The following are NetScouts Basketball’s high major conference players of the week ending February 12, 2012.
Tyler Zeller, North Carolina, 7’0”, F, Sr.
It was very difficult to not pick Austin Rivers as ACC Player of the Week after the performance he had against North Carolina including the game winning three-pointer to bring Duke back to end the Tar Heels’ 31-game home winning streak. But overall Zeller’s week was too good to overlook. Although they fell short against 9th ranked Duke, Zeller still had 23 points and 11 rebounds to go along with his two blocks. North Carolina wanted to bounce back strong after the loss to Duke and they did just that against 20th ranked Virginia, winning by 18. The games leading scorer was Zeller who filled the stat sheet with 25 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists. His averages on the week were 24 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Zeller ranks 5th in scoring and 3rd in rebounding in the ACC.
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame, 6’9”, F, Jr.
The Big East’s leader in field goal percentage is this week’s choice of Player of the Week. Cooley helped the Fighting Irish defeat DePaul as well as West Virginia on the road. Cooley led 25th ranked Notre Dame with an average of 21.5 points, 13 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game on 80% shooting. He pulled down 7 offensive rebounds against West Virginia while shooting 77% from the field. Cooley will be very important in Notre Dame’s final 6 games in conference play in a loaded Big East conference.
Draymond Green, Michigan State, 6’7”, F, Sr.
Michigan State’s Green is our Player of the Week after leading the Spartans to a huge win at Ohio State and a home win against Penn State. The Big Ten is a very top half heavy conference with 5 of the 12 teams ranked in the top 25. Green helped the Spartans upset the 3rd ranked Buckeyes falling just one rebound short of a double-double. He was very dominant against the Nittany Lions with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists. Green averaged 17.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and got to the charity stripe an average of 8 times per game on the week. The 8th ranked Spartans are going to be a force to be reckoned with as the season comes to a close.
Jeff Withey, Kansas, 7’0”, C, Jr.
Withey was vital in Kansas’ victory over 6th ranked Baylor as well as their victory over Oklahoma State. Against Baylor, currently trailing Kansas and Missouri for first place in a very deep Big 12, Withey scored 25 points, had 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Three days later Withey was very active all over the floor not only providing steady offensive production but cleaning the glass and being a defensive force with 18 points, 20 rebounds and 7 blocks. For the week Withey averaged 21.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5 blocks a game, while shooting 63% from the field. The stretch run in the Big 12 is going to be very exciting with Missouri, Kansas and Baylor all pulling away as the conference’s top teams.
E.J. Singler, Oregon, 6’6”, F, Jr.
The Oregon Ducks had a strong week in beating Washington and Washington State at home to put them in the driver seat for a first round bye in the Pac 12 Tournament. Oregon has been getting production from all over but the last few games much of the credit goes to E.J. Singler. The 6’6” junior was all over the stat sheet averaging 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game all while shooting 62.5% from behind the arc. Oregon has a big road trip coming up to face Cal and Stanford as they try to improve their position heading into Pac 12 tournament play.
Anthony Davis, Kentucky, 6’10”, F, Fr.
Kentucky freshmen forward Davis is having one of the most memorable first years in college basketball history. Davis is a likely candidate to win freshmen of the year as well as defensive player of the year because of the numbers he has consistently been putting up. Over the last two games Davis has been extremely important for the Wildcats leading them to victories over 7th ranked Florida and unranked Vanderbilt. He averaged 15.5 points, 7 rebounds and a strong 5.5 blocks per game. Davis leads the NCAA in blocks per game at 4.88. His play has largely helped Kentucky to be ranked 1st in the country four consecutive weeks and counting.
Justin Lehrbaum is a correspondent for NetScouts Basketball and can be followed on twitter @JustinLehrbaum Thanks to the Michigan State University and University of North Carolina Athletic Departments for the photos.