Sunday, January 31, 2010

Player of the Week: Devan Downey, South Carolina

Sometimes, picking a Player of the Week is difficult. In some weeks, one has to go through dozens and dozens of box scores, seeing which players had two good games during the week, which teams did well and were carried by a certain player and then narrow it down to eight or nine players. After that, you have to pick a few of the marquee performers and then eventually choose one. This week, however, was easy. Forget West Virginia’s Da’Sean Butler and his 27 points against Louisville; forget Illinois’ Demetri McCamey’s 19 points, eight assists and buzzer shot vs. Indiana; forget Dominique Jones of South Florida and his phenomenal week against Seton Hall and Pittsburgh; forget Quincy Pondexter of Washington averaging 28.0 points and 11.5 rebounds this week; forget everything.

The clear Player of the Week honor this week has to go to Devan Downey of South Carolina. In case you don’t follow college basketball, or sports in general – and I’m guessing that’s doesn’t cover any of the people reading this, since you’re, well, reading this – Downey had 30 points and single-handedly led the Gamecocks to an upset of No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday. While he did shoot just 9-for-29 from the field against the Wildcats, Downey’s craftiness and scoring ability late in the game enabled South Carolina to get the victory. Downey also grabbed five rebounds, dished out three assists and banned two steals. That performance would have likely won him this week’s honors anyway, but Downey wasn’t done. The diminutive 5-9 waterbug of a guard dropped 33 points and hit the game-winning basket with 50 seconds left to give South Carolina a one-point victory over Georgia.

In the two games this week, Downey averaged 31.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals – and only 1.5 turnovers per game. Overall this season, Downey is now averaging 22.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.1 steals per game. While his shooting percentages are not overly attractive, it is Downey’s clutch scoring ability and innate knack for getting into the lane that makes him so difficult to contain. If he continues to play like this – and leads South Carolina to some more big victories – Downey and the Gamecocks could be in the thick of things come Selection Sunday.

No comments:

Post a Comment