The past couple of weeks have been extremely hard to decide on a Player of the Week. As teams enter their final five games and need to make a statement for the NCAA Tournament, more and more players are stepping up and putting up monster performances to help lead their team to victory. For example, several of this week’s finalists and runner-ups would have easily won the honor in previous weeks. However, with the stakes increased and the pressure higher, the cream of the crop is rising to the top.
There were at least 10 or 12 players this past week that deserved some sort of mention in the Player of the Week column, but we can’t fit them all (or can we?). Obviously, All-Americans Blake Griffin and Hasheem Thabeet had great weeks, with Griffin averaging 29.0 points and 16.5 rebounds per game and Thabeet putting up an outrageous 16.5 points, 18.0 rebounds and 8.0 blocks. Arizona’s Nic Wise got the Wildcats back into the Pac-10 hunt by averaging 26.5 points per game in wins over USC and UCLA. LSU’s Tasmin Mitchell helped the Tigers essentially clinch the SEC West with 30.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game against Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Da’Sean Butler had 43 points for West Virginia against Villanova, while North Carolina’s Ty Lawson and Arizona State’s James Harden helped their teams to big wins with huge performances. And what about UCF’s Jermaine Taylor scoring 73 points in two games? Or John Bryant of Santa Clara averaging 25 and 14 for the week? Justin Dentmon of Washington (24.5 ppg, 4.5 apg) and Texas’ A.J. Abrams (24.5 ppg) were also impressive, as was Jack McClinton, who put up 35 in a loss to North Carolina. But, for the second time this year, the CollegeHoops.Net Player of the Week award goes to Jodie Meeks of Kentucky.
Meeks, a 6-4 junior guard from Georgia, is arguably the most improved player in the country this season. He averaged fewer than nine points per game last season and shot 30.7 percent from the floor. This year, he’s an All-American – and he showed why with his two performances this week. On Tuesday, Meeks had 23 points and five rebounds in a win over Florida, but more importantly, he hit a fadeaway three-pointer with less than five seconds left to give the Wildcats a three-point victory. Against Arkansas on Saturday, Meeks dropped 45 points on 17-of-24 shooting from the field, including seven three-pointers. He also grabbed seven rebounds, dished out two assists and picked up three steals in a 16-point road victory. Kentucky had lost three in a row, but now is back in position for an at-large bid thanks to Meeks, who averaged 34.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game on the week. For the season, Meeks is averaging 25.8 points and shooting 44.1 percent from three-point range.
- Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut
- Blake Griffin, Oklahoma
- Nic Wise, Arizona
CollegeHoops.net Player of the Week Archive
- Feb 8: Jack McClinton, Miami
- Feb 1: Talor Battle, Penn State
- Jan 25: Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech
- Jan 18: Jodie Meeks, Kentucky
- Jan 12: Jeff Teague, Wake Forest
- Jan 5: Tyrese Rice, Boston College
- Dec 29: Alex Ruoff, West Virginia
- Dec 22: AJ Price, UCONN
- Dec 15: Dionte Christmas, Temple
- Dec 8: Stephen Curry, Davidson
- Dec 1: Jonny Flynn, Syracuse
- Nov 24: Blake Griffin, Oklahoma