Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CHN Player of the Week, Dec. 22

Player of the Week: A.J. Price, Connecticut

With college football mostly out of the country’s mind until the major bowls pick up after Christmas, this was the perfect week and weekend to really get into the college basketball season – if you hadn’t already. Furthermore, with snow blanketing most of the country, sitting inside on Saturday to watch a full slate of college hoops games was the ideal thing to do. If so, you were treated to a host of fantastic contests. Several top-10 teams battled it out, with a handful of marquee match-ups going down to the wire.

Of course, with all the high-quality games, there were several tremendous performances throughout the week. In Duke’s thrashing of Xavier, Jon Scheyer led the way with 23 points. James Harden of Arizona State continued his outstanding season, putting up 30 points, six rebounds and six assists in a last-second escape over BYU. Kentucky’s Jodie Meeks dropped 46 points on Appalachian State, while Al Nolen of Minnesota finished with 18 points, five rebounds and five assists in an upset win over No. 9 Louisville. Arguably the most impressive win of the week, though, was Connecticut going on the road to face Gonzaga and knocking the Bulldogs off in overtime. And the hero of that game was A.J. Price, this week’s CollegeHoopsNet Player of the Week.

Price kicked off his week with a solid albeit unspectacular performance against Stony Brook: 13 points, three rebounds, five assists, zero turnovers. He only needed to play 22 minutes as Connecticut throttled Stony Brook. Against Gonzaga, though, Price reverted to his form of last year, when he was one of the top point guards in the country. Price finished with 24 points, three rebounds and 10 assists, and also knocked down six of his nine three-point attempts. Furthermore, Price – who came into the game shooting just 36 percent from the free-throw line – hit six of eight from the charity stripe. Price also hit a miraculous game-tying three-pointer with time winding down in regulation to force the extra session. If Price can return to his 2007-2008 form, the Huskies could pose a threat to North Carolina come March.

- Al Nolen, Minnesota
- Jon Scheyer, Duke
- Jodie Meeks, Kentucky

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