Male Scholar Athlete of the Week: January 4-10, 2010

Updated 1/19/2010
Male Scholar Athlete of the Week: January 4-10, 2010

Eastern Michigan Oliver Walther (track and field)
Oliver Walther (Sr., 3.92, finance, Erfurt, Germany) won the men's long jump at the EMU Invitational this past Saturday, Jan. 9, 2010, at Bob Parks Track in Ypsilanti, Mich. With a leap of 23-03.25, Walther out-jumped competitors from the University of Michigan, Oakland University and Mid-American Conference rival Northern Illinois, among other schools and unattached jumpers. The 2009 Men's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Academic All-MAC Team selection also had the best season-opening jump of his career.

The MAC Scholar Athlete of the Week honor is presented to a MAC male and female student-athlete who has a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better and performs well during the week's competition. The winners are selected by a group of the conference's faculty athletic representatives.

Other Male Nominees:
Ball State: Ben Battjes (swimming & diving, Sr., 3.10, exercise science, Elkhart, Ind.) helped guide the Cardinals to a first-place finish at the Ball State Relay Invitational by swimming on four first-place relay squads. Battjes opened the meet by swimming the first leg for the first-place 300 butterfly relay that posted a time of 2:39.06. His second relay victory came in the 500 freestyle relay when he swam the first leg for the team that posted a time of 4:20.65. He also swam the first legs for the winning 200 freestyle relay (1:28.05) and the winning 400 medley relay (3:44.78).

Bowling Green: Joe Jakubowski (basketball, Jr., 3.31, undecided, Rossford, Ohio) scored a game-high 17 points, making 3-of-4 three-pointers, in Bowling Green's 71-45 loss to Akron to open Mid-American Conference play. The junior guard tied his season high by making 5-of-9 shots and all four of his free-throw attempts while adding a pair of steals. Jakubowski scored eight points during the team's early 13-point run that put the Falcons on top 19-10.

Buffalo: John Boyer (basketball, Sr., 3.56, physical therapy, Hollidaysburg, Pa.) scored seven points and added four assists in 34 minutes of action from his point guard position in UB's 73-55 over Miami (OH) in the conference opener. Both of Boyer's field goals in the game were from behind the three-point arc. He also pulled down three rebounds, all defensive. Boyer is third on the Bulls in scoring (7.6), second in three-pointers (19) and leads the club with 65 assists (5.4 per game).

Central Michigan: Marcus Breidinger (track and field, Sr., 3.39, biology, Alma, Mich.) won the pole vault with a mark of 16-0 3/4 at the Chippewa Open on Friday. His mark was nearly two feet higher than his next closest competitor and matched his performance that earned him a third-place finish at the 2009 MAC Outdoor Championships.

Kent State: Ross Tice (Wrestling, R-So., 3.32, education, Brookfield, Ohio) went 2-0 at the Virginia Duals this past weekend, at the Hampton Coliseum, helping Kent State to victories over Virginia Tech and Drexel. With his team trailing the Hokies 18-4 in the fifth place round, Tice scored a 3-2 victory over Matt Epperly to start a KSU rally. The Flashes went on to win 25-18. He also recorded a 17-1 technical fall victory over Drexel's Alex Rinaldi. On the season, Tice is 22-7 with four major decisions, one pin and one technical fall.

Northern Illinois: Xavier Silas (basketball, Jr., 3.53, pre-communication studies, Austin, Texas) averaged 24.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and three assists per game in leading Northern Illinois to a pair of road wins last week, including a 62-48 victory at Ball State in last Saturday's Mid-American Conference opener.

Silas' scoring output came on a 40 percent (10-25) effort from the field, and a near 90 percent (.893) clip in 28 attempts from the free throw line. He also drilled four three-pointers.

In last Wednesday's 99-93 win at Chicago State, Silas scored a game-high 24 points, leading the Huskies in scoring for the fourth-consecutive game. Silas converted six field goals, and went 10-of-13 from the charity stripe, while pulling down five rebounds and dishing out four assists in 30 minutes of action.

Against Ball State, Silas poured in 25 points, 20 in the second half, and recorded a single-game school record with a 15-for-15 effort from the free throw line. Silas scored 18 of NIU's final 21 points, including back-to-back field goals mid-way through the second-half that twice gave the Huskies a 14-point advantage. He also pulled down a career-high nine rebounds, and had two assists with one steal in 34 minutes. The 62-48 win marked NIU's first series of back-to-back road wins since March 2006.

Silas' 25 points were a single-game high for a MAC player in the league's opening weekend of divisional play. The back-to-back MAC West Player of the Week honoree currently leads the Huskies in scoring at 19.1 points per game, is shooting a team-best 78.7 percent from the free throw line and is NIU's second-leading rebounder (5.8 rpg).

Western Michigan: David Kool (basketball, Sr., 3.43, physical education, Grand Rapids, Mich.) moved into fifth all-time at Western Michigan with 1,685 career points by averaging 17.0 points per game in a pair of victories that stretched the Broncos winning streak to five. Kool started the week with an efficient game-high 15 points in only 12 minutes against Michigan-Dearborn on 6-of-7 shooting, 3-of-4 behind the arc. Kool came back in the MAC opener and posted a game-high 19 points, five rebounds and two steals in a victory over Eastern Michigan. For the week, Kool converted 10-of-20 field goals, 5-of-9 three-pointer and 9-of-10 free throws.

Previous Male Winners
Week 1 (Sept. 11) Dan LeFevour, CMU (football)
Week 2 (Sept. 18) Tim Hiller, WMU (football)
Week 3 (Sept. 25) Dan LeFevour, CMU (football)
Week 4 (Oct. 2) Jacquise Terry, KSU (football)
Week 5 (Oct. 9) Teal Bunbury, Akron (soccer)
Week 6 (Oct. 16) Brandon Bice, NIU (football)
Week 7 (Oct. 23) Jacob Lawrence, BGSU (soccer)
Week 8 (Oct. 30) Josh Violanti, Buffalo (football)
Week 9 (Nov. 6) Tony Jordanek, KSU (cross country)
Week 10 (Nov. 13) Tommy Davis, NIU (football)
Week 11 (Nov. 20) Dan LeFevour, CMU (football)
Week 12 (Nov. 23) Dan LeFevour, CMU (football)
Week 13 (Dec. 4) Bryan Anderson, CMU (football)
Chris Jenkins, EMU (wrestling)
Week 14 (Dec. 11) Kofi Sarkodie, Akron (soccer)
Week 15 (Dec. 18) David Kool, WMU (basketball)
Week 16 (Dec. 23) David Kool, WMU (basketball)
Week 17 (Jan. 8) Xavier Silas, NIU (basketball)
Alex Wolf, WMU (basketball)
Week 18 (Jan. 8) David Kool, WMU (basketball)
Week 19 (Jan. 15) Oliver Walther, EMU (track and field)