In the week of the holiday break, it seemed that everyone wanted to get their best game in before Christmas. There were a lot of great performances worthy of recognition but unfortunately we could choose one. This week's honoree is not only a first time recipient our prestigious award but he was also named WCC Player of the Week as well for the first time this season. So without further adieu, congratulations to Nem Mitrovic ...
Player of the Week
Nemanja Mitrovic(Toronto) –Junior, Portland
This week was slow one in terms of games that were played, largely due to the Christmas break for all schools, but it didn’t mean slacker performances. This may have been the toughest week for selections since there were so many great performances leading up to the break but we had to select one. This week’s NC-Double-Eh Player of the Week, as well as WCC Player of the Week, is the Portland Pilots’ Nem Mitrovic.
Sure there were other players with great, if not better stat lines, that Mitrovic’s this week but we have to acknowledge that he not only reached a new career high mark in points but he also did so very efficiently while helping his Pilots to the 88-79 win over Boise State Dec. 22. In 35 minutes, he scored 22 points on a very good 7-of-9 shooting from the floor which includes a perfect 5-of-5 from behind the three line. He also added 3 rebounds and an assist along with going 3-of-3 from the charity stripe as well.
For the season Mitrovic is averaging 12.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 27.1 minutes per game. He’s shooting 50.9% from the floor overall while knocking down 53.6% of his threes and 81.8% of his free throws. He is currently the Pilots’ third leading scorer and rebounder as well as placing fourth in assists. Mitrovic is currently sitting in the top 15 of several WCC Conference statistics including scoring (12th), FG% 97th), 3PT FG% (2nd) and 3PT Made Per Game (3rd at 2.8). His 3PT FG% is tied for 9th in the NCAA as of last night.
Honorable Mention: A tie …
Olu Ashoalu, Louisiana Tech: 18 pts, 11 rebs, 3 asts, 7-of-9 FG, 4-of-4 FTs, 28 mins in one game.
Kris Joseph, Syracuse: 25 pts, 7 rebs, 1 ast, 1 stl, 2 blks, 9-of-12 FG, 1-of-2 3PT FG, 6-of-7 FT, 35 mins in one game.
Rookie of the Week
Tristan Thompson (Brampton, ON) – Freshman, Texas
Tristan Thompson had a great game before the Christmas break. After a two not so spectacular games last week, Thompson had arguably his best game in this young season on his way to being named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week as well as our Can Ball Report Rookie of the Week.
In Texas’ tilt against Michigan State Dec. 22, Thompson helped lead the Longhorns over the Spartans in East Lansing to steal a 67-55 road win over a ranked opponent in a very tough environment. In 38 minutes of action, he went off for 17 points (on 6-of-13 from the field and 5-of-8 from the line) and a season high 15 rebounds for his third double-double of his young career. Thompson also added 3 steals, an assist and a block for good measure in the win.
For the season, Thompson is averaging 11.2 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1.3 assists in 30.7 minutes a game. He leads the team in both rebounding and blocks while placing fourth in points and third in minutes played. Thompson’s stats also place him among the Big 12 leaders in rebounds (8th), blocks (3rd) and offensive rebounds (1st).
Honorable Mention: Melvin Ejim, Iowa State: 18 pts, 8 rebs, 2 asts, 4 stls, 7-of-12 FG, 2-of-5 3PT FG, 2-of-3 FTs, 28 mins in one game.
Line of the Week
Alex Johnson(Toronto) – RS-Junior, Cal-Bakersfield
In a week of incredible performances, Alex Johnson’s line was the most noteworthy of them all. In Cal-Bakersfield’s win over in-state rival UC-Riverside, there’s no other way to say it other than he went off. In the Road Runners’ 89-80 win over Highlanders, Johnson dropped 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field overall. That is amazing but the best stat of all for his shooting is that he went 7-of-9 from behind the arc. 7-of-9! That’s an Eddie House or a James Jones type night right there. He hit almost twice as many threes as the Highlanders combined (Riverside was 4-of-15 from the three that game) and he accounted for half the Road Runners’ made threes too. Johnson also threw in two rebounds, 6 assists and a steal for good measure but really, his shooting numbers were the highlight of this week.