 6 of 21 field goals and 2 of 10 treys. Yes, his game is marked by power not quickness, but Golden really struggles to turn the corner and force help. Georgia Tech’s guard play is a mess.
Top 5: Freshman Point Guards (sans Tyler Ennis)
1.Anthony Barber, NC State – “Cat” has inhabited a primary role as a frosh, putting up 12 points and four assists in 28 minutes. You got to take the bad with the good, but he shows no reluctance to attack and create.
2.Demetrius Jackson, Notre Dame – Jackson is being utilized as more of a combo, scoring guard – with great results. He’s averaging 11 points over his last four games, shooting 75% from three-point range (9 makes).
3.Roddy Peters, Maryland – Peters is a special point guard talent, but there’s a definite learning curve (3 turnovers in 20 minutes). He needs to learn to pick his spots… still, six points and 3.5 assists aint too shabby. His potential is huge.
4.Nate Britt, North Carolina – Britt has seen 20+ quietly productive minutes in all seven games. Used alongside Marcus Paige, he posted a 13 point/6 rebound/3 assist line in East Lansing.
5.London Perrantes, Virginia – While he needs to develop as an offensive threat, Perrantes is a ready-made floor leader. He’s sporting an AST: TO ratio upwards of 3:1. Much like a poor man’s Ennis, he plays with a rare ease and pacing.
Notre Dame senior PG Eric Atkins has dished out 5+ assists in five of seven games, and he’s made 2+ treys on six occasions. His 4.9: 0.9 AST to T.O. ratio is absurd.
Codi Miller McIntyre carried the Wake Forest offense against Kansas in Atlantis, scoring 26 points on 10/16 shooting. He’s the only Deacons player that can go and get his own shot.
The inconsistency of Jake Layman has been befuddling, but scouts drools over his athleticism and pure stroke at 6’8. He drained 7 three-pointers versus Morgan State.
Rasheed Sulaimon was for all intents and purposes benched by Coach K versus Michigan: “He has to play better than the guys who played tonight”. Will the message be received?
Georgia Tech’s sophomore duo of Robert Carter and [Player: Marcus Georges-Hunt] guided the Jackets to victory over Illinois, accounting for 41 of the team’s 67 points. This will need to be a common theme throughout ACC play.
Clemson redshirt junior Devin Coleman has averaged 13.3 points and 2.3 three-point makes since November 24th. He didn’t score in the four games prior.
In three games since returning from an ankle injury, NC State 7’1 senior Jordan Vandenberg has blocked nine shots and shot 70% from the floor.
That unnamed highly recrutited prospect for UNC should enter the draft this year because he probably won't start next season.
Diminished confidence will send him into the draft pool.. he won't come back and "battle" for another year. He's shellshocked for lack of a better word.
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