College basketball: Weekly honors led by resurgent Wichita State and Baylor's Terry Maston
If it’s Monday, then it’s time for the Weekly Honors. Here's the best of the past week in the world of college basketball:
Team of the Week
Wichita State is right back in the American race after an intense win over Cincinnati in its adopted home at Northern Kentucky University. Wichita State played the physical style that has been its trademark. The Shockers didn’t back down. And they finished off a week where they also took out Temple at home, avenging a road loss to the Owls in Philadelphia.
Going into Cincinnati, No. 19 @GoShockersMBB tightened the race for the #AmericanHoops regular-season crown, knocking off No. 5 Cincinnati, 76-72, snapping the Bearcats' 39-game home court winning streak in the process.— American MBB (@American_MBB) February 19, 2018
Highlights from BB&T Arena: pic.twitter.com/XxZaociTEj
Wichita State is tied with Houston, a game back of Cincinnati in the loss column. The Shockers get Cincinnati at home to end the regular season after playing Tulane and then at SMU and at UCF. The American wanted/needed Cincinnati and Wichita State to become a rivalry in year one. Mission accomplished.
Player of the Week
Terry Maston, 6-8, Sr., F, Baylor: Maston scored 24 in the two-point win over Texas Tech and 26 in the double-overtime win at Texas earlier in the week. He was a combined 22-for-36 in the two games. Baylor has won five in a row, including a win over Kansas at home.
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The Backup Five
Fletcher McGee, 6-4, Jr., G, Wofford: McGee scored 45 in a road win at Chattanooga and 21 in a road win at Western Carolina. He made 11 threes in the win over Chattanooga and five in the win over Western Carolina. Wofford, which beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill, still needs to win the Southern Conference tournament to get into the field. But if the Terriers do, they’ve got a scorer who could cause problems in the first round.
Dylan Windler, 6-7, Jr., F, Belmont: Windler put up huge numbers in the win over Morehead State. He scored 36 points and grabbed 20 boards, making 14 of 17 shots, including 6 of 9 from deep. Belmont has won three in a row and is 22-7 overall. If Belmont can get in the field, Windler is another one of those players who could make himself a name in the NCAA tournament.
Matt Mobley, 6-3, Sr., G, St. Bonaventure: Jaylen Adams might end up being the A-10 player of the year, but Mobley was something special in the most important game in Olean in years. Mobley scored 26 and made five threes in the win over the previously streaking Rams. He also lit up La Salle on the road for 30 points earlier in the week. Mobley has played all 40 minutes in three straight games and four of the last five.
Yante Maten, 6-8, Sr., F, Georgia: Maten has given the Bulldogs a pulse in their quest to still make the NCAA tournament. He was instrumental in the two wins last week over Florida in overtime in Gainesville and against Tennessee. He scored 23 and grabbed 10 boards in the win over the Gators and had 19 and five in the win over the Vols. He has to be an anchor in the post for the Bulldogs if they’re going to have a chance down the stretch.
Joel Berry II, 6-0, Sr., G North Carolina: Berry kept the Tar Heels going strong with 23 points, eight board and five assists in the road win at Louisville, and contributed 23 points, three boards and one assist in the convincing win over Notre Dame. The Tar Heels have won five in a row, including beating Duke at home and knocking off Louisville and NC State on the road.
Most impressive win
Villanova 95, Xavier 79: The Musketeers were jacked for this one. This was their chance to knock off Villanova and claim the top spot in the Big East. Not going to happen. Villanova got the sweep of Xavier and is on its way to win its fifth straight Big East title.
Best win in a road environment
Arizona 77, Arizona State 70: The Wildcats’ win in Tempe was extremely intense. Arizona State was desperate to beat its rivals to the south and re-assert itself as a possible Pac-12 tournament title contender. Arizona is going to win the Pac-12, but this was going to be the Sun Devils chance to prove themselves. But Arizona handled every run and got out of a hostile situation with a win and a sweep.
Most-needed road win
Syracuse over Miami: The Orange had won on the road, knocking off Georgetown, beating UConn at Madison Square Garden and taking down Pitt. But none of those teams are going to the tournament.
“Onions!” pic.twitter.com/wcNOVfBijZ— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) February 18, 2018
The win at Louisville was a season-changer earlier this month, but Syracuse needed at least one more, especially with the upcoming games against North Carolina and at Duke this week. To get the win over Miami on the road and to do it by holding the Hurricanes to 55 points was a strong signal that this team can earn a spot.
Most surprising road win
Marquette 90, Creighton 86: The Golden Eagles had won at Providence. So, it’s not like Marquette couldn’t win on the road. But to do it at Creighton with Markus Howard (21.3 ppg) only playing 13 minutes due to an injury was surprising. Marquette made 11 3s and Sacar Anim had himself a game, making 11 of 16 shots for 26 points.
Houston beat Cincinnati at home. That was a must for the Cougars to show they belonged, getting the split of the season series. But that wasn’t enough. Houston had to finish the week by winning on the road. And the Cougars did, destroying Temple, 80-59. Houston has won five in a row and seven of eight.
Most impressive road sweep
Nevada winning at Boise State and Utah State: The Wolf Pack went in front of a Taco Bell Arena crowd that was desperate to see the Broncos take down the Mountain West favorites.. But Nevada won by five and then followed that up by beating Utah State by six in Logan, the same spot where Boise State lost the previous week. Nevada is going to win the Mountain West and earn the top seed in the conference tournament. Oh, and this team should be in the NCAAs, even if it loses in Las Vegas.
Most stunning home win
Wisconsin 57, Purdue 53: The Boilermakers had lost two in a row coming into this game — in the final possession to Ohio State at home and at Michigan State. But Wisconsin had shown no sign it was capable of taking down the Boilermakers, getting blasted for a large portion of the home game against Michigan the previous Sunday before a late push to cut the final deficit to 11. Still, Wisconsin, suffering through its worst season in two decades due in large part to injuries to its two best guards, showed no quit. This team continues to find a way to fight for Greg Gard and each other.