Tuesday, January 13, 2009

CHN Player of the Week, Jan. 12

Player of the Week: Jeff Teague, Wake Forest

As conference play is starting to heat up across the country, the more difficult it is to pick a clear-cut Player of the Week. There are dozens of marquee match-ups each week, and therefore plenty of standout individual performances that actually impact the national landscape. This week was obviously no different, as top-25 teams fell across the country and were victims to dynamite games by some of the game’s top players. With parity hitting college basketball in a major way this year, expect this trend to continue. And expect the number of big-time performances to continue to rise as well.

As mentioned earlier, there was certainly no shortness of candidates for this week’s Player of the Year honors. Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody averaged 30.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in two wins for the Fighting Irish; Kalin Lucas averaged 21 points for Michigan State against Ohio State and Kansas; and California’s Patrick Christopher put up 49 points in back-to-back road wins against the Washington schools. Furthermore, despite going 1-1 this week, Washington’s Jon Brockman averaged 17.5 points and 18.0 rebounds per game. And don’t forget Ahmad Nivins of Saint Joseph’s, who played 54 minutes in the Hawks’ triple-overtime win over Rhode Island, finishing with 28 points, 20 rebounds and three blocks. But the honor for CollegeHoops.Net’s Player of the Week has to go to Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague.

Teague, who was one of the finalists last week for the award, played only one game this week – and he certainly made the most of it. The 6-2 sophomore led the No. 4 Demon Deacons to a 92-89 victory over No. 3 North Carolina, finishing with a career-high 34 points, six rebounds and four assists. Furthermore, Teague knocked down 13-of-15 shots from the free-throw line, helping to put away the Tar Heels late in the game. He started off the game with a bang, scoring 10 of his team’s first 14 points, and finished strong, scoring lay-ups on three straight possessions in the seconds half. Also, he helped hold UNC’s Ty Lawson to 4-of-12 shooting and four turnovers. On the season, Teague is averaging an ACC-leading 20.6 points per game, to go with 4.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.1 steals. He is shooting nearly 85 percent from the free-throw line and over 54 percent from beyond the arc.

- Luke Harangody, Notre Dame
- Patrick Christopher, California
- Jon Brockman, Washington

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