Weekly Awards: Kansas returns to form, Belmont star explodes for 42
Player of the Week: Craig Bradshaw, Belmont
It simply does not get any better than the week that Craig Bradshaw just had. In three games -- all Belmont wins -- Bradshaw averaged 33.0 points while shooting 58.2% from the floor and 58.6% from three. Those are absurd numbers, but they didn’t come against no-names. Belmont knocked off intra-city rival Lipscomb for the second time this season, following that up with wins against two of the country’s best mid-major programs in Denver and Ohio.
It still gets better. The win against Ohio came on the road, and Bradshaw just so happened to hit the game-winner on Saturday:
Belmont looks like they will once again be a favorite to win their league despite the fact that leading scorer J.J. Mann has graduated. Rick Byrd always has a never-ending line of talented scorers coming through the ranks.
The All-They-Were-Good-Too Team
- Nigel Williams-Goss, Washington: Washington won the Wooden Legacy on Sunday, and Williams-Goss averaged 16.7 points, 8.7 assists and 5.3 boards in the three wins.
- JayVaughn Pinkston, Villanova: Pinkston led Villanova to a 24-point win over VCU on Monday, following that up with the game-winning bucket and the game-saving block as the Wildcats knocked off Michigan in the Legends Classic final.
- Aaron Bacote, Old Dominion: Bacote entered Saturday shooting 4-for-25 from the floor and 3-for-13 from three. He had 20 points in five games. In a win over VCU, he went for 31 points, shot 8-for-8 from the field and hit four threes.
- Wesley Saunders, Harvard: The Crimson picked up a pair of quality wins this week, blowing out Houston before scraping by UMass. Saunders was the star for both, averaging 25.5 points, 6.5 boards and 3.5 assists.
- Melo Trimble, Maryland: Trimble averaged 21.3 points in four wins this week for Maryland, including 31 in a win over Alabama. The Terps also knocked off Iowa State in the finals of the CBE Classic.
Team of the Week: Kansas Jayhawks
This was the bounce back that the Jayhawks needed. After getting utterly embarrassed against Kentucky in the Champions Classic, Kansas went down to the Old Spice Classic in Orlando and picked up three wins, including a hard fought victory over a good Michigan State team. Perry Ellis led the way, averaging 19.3 points and 9.0 boards, and Cliff Alexander started to looked like the Cliff Alexander that was a top five recruit.
Kansas still has a ways to go, however. Frank Mason looks like he’s coming along at the point, and Svi Mykhailiuk is probably the best option on the wing. But until Wayne Selden works through his shooting issues and Devonte’ Graham and Kelly Oubre find a way to be significant contributors, this team can only go so far.
They were good, too
- Arizona Wildcats: The Wildcats may not have hit their stride yet offensively, but this group sure does know how to defend and how to rebound. They won the Maui Invitational with a win over SDSU in the title game.
- Wisconsin Badgers: The Badgers won the Battle 4 Atlantis, the nation’s best early-season tournament, with impressive wins over Georgetown and Oklahoma. But they didn’t get to play against North Carolina, who was the second-best team in the field.
- Butler Bulldogs: Was there a bigger surprise this week that seeing Butler return to form? The Bulldogs knocked off North Carolina and Georgetown in Atlantis.
- Northern Iowa Panthers: Northern Iowa looks like they be ready to give Wichita State a fight in the Missouri Valley. They are now 7-0 on the season with wins over Virginia Tech, Northwestern and Richmond. They haven’t allowed more than 55 points since that overtime win over Stephen F. Austin.
- Ole Miss Rebels: Ole miss had an ugly loss to kick off the season, but they’ve bounced back. Wins over Creighton and Cincinnati this week helped that.
- Colorado State Rams: The Great Alaska Shootout isn’t as good as it once was, but the Rams still notched a trio of nice wins en route to the title.
- Seton Hall Pirates: Seton Hall won the Paradise Jam, which wasn’t all that noteworthy. But they did beat George Washington in Newark on Saturday, which was.