Johnny O’Bryant III led LSU to a pair of SEC victories highlighted by an upset over Kentucky. His play this past week has earned him NetScouts Basketball’s National Player of the Week honors for games through February 2nd.
The junior out of Cleveland, Missouri started with a season-high 29 points (12-20 FG) on Tuesday against Kentucky and continued his play into Saturday where he scored 23 points (11-16 FG) in an 88-74 win over Arkansas. He also contributed nine rebounds in each contest.
“I really tried to attack them,” O’Bryant told the Associated Press after the Kentucky game. “I knew that they were young guys and I had an advantage in experience and body-wise. I was going at them all night.”
A former McDonald’s All-American out of high school, O’Bryant didn’t have the type of production in his first two seasons that were expected of him partly because of injuries. This year, however, he’s taken a step forward and is averaging 15.8 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting 53 percent from the field.
He’s a bit of a tweener at 6-foot-9, but O’Bryant has shown good post moves and a knack for rebounding that make him an intriguing post prospect. If he can add a consistent jump shot to stretch the floor, it would certainly boost his stock as a power forward.
With LSU winning four of its last five games, the Tigers are putting together a nice run that they’ll need to make the NCAA tournament. Led by O’Bryant and freshman Jordan Mickey, LSU should have a good chance of qualifying for the tourney.
BYU has had a rocky year thus far with road losses to Portland, Pepperdine, and Loyola Marymount, but the Cougars used a big week from junior Tyler Haws to defeat Pacific and St. Mary’s. The Belgium native has been named NetScouts Basketball’s International Player of the Week for games through February 2nd.
After back-to-back losses in conference play, BYU topped Pacific in an 88-78 victory behind 38 points (12-20 FG, 4-5 3FG) from Haws to get back on track. Haws followed it up with another huge night on Saturday, scoring 33 points (10-17 FG, 2-4 3FG) and grabbing seven rebounds in an 84-71 win over St. Mary’s.
“I just find my rhythm and my teammates do a good job of getting me the ball in places where I can be effective,” Haws said in an article by Jeff Call of the Deseret News. “As much as I’m happy with the scoring, I feel like we’re figuring some things out defensively and we’re starting to play on that end of the floor, and that’s leading to a lot of our offensive opportunities. If we can continue to do that, this team can continue to get better.”
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard has been scoring at a remarkable rate this season, as he’s currently third in the nation in scoring while averaging 24.6 points per game. Although Haws doesn’t possess outstanding physical tools, he can score in a multitude of ways due to his skill set and motor. He’s a threat from all three levels because he can attack the rim or pull up from anywhere for a jumper.
Haws has been extremely efficient, shooting 48 percent from the field and 47 percent from three, while also making free throws at an 88 percent clip. He has a quick release that allows him to get his shot off while he can also defend at a high level. Haws may not be as intriguing to NBA teams, as he served a two-year mission after his sophomore year and is already 22 years old, but is a gifted scorer who could succeed if given an opportunity.
Cameron Schott is a Correspondent for NetScouts Basketball. Thanks to lsutigers.net for the photo.