College basketball All-Week team: Big South guards shine in tournament play
Each week at NCAA.com, we select a college basketball All-Week team. Comprised of five positions, the squad is selected based on games and performances from the week prior.
Here are our picks for this week:
G: Keon Johnson | Winthrop
Johnson, the Big South player of the year, led the Eagles to their first NCAA tournament bid since 2010 with a 26-point, five-rebound performance against Campbell in the conference title game Sunday.
The 5-foot-7 senior averaged more than 29 points per game in Winthrop’s three Big South tournament games. He scored 31 points, including five 3-pointers, in Winthrop’s 80-77 overtime semifinals win over Gardner-Webb on Friday.
With Johnson and Xavier Cooks (19.7 points per game in the Big South tournament) leading the charge, the Eagles look to bust some brackets this March.
G: Chris Clemons | Campbell
It was a big week for small guards in the Big South conference.
Clemons, at 5-foot-9, set the tournament scoring record and led No. 7 seed Campbell all the way to the conference finals before running into Johnson and No. 1 seed Winthrop. The sophomore became just the second player in any conference tournament game in the last 20 seasons to put up 50 points — joining former BYU star Jimmer Fredette.
Clemons followed up his 51-point performance Thursday against UNC Asheville with a 33-point outing Friday against Radford. In Sunday’s finale, he dropped 29 on the Eagles.
F: Luke Kornet | Vanderbilt
Vandy is creeping closer and closer to an at-large bid as winners of five of its last six. Overcoming a 12-point deficit to clinch a season sweep of No. 12 Florida will certainly help the Commodores’ case.
Kornet scored a game-high 24 points and hit four key free throws down the stretch Saturday to lift Vanderbilt past the Gators, 73-71. He added six rebounds and two blocks in the season-closer.
The Commodores faltered down the stretch in their previous game against Kentucky, coughing up a 19-point lead, but Kornet once again played well with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
Kornet provides unique versatility as a 7-footer — he’s shooting 35 percent from 3-point range — and the Commodores will continue to rely on the senior as they look to lock up a spot in the bracket.
F: Tyler Cavanaugh | George Washington
George Washington (18-13) will need an unexpected run in the Atlantic 10 tournament to participate in the NCAA tournament. Cavanaugh is doing all he can do to lift his team down the stretch.
The senior dropped 30 points on first-place Dayton in an 87-81 upset victory Saturday, marking his fourth straight game reaching t least 20 points. On Wednesday against Fordham, he had 20 points and 10 rebounds in a 67-66 victory.
Are you kidding me? Cavanaugh from WAY downtown! pic.twitter.com/ung5h1ntkP— GW Men's Basketball (@GW_MBB) March 5, 2017
The Colonials have racked up five straight wins to get back to the middle of the pack within the A-10. They’ll kick off tournament play in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
F: Johnathan Motley | Baylor
Baylor got back to its winning ways to close out the regular season with consecutive wins over No. 10 West Virginia and Texas. It’s no surprise that Naismith Award semifinalist Johnathan Motley was in the middle of the success.
Motley picked up his 13th double-double of the year in Saturday’s 75-64 win over the Longhorns (17 points, 17 rebounds). The junior loves playing against Texas. He posted 32 points and 20 rebounds against the Longhorns in their first meeting in January.
Motley also led the team in scoring Monday against the Mountaineers with 23 points and a perfect 11-for-11 outing from the free-throw line.