College Basketball Awards: Dellavedova, Paul, FSU, More
A review of the week that was in college basketball focusing on the best (and worst) performances. Check in every Monday morning for our weekly awards.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s: In three wins last week, the Gaels’ junior guard scored 62 points and handed out 19 assists.
He started the week with a 27-point, 6-rebound, 4-assist performance in an 87-72 win over San Francisco. In the Gaels’ big 83-62 victory over No. 23 Gonzaga, Dellavedova poured in 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 5-of-10 from deep, and added six assists.
Sunday, he added nine points and a season-best nine assists in a 69-61 victory over Portland.
Dellavedova is averaging 15.4 points, 6.6 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 0.9 steals for the season. He’s shooting 45.3 percent from the field, 39.7 from the 3-point line and 85.1 at the foul line.
Last week's Player of the Week was Weber St's Damian Lillard.
MID-MAJOR PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Robert Covington, Tennessee State: Covington had big performances in two Tiger home victories this week, combining for 47 points and 16 boards.
The junior forward scored 30 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including 7-of-3 from the 3-point line, in Tennessee State’s 77-72 win over Morehead State on Wednesday. On Saturday, he made 7-of-15 shots and 2-of-5 3s for 17 points as the Tigers upended Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, 52-49.
Covington, who has 18 consecutive double-digit scoring games, had eight rebounds in each of the wins.
For the season, Covington is averaging 17.6 points while shooting 52.8 percent from the field and 46 percent from beyond the 3-point stripe. He’s also shooting 81.9 percent from the foul line and averaging 7.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks per contest.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Florida State: After a head-scratching 20-point loss to Clemson on Jan. 7, the Seminoles rebounded for a 63-59 road win at Virginia Tech on Wednesday.
Then on Saturday, FSU stunned No. 3 North Carolina with a 90-57 pounding in Tallahassee. The Seminoles shot 48.4 percent from the floor and made 12-of-27 3s and outscored the Tar Heels 54-29 in the second half to improve to 11-6 overall and 2-1 in the ACC.
Florida State’s defense, where it has made its name in recent years, held North Carolina to 37 percent shooting and allowed the Tar Heels to connect on just four of their 21 3-point attempts.
“Our offense comes from our
defense,” Deividas Dulkys said. “We get steals, we push the ball to get easier
baskets. Everybody played the way we are capable of playing. We defended, we
boxed out. It was a defensive effort by everybody.”
And it was a career night for Dulkys, who finished with 32 points on 12-of-14 shooting.
“I think everybody dreams about it when you are a little kid,” Dulkys said. “It was my time to shine.”
“I thought that Dulkys youngster was sensational,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “You have to congratulate him. He will cherish these moments for the rest of his life. It was a great performance today.”
SINGLE-GAME PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
Brandon Paul, Illinois Junior Guard: Paul had a career outing as the Illini upset No. 5 Ohio State.
Paul scored a career-high 43 points – the third-highest total in school history – including the Illini’s final 15 points in the final 2:40. For the game, he went 11-of-15 from the floor, 13-of-15 from the free throw line and 8-of-10 from deep.
The 43 points tied Creighton’s Doug McDermott – the nation’s second-leading scorer – for the best performance in college basketball this season. He is the first player in 15 years to score 43 or more points on fewer than 16 field goal attempts.
He scored 28 points in the second half, more than any Illinois player had scored in a complete game this season.
“I was laughing a couple times,” Paul said. “After the first couple of 3s, I just said I was going to keep shooting. That’s the mindset I’ve got to have.”
Paul also had eight rebounds, four blocked shots, two assists and two steals in the win.
UPSET OF THE WEEK
Minnesota 77, Indiana 74: Indiana had already beaten No. 1 Kentucky and No. 2 Ohio State at Assembly Hall. Minnesota came in shorthanded and 0-4 in the Big Ten. It didn't seem like the Gophers had much of a chance.
Instead, Minnesota led most of the night and came away with a 77-74 win, handing the Hoosiers their first home defeat of the season.
Indiana hit just 4-of-18 from beyond the 3-point line and the Gophers hit 35 percent. Austin Hollins led Minnesota with 18 points, going 7-for-10 from the field.
“Tonight, we caught Indiana on a tough shooting night, but we did what we had to do to get a win,” Minnesota coach Tubby Smith said. “Hopefully, we can build on this and use this to continue to improve.”
WIN OF THE WEEK
Northwestern 81, Michigan State 74: The Wildcats snapped Michigan State’s 15-game winning streak. In doing so, they showed a hint of toughness that has been lacking.
Northwestern outscored the sixth-ranked Spartans 42-37 in the second half to pull away for its second Big Ten victory. The Wildcats shot 54 percent in the second half and finished at 50 percent for the game. Meanwhile, they held MSU to 37 percent from the floor.
“It was a good team effort,” Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. “They hadn’t lost in two months, so it was a good win all around. I’m happy for our guys.”
John Sherna – the Big Ten’s leading scorer – led the Wildcats with 22 points. In his first start of the season, Davide Curletti had 17 points and six boards.
“Curletti was the difference in the game, if you ask me,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.
LOSS OF THE WEEK
Providence 80, Louisville 59: On Tuesday, Louisville shot 38 percent from the field and made just 4-of-19 3-pointers – against arguably the Big East’s worst defense – and was nearly outscored by the Friar duo of Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Batts, who scored 27 points apiece.
“There’s always one game a year you can’t explain,” Cardinal coach Rick Pitino said. “Nothing goes right, everything goes wrong and they do everything right.”
It was the Friars’ first and, to date, only conference win. The loss was the fourth in five games for Louisville, which opened the season with 12 straight wins. The Cardinals did respond with a 76-59 win over DePaul on Saturday.
PLAY OF THE WEEK
Franklin returns to give San Diego State a big MWC win: Jamaal Franklin, who appeared to be out with an ankle injury Saturday against No. 12 UNLV, returned late and hit an off-balance layup with 0.3 left to give the Aztecs a 69-67 win.
“We’re a family,” Franklin said. “If my ankle’s broke, if they want me out there, I’m out there. It was a big tweak, but it didn’t really hurt.”
Franklin finished with 24 points and 10 boards as the No. 22 Aztecs improved to 15-2 with their eighth straight win.
THE COLLEGE BASKETBALL LIST
GOOD PLAYERS, BAD TEAMS
Great players who you likely will not get to see play in March:
1. Maalik Wayns, Villanova (Jr.): Although the Wildcats are only 8-10, Wayns has been spectacular. He’s averaging 17.8 points, 4.7 assists, 4.2 rebounds and a steal every game and is coming off a 39-point, 13-rebound, 6-assist performance in an 82-78 loss at Cincinnati on Saturday.
2. Justin Cunningham, Oregon State (Jr.): Despite Cunningham’s All-Pac 12-type season, the Beavers are just 11-7 overall and 1-5 in the conference. The junior guard is averaging 17.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.9 steals this season, and he may be on his way to a Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honor.
3. Tim Frazier, Penn State (Jr.): Frazier has been the surprise of the Big Ten, but it hasn’t helped the Nittany Lions to many wins. The junior guard’s scoring average is up nearly 12 points from a year ago to 18.1. He’s also averaging 6.7 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game for the 9-10 Lions.
4. Kevin Foster, Santa Clara (Sr.): Foster is averaging 17.5 points, 3.1 assists, 3 rebounds and 1.4 steals this season. Still, the Broncos are 8-9 and have yet to secure a West Coast Conference victory.
5. Jesse Sanders, Liberty (Sr.): Sanders has been great for four seasons, but it hasn’t led to a lot of wins. The Flames are 6-14 this year despite 12.6 points, 7.9 assists, 7.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals from Sanders every night.