Sean Kilpatrick had a phenomenal week helping Cincinnati to two crucial victories to clinch a share of the American Athletic Conference regular season title. The fifth-year senior from Yonkers, New York has been named NetScouts Basketball’s National Player of the Week for games through March 9th.
Kilpatrick started the week with a season-high 34 points (11-18 FG, 2-5 3FG, 10-11 FT) along with three assists in a 97-84 win over twentieth ranked Memphis. He then scored 24 points (8-17 FG, 4-11 3FG), dished two assists, and grabbed two rebounds on the road against Rutgers. Kilpatrick had the clinching layup with less than 20 seconds left to give the Bearcats a four-point victory.
“I saw the (shot) clock going down and there was like six seconds left and I said: ‘You know what? If I get fouled, I get fouled, and then Coach isn’t going to be mad,” Kilpatrick told the Associated Press after the game. He didn’t get fouled, but Kilpatrick put the finishing touches on Cincinnati’s regular season.
The 6-foot-4 shooting guard has continued to see a steady improvement each season and is currently averaging 20.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while shooting 42 percent from the field and 35 percent from three. He’s been one of the best shooting guards in the country and provides a majority of the Bearcat offense. Kilpatrick has also been key in the clutch this season, shown in the win over Rutgers.
At the NBA level, Kilpatrick may struggle on the defensive end as his shorter stature and lack of length gives him trouble staying in front of opposing guards. He’s also 24 years old, making him one of the older draft prospects. With his offensive game and intangibles, however, Kilpatrick could be a late selection in the NBA draft.
With Kilpatrick and a talented senior class leading Cincinnati, the Bearcats will be a team with the potential to go deep into the tournament. Kilpatrick’s heroics might just give them an edge in crunch time.
On the other hand, one of the youngest players in college basketball erupted for 41 points in a Kansas loss to West Virginia on Saturday. Despite the loss, Thornhill, Ontario native Andrew Wiggins has been named NetScouts Basketball’s International Player of the Week for games through March 9th.
The 6-foot-8 small forward wasn’t needed much against Texas Tech in a 82-57 blowout on Wednesday where Wiggins finished with nine points (3-7 FG, 1-3 3FG), four rebounds, and two assists. He exploded for 41 points (12-18 FG, 2-5 3FG, 15-19 FT), eight rebounds, five steals, four blocks, and two assists in the 92-86 loss at West Virginia.
“It’s a good thing, but we lost,” Wiggins said in an article by Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. “I’d rather score five points and win than 40 and lose. It’s not really something really that great.”
Despite his humble analysis, Wiggins’ offensive output was special. He was hitting jumpers from behind the arc, mid-range, and finishing above the rim. Wiggins also took 19 free throws, converting on 15 of them.
With the amount of hype Wiggins received entering the season, some critical fans expected to see this type of performance for Kansas every night. Although he’s been quiet on multiple occasions, Wiggins is still averaging 16.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. His athletic ability is out of this world and gives him an advantage at the defensive end as well.
Wiggins is still working to become a better ball handler but showed some flashes of improvement on Saturday. He’s a good shooter, sinking 35 percent of his attempts from three-point range, but can still improve in that area. When he’s in attack mode, he also does a good job getting to the free throw line. He has Paul George type of upside, but will need the no-nonsense mindset to reach NBA stardom. With his upside, Wiggins will certainly be in the running for the top overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.
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