Kevin Jones, West Virginia, 6’8”, F, Sr.
Jones continued to dominate in West Virginia’s two wins this week averaging 25.5 ppg, 10 rpg, and 2.5 apg. In an overtime victory against Cincinnati, Jones played 41 minutes tallying 26 points and 13 rebounds. The performance came at a time when the Mountaineers needed it most. With only 6 points from second leading scorer Darryl Bryant, Jones stepped up to keep West Virginia on pace with the Big East’s best.
Michael Snaer, Florida State, 6’5”, G, Jr.
It was Snaer who put the final nail in the coffin of Duke’s winning streak, capping one of the most impressive stretches in ACC history for Florida State earning him our ACC Player of the Week honors. Coming off of last week’s 33 point drubbing of the then third ranked North Carolina, the ‘Noles took care of Maryland to kick things off. Then, they marched into Cameron Indoor and knocked off the #4 Dukies breaking their ACC record 45-game home winning streak. It marked the first time since the 2002 that Florida State beat both Duke and North Carolina in the same season. Florida State held UNC to only 37.3% shooting, but it was the offense that would defeat Duke. The Seminoles shot the three-ball in Blue Devil-like fashion. Snaer (16.5 ppg for the week) netted a pre-halftime buzzer beater at Cameron Indoor then drained the shot heard round the conference with no time left to sink Duke. Against Duke, the Seminoles shot 50% from behind the arc and had four players in double figures including Snaer and senior forward Bernard James. With this senior laden squad it looks like Coach Leonard Hamilton’s Seminoles are for real.
Faisal Aden, Washington State, 6’4”, G, Sr.
Aden lit it up this week (59.5% from the field and 25/26 from the line) shooting the Cougars back into the Pac-12 hunt. Aden scored 18 in a loss at Washington on Sunday but he and the Cougars bounced back in a big way. Aden exploded for 33 in a win versus Stanford and manufactured 24 more to take down first place Cal. He averaged 25 points for the week, all while coming off the bench.
Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin, 6’1”, G, Sr.
Are the Wisconsin Badgers elite? Are they the four straight wins of late or the three straight losses form the turn of the new year? Only time will tell. Those answers may very well rest upon the shoulders of senior guard Jordan Taylor who has to answer similar questions about his NBA draft prospects. We must give the Badgers credit. They took care of business this week against the meat of the Big Ten middle, proving perhaps that they are better than that. Taylor earns the nod this week for bringing the Badgers back into the conversation. He averaged 17 points, six rebounds, and posted 11 assists to just one turnover wins over Northwestern and Illinois.
Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas, 6’3”, G, Sr.
Ricardo Ratliffe’s (Missouri, 6’8”, F, Sr.) 27 point, 8 rebound, 2 block performance in an emotional victory over #3 Baylor cannot be ignored, but it was the Jayhawks who laid an 18 point defeat on the Bears to start the week and Taylor who earns this week’s honors. As Baylor falls and Missouri rises Taylor continues to quietly lead the Jayhawks (16-3, 6-0) through a brutal schedule. Taylor scored 28 and dished out 6 assists in the Baylor game. He followed that up with a 22 point, 5 rebound, 4 assist clinic at Texas and averaged 25 points and five assists for the week while shooting 58.3% from behind the arc. We’ll be paying close attention when Kansas travels to Missouri on February 4th.
Frankie Sullivan, Auburn, 6’1”, G, Sr.
Auburn’s Frankie Sullivan snags this week’s SEC Player of the Week honors for potentially turning his, and the Tigers’ season around. Already in a hole heading into this week’s cluster of games (1-2 in conference) the Tigers and their lead guard (2 points in a loss at Vanderbilt and 5 in a loss to Kentucky) were struggling mightily. But Sullivan came back strong averaging 20.5 points for the week. He played well in a loss at LSU (65-58) scoring 19 points. He then posted his highest point total in a month with 22 (along with 4 boards and 2 assists) to down South Carolina 63-52.
Andrew Greenblatt is a Correspondent for NetScouts Basketball. Thanks to West Virginia University and the University of Wisconsin for the photos.