3rd Edition (2016-17)
NCAA STAT LEADERS
Here are college basketball statistical leader in points, rebounds, and assists. All of the following stats are from Tuesday, 12-13-16.
1.MARCUS KEENE: 30.8 (CENTRAL MICHIGAN)
2.DeWAYNE RUSSELL: 25.4 (GRAND CANYON)
3. ALEC PETERS: 25.3 (VALPARAISO)
1.ROKAS GUSTYS: 13.0 (HOFSTRA)
2.TACKO FALL: 12.6 (CENTRAL FLORIDA)
3.AMADOU SIDIBE: 11.9 (FAIRFIELD)
1.MAURICE WATSON JR.: 9.1 (CREIGHTON)
2.LONZO BALL: 8.8 (UCLA)
3. DOMINIC ARTIS: 7.9 (UTEP)
RANKINGS COME OUT EVERY MONDAY
WEEK 6 (MONDAY, 12-12-16)
|AP TOP 25|
What are your thoughts on this week’s Top 25 Ranking’s?
KEENE STILL ON FIRE
Central Michigan is off to an 8-3 start and the main reason why is because of the smallest player on the court in every game that they play. Marcus Keene, a 5’9″ dynamo, is leading the country in points per game, averaging 30.8. However, scoring isn’t all that the junior from Texas is doing. He is setting up his teammates to the tune of 5.1 assists and also pulls down 4.6 rebounds per game.
Keene is reminding a lot of people of a player who dominated college basketball last season despite being small in stature. Kay Felder, who was a 2nd round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Draft, starred at Oakland and had similar numbers to the Chippewas star.
23 points is his lowest scoring output through the teams first 11 games, with 40 being his high point total. Keene is shooting 51% from the field and 43% from 3-point land. When he gets to the foul-line, he makes his opponents pay, as he connects on almost 85% from the charity stripe. All this is done as teams game plan to stop him through multiple looks.
Marcus Keene is making all the schools who passed on him during the recruiting process look foolish. Height is only a number as you can’t teach speed, which he has plenty of, and heart. As Central Michigan starts conference play soon, let’s see how opposing teams game plan for him. It looks like you can’t stop Keene, you only hope to try and contain him.
CREIGHTON CRACKS THE TOP 10
One of the most consistent college basketball programs over the last 5 seasons is one that in our opinion, doesn’t receive the credit that it deserves. However, that has changed this year as the Creighton Bluejays are off to a blazing start and have cracked the top 10 national rankings.
The Big East conference member made the NCAA tournament in 2012, 2013, and 2014 before missing out last year. The star of those 2012-14 teams was Doug McDermott, who was an All-American and the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. McDermott is fast becoming a valuable piece in the Chicago Bulls rotation.
While Doug put the Bluejays on the national map, it is his father Greg, who is the head coach of the school which is located in Omaha, Nebraska. Greg McDermott is in his 6th season at the helm and has done a phenomenal job. Prior to being at Creighton, he enjoyed very good success at Northern Iowa and then had an average run at Iowa State. It seems like he has found a home for a very long time as the rabid Creighton fan-base loves him and their basketball. The Bluejays enjoy a great home-court advantage, where they average almost 18,000 screaming fans per game.
Balance has been key to the teams success as 4 players average double digit in points. Marcus Foster, a 6’3″ junior guard leads the team with 17.8 points per game. Khyri Thomas, Maurice Watson Jr., and Justin Patton are the other 3 players averaging 10+ points. The team received a nice boost when highly touted freshmen Kobe Paras enrolled into the school. Paras was a UCLA commit, however didn’t meet the academic requirements. McDermott is slowly acclimating him into the rotation and look for the California native to play a much bigger role as the season progresses.
We personally like this team and Creighton will start to get tested once the Big East conference schedule begins. The Big East is fast becoming one of the better conferences in college basketball and there are great match-ups every night. While we believe their perfect record will end once they start playing better opponents, this team is legit and worthy of being a top 25 team. Are they a legit top 10 team in america? That is too soon to answer. However, we won’t have to wait to long once they start playing other top 25 teams, such as Villanova, Butler, and Xavier.
HOW FAR DO YOU BELIEVE CREIGHTON CAN GO IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT?
While the Michigan State Spartans have had a rough start to this season due to a brutal opening non-conference schedule, 1 player from their top 10 2016 recruiting class has lived up to the enormous expectation that was bestowed upon him.
Miles Bridges, who was a 5-star recruit last year, has played brilliantly for the 7-4 Big 10 school so far in his freshmen year. The 6’7″, Flint, Michigan native has been the Spartans best player and one of the best overall players in college basketball through the first month and a half of the college season.
Bridges, who can play multiple positions, is listed as a SG/SF. However, we have seen him play PF as well this year. He is one of the most athletic players in the country. So far in the early going, the 230 pounder is averaging 16.6pts, 8.8reb, 2ast, and 1.5blk per game.
We saw the freshmen last year when he was at Huntington Prep High School in West Virginia. We were blown away watching him in person as his athleticism and overall game were on full display. While the left shooting Bridges needs to continue working on his shooting and some other attributes, all the skills are there for him to lead the Spartans right the ship leading into conference play.
We expect head coach Tom Izzo to get his team back into the NCAA tournament. He as a very young team with 4 freshmen being counted on to produce. The brutal non-conference schedule might have resulted in losses, however, it should pay off in the end as the Spartans will be battle tested.
Enjoy watching Miles Bridges when you have the opportunity to do so. He will probably not be wearing a Spartans jersey past this year as he is being projected as at least a top 20 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
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