It's a brand new year, and that means conference schedules around the country are already underway or will kick off later this week. The time for mid-major stars to assert themselves against top-notch competition is pretty much over, thereby shifting the spotlight even further to players from the nation's power-six conferences. So if you didn't already get your fill of guys like Doug McDermott, Damian Lillard, Orlando Johnson and Nate Wolters over the season's first two months, then you really missed the boat.
The man everyone will be looking to unseat as the season progresses is ultra-improved Kansas forward Thomas Robinson. Last week was T-Rob's first in the top spot, and the talented Jayhawks forward responded in a big way with an unmistakable player of the year-type performance in a blowout win over North Dakota (30 points & 21 rebounds). Robinson's team might be entering uncertain territory in a crowded Big 12 race, but as far as we're concerned, he's the No. 1 guy to beat to kick off 2012.
Week nine the jump...
|1||--||A flat-out elite performance: 30 pts, 21 reb, 4 asts vs. North Dakota.|
|2||--||Being more aggressive on D this yr=more fouls. 3.5/gm over last four.
||Per 40/min stats vs. L'ville: 26.7 pts, 14.8 rebs, 8.9 blks, 4.4 stls
||Efficient start in Big East play: 19 ppg, 65% FGs, 55% 3Ps, 77% FTs.
||Faces La Salle on Wed. (12 pts, 15 asts, 9 rebs vs. Explorers last yr).
|6||--||Surprising: Played more than 26 minutes just five times in 11-12.
||Spearheading *arguably* the best offense in college hoops.
-MSU||Vastly underrated for POY. All-around numbers are second to few, if any.
||Go figure - he's human after all: Two sub-50% FG games in a row.
||Not dominating like he's capable of. Could use a big game this wk.
||Virtually the same player as last year, just taking a few extra shots.
||His long range frequency is insane: 3.8 3PM/gm, 8.7 3PA/gm.
||Gaudy stats mask his abysmal 3P shooting. 23.2% after 14 gms.
||Double digit assist games: 9....Double digit scoring games: 9
-UNC||Double digit assist games: 6....Double digit scoring games:0|
||A star is born: Masterful 24-point, 19-rebound performance vs. L'ville.
|17||+2||Mature enough now to drop 20 every night in Big 12 play. Darkhorse.|
|18||--||Played 92.3% of Memphis' minutes over the last seven games.
||When he takes 19+ shots, the Badgers are 0-2. Still at 38.5 FG%.
|20||UNR||His junior yr. compared to his freshman yr: +13.0 FG%, +16.1 3P%