Player of the Week: Donald Sloan, Texas A&M
With only a few weeks left until Selection Sunday, the competition for this week’s Player of the Week honors was in high gear. Teams are fighting for positioning on Selection Sunday, while others are aiming for a high seed. Either way, it led to some tremendous performances from a variety of players. There was UNLV’s Tre’Von Willis scoring 33 points and dishing out eight assists against BYU; West Virginia’s Da’Sean Butler averaging 25.5 points in two games; Denis Clemente of Kansas State pouring in 53 points in two road wins; Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney averaging 25.5 in two big ACC wins; Wayne Chism of Tennessee averaging 25.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in a couple of victories; Arkansas’ Courtney Fortson averaging 25.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in two games; and New Mexico’s Darington Hobson leading the Lobos to two MWC wins by averaging 24.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists.
However, one of the best team performances of the week belonged to Texas A&M, mainly as a result of the play of guard Donald Sloan. The Aggies picked up two huge wins in the Big 12 this week, knocking off Missouri on the road, snapping the Tigers’ 32-game home winning streak, and then taking down top-25 Baylor over the weekend. While Sloan didn’t put up the gaudy numbers of some of the aforementioned players, he was still extremely impressive. In the two wins, he averaged 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per contest. Sloan had 17 points and eight rebounds in the victory at Missouri, then followed it up with 20 points and five boards against Baylor. He shot 14-for-15 from the free-throw line in the two games and also picked up two steals.
With the two wins, Texas A&M has positioned itself very well for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies are now 16-6 overall, 6-3 in the Big 12, with an RPI in the low 20s and four top-50 wins. Three of their next four games are on the road, with the lone home game coming against Texas. After that gauntlet, they finish the season with Texas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. It is a very tough stretch, but if Sloan puts up more performances like this week, the Aggies will be dancing come Selection Sunday.