Fred VanVleet was in total control against Indiana, as he led Wichita State to an 81-76 win after scoring 27 points. The 6-foot point guard has been named NetScouts Basketball’s NCAA Tournament Player of the Day for games on March 20th.
“I just wanted to be aggressive, honestly,” VanVleet said in his postgame press conference. “I found opportunities in ball screens with the bigger guys, I could use my quickness against them.”
While VanVleet matched his career-high with 27 points, he also added four assists, two rebounds, and two steals with just one turnover in 37 minutes of action. He was 9-of-18 from the field and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall also praised his defensive effort after the game.
VanVleet lacks NBA size and athleticism, but had no issues getting into the lane against Indiana on Friday. He was able to attack the rim out of the pick-and-roll and finish with the lack of shot blockers on Indiana’s roster. The junior was a good finisher at the rim and showed a good feel for the euro step.
After taking down Indiana and a tough matchup in Yogi Ferrell, VanVleet will have another difficult opponent with Kansas’ Frank Mason. Mason was exceptional in a win over New Mexico State with 17 points, nine rebounds, and four assists while shooting 6-of-7 from the floor and 2-of-2 from deep. The point guard battle could decide which team advances to the Sweet 16.
Other Friday Notes:
-Wyoming’s season ended in a 71-54 loss to Northern Iowa and senior Larry Nance Jr. concluded an impressive career with the Cowboys. Nance scored just one point in the first half, but finished the contest with 16 points and seven rebounds while shooting 6-of-11 from the field and 2-of-3 from three-point range. He’s a face-up four, but at 6-foot-8, Nance Jr. may be a tweener at the next level. Nance Jr. has good length and can attack off the bounce, but his three-point jumper (30.8% this season) could be key to his transition to the professional ranks.
–Juwan Staten missed the past four games for West Virginia with knee and groin injuries, but returned on Friday to fend off an upset bid from Buffalo. The 6-foot-1 point guard had 15 points, seven assists, and three rebounds while shooting 5-of-9 from the field. He has an intriguing upcoming matchup against freshman point guard Melo Trimble.
-While Indiana lost to Wichita State, Yogi Ferrell had a solid performance. He scored a team-high 24 points while shooting 7-of-15 from the floor and 4-of-6 from three-point range. The 5-foot-11 junior is a quick point guard that can break down defenders to create his own offense. His size is an obvious question at the next level, but he’s strong and a quick ballhandler that had a phenomenal junior year for the Hoosiers.
–Joseph Young is having a stellar finish to his collegiate career, as he scored 27 points in an Oregon win against Oklahoma State. He was 8-of-15 from the field, 3-of-6 from three-point range, and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line with four assists and four rebounds. The 6-foot-2 guard is asked to do most of the scoring for Oregon, but could make the transition to the point guard spot at the next level. He’s not exceptionally quick, but plays at a good pace and shows a silky jumper that gives defenses problems. The Pac-12 Player of the Year is pushing for a second round selection.
-Duke’s Quinn Cook could very well be the X-Factor for Duke’s title hopes. The 6-foot-2 guard had 22 points in a win over Robert Morris while shooting 8-of-12 from the field and 6-of-10 from behind the arc. He added five assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Cook was a point guard for his first three years at Duke, but moved off the ball when Tyus Jones arrived and has excelled in his role. With the attention Jahlil Okafor receives in the post, Cook’s shooting ability has been a back-breaker for opposing defenses.
-Iowa dominated Davidson behind an impressive display from senior Aaron White. The 6-foot-9 forward finished with 26 points, six rebounds, and two assists while shooting 11-of-14 from the field and 1-of-2 from three. White is a skilled, stretch four with solid length. He isn’t a big-time athlete, but will have a chance to crack an NBA roster during the summer league.
-Wisconsin’s frontline of Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker, and Nigel Hayes dominated in a win over Coastal Carolina. The trio combined for 62 points, 22 rebounds, and eight assists while shooting 24-of-41 from the field and 8-of-15 from three-point range. Not many teams will beat the Badgers with performances from those three.
–LaDontae Henton and Kris Dunn were instrumental for Providence this season, but struggled in a loss to Dayton. Henton, a senior, had 18 points and 11 rebounds, but shot just 7-of-26 from the floor and 4-of-13 from distance. The 6-foot-6 forward made a transition to the wing this season, but can improve on his 34.1% three-point shooting. He lacks elite athleticism and ballhandling ability, but is a scrappy, no-nonsense player that should earn a summer league invite. Dunn has first round upside, but needs to limit the turnovers. He finished with 11 points, four assists, and seven turnovers while shooting 4-of-13 from the field and 1-of-2 from deep. The 6-foot-3 sophomore point guard is a good athlete with length, but can improve as a true floor general. He can be an elite defender and will likely push for the first round if he declares.
Any international players interested in coming to the USA to play in college, prep school or high school can contact us here. We are looking for interns and sales associates. If you’re interested contact us and forward your resume.