Tuesday, November 25, 2008

CHN Player of the Week, Nov. 24

Player of the Week: Blake Griffin, Oklahoma

Despite the lack of true opening day like many of the other major sports, college basketball did not enter without a bang this season. Most of the marquee teams and players were on center stage throughout the week, and ESPN’s 24-hour marathon of college basketball really got people excited for the season – even though the real season began two weeks ago, on December 10 (Duke vs. Presbyterian? Houston vs. Georgia Southern? Really?).

As expected, the cream of the crop rose to the top immediately – several of the major All-American candidates had great weeks right off the bat. Stephen Curry averaged almost 36 points per game last week; James Harden put up 25, 6 and 5 through his first three games; Luke Harangody had back-to-back monster games where he combined for 57 points and 31 rebounds; and the list goes on. But the best week in the country? Blake Griffin of Oklahoma.

The preseason All-American lived up to his billing through his first games, putting up at least 20 points and 18 rebounds in each games, and averaging 26 points and almost 20 rebounds per game in his opening quartet of contests. He also shot 74.5 percent from the floor. Griffin dominated Davidson in the Sooners’ biggest game of the week, dropping 25 points and grabbing 21 rebounds as Oklahoma won 82-78. If he continues to put up these kind of performance, Oklahoma is going to be right there with Texas for the Big 12 title – and could be in the mix for a Final Four run.

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