If it’s Monday, then it’s time for the college basketball Weekly Honors:
Team of the Week
The Missouri Tigers are playing themselves into the NCAA tournament, and they did it with (oddly enough) identical scores last week. Mizzou won at Alabama 69-60 and then took down Kentucky 69-60 at home over the weekend. It was the first time Mizzou had ever knocked off the Wildcats. Cuonzo Martin has done a tremendous job of putting his defensive imprint on this team in a short period of time.
And for those who thought Michael Porter Jr.’s injury would effect the Tigers’ NCAA tournament chances? Martin and company have proven that they were never about one player. Now, the chore for the Tigers is to ensure they don’t slip. Every game has the potential to be a late-possession game. But momentum has clearly swung back to the Tigers after losing three-straight prior to the two-game winning streak. Missouri already has five quadrant 1 wins and two from quadrant 2. That’s an NCAA resume, folks.
Player of the Week
Noah Dickerson, Jr., F, Washington. Dickerson had a season-changing, program-altering week for the Huskies. He scored 25 in the upset over Arizona. Prior to that he scored 21 and grabbed 16 boards in the win over Arizona State. He was an efficient 17 of 31 overall, 12 of 14 at the free-throw line.
Dickerson was huge for Mike Hopkins and the Huskies. The sweep of the Arizona schools gave Washington its fourth quadrant 1 win and first quadrant 2 win. Once again everyone, that’s the making of an NCAA resume.
The Backup Five
Shamorie Ponds, So., G, St. John’s: Ponds had himself a lifetime moment in the stunning 81-77 upset over Duke at Madison Square Garden. Ponds played all 40 minutes and scored 33 points, with seven boards and four steals. He buried four 3s and made 12 field goals. Earlier in the week, in a five-point loss to Xavier at home, Ponds didn’t disappoint then, either. He scored 31 in the loss.
Keita Bates-Diop, Jr., F, Ohio State: Bates-Diop poured in 35 and 13 in a Sunday win over Illinois to set up the Big Ten showdown Wednesday at Purdue. Bates-Diop, who is the early-favorite for Big Ten player of the year and is having an all-American season, also had a double-double with 13 and 13 in an earlier week win over Indiana.
Jock Landale, Sr., F, Saint Mary’s: Landale was a beast at San Diego, with 34 points and 18 boards at the Slim Gym. Landale has been a machine this season. He had 26 in a blowout win over San Francisco earlier in the week. He has had only one single-digit outing this season. If you’re putting together an all-American list then Landale has to be mentioned.
Reed Timmer, Sr., G, Drake: Timmer became Drake’s all-time leading scorer after putting 32 up on Bradley in a road win. Timmer made 8 of 16 shots in the win. Timmer now has a career total of 1,812 points. He scored 22 in a home loss to Southern Illinois earlier in the week.
Temple over Wichita State. The Owls beat the Shockers 81-79 in overtime at home to put the Owls back on the radar for the NCAA tournament. Temple had swept through three games in South Carolina to start the season with wins over Old Dominion, Auburn and Clemson. But a December five-game losing streak dropped the Owls off the radar.
Down go the Shockers!— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 2, 2018
Temple completes the comeback to UPSET No. 16 Wichita State 81-79 in OT. pic.twitter.com/eGXt83rxow
Well, they are back on and appear to be staying after winning at Tulane Sunday. The Owls now have four quadrant 1 wins, and two in quadrant 2.
Most Timely Win
Alabama over Florida in Gainesville. The Tide were extremely disappointed to drop a home game to Missouri after they had just knocked off Trae Young and Oklahoma. So, what do the Tide do? They go and blowout Florida by 18 for their most complete win of the season. Alabama still has one of the toughest schedules remaining in the SEC. But this team has NCAA-moxie and second-weekend talent.
Most-Needed Road Wins
Oklahoma State over Kansas and Providence over Marquette. The Cowboys had a neutral-court win over Florida State. But they didn’t have a true road win against a quadrant-1 or -2 team until they knocked off Kansas. Huge.
Providence had one true road win against a team from quadrant 2 (St. John’s, which is now in quadrant 2 after beating Duke) but none in quadrant 1. That’s why getting the win at Marquette was so significant. The Friars already had a neutral-court quadrant 1 win over Washington and one in quadrant 2 against Rider.
Toughest Week for a Possible NCAA Team
The Kansas State Wildcats had surged into the discussion with four-straight wins, including a home win over Oklahoma. But the Wildcats then hosted rival Kansas (14-point loss) and then went to a desperate West Virginia and got blasted by 38.
Player Who Needs More Pub
LSU freshman Tremont Waters. LSU handed Arkansas an eight-point loss behind Waters’ 27 points and 11 assists.
Waters has had some freshmen dips but when he’s on, like he was against the Hogs, he’s extremely tough to contain.
Team That Needs More Pub
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns have won 10 in a row to move to 20-3 overall, 10-0 in the Sun Belt. Louisiana’s top scorer is former BYU guard Frank Bartley IV, who has seen his average jump from 2.5 as a sophomore at BYU to 15 as a junior and now 16 as a senior. Bartley averaged 22 points in two games last week. This is Louisiana’s best start since the 1972-73 season and the earliest date the Cajuns have won 20 games.
Best Game That Few Saw
Brown 102, Princeton 100 (OT). Desmond Cambridge scored 32 for the Bears. Cambridge hit seven 3s and gave Brown the lead with five seconds left on his final trey of the game. This game was tied 49-49 at the half and each team scored 41 each in the second before Brown outscored Princeton 12-10 in overtime. The Tigers got 27 from Devin Cannady. The loss was costly for Princeton, which fell two games behind first-place and Ivy undefeated Penn.