CLEVELAND, Ohio (February 7, 2000) -- Bowling Green's Len Matela on offense and Toledo's Greg Stempin on defense are the recipients of the Mid-American Conference men's basketball Player of the Week awards for the 12th week of the 1999-2000 season.
MAC Pepsi Offensive Player of the Week - Bowling Green's Len Matela (6-9, So., C, Merrillville, Ind.)
Matela averaged 20.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in two games as the Falcons went 1-1. Matela scored 24 points and had 16 rebounds versus Ball State and 17 points and nine rebounds against Ohio, leading his team in scoring in both games. He shot 68.0% (17-of-25) from the floor and leads the MAC in field goal percentage at 64.3%.
MAC Pepsi Defensive Player of the Week - Toledo's Greg Stempin (6-8, Jr., F, Macomb, Mich.)
Stempin led Toledo to its third and fourth wins in a row by averaging 18 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and two steals per game. The Rockets defeated Miami 71-61 and Buffalo 93-65. In boosting the Rockets' defensive efforts since he returned, Stempin has helped hold Toledo opponents to 38.2% shooting from the field as opposed to 52.4% in the five games he missed in January. Stempin scored 19 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out four assists versus the RedHawks and added 17 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals against Buffalo. He shot 66.7% (12-of-18) from the field. Stempin was also nominated for offensive player of the week honors.
Offensive Player of the Week nominations
Akron's Jimmal Ball (5-10, Sr., G, Canton, Ohio) averaged 18.5 points, five rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as Akron went 2-0. Ball scored a career-high 25 in an 89-83 win at Western Michigan.
Ball State's Patrick Jackson (5-10, G, So., Muncie, Ind.) averaged 16.5 points per game as the Cardinals went 2-0. Jackson scored a career-high 19 in a 71-61 win versus Bowling Green and 14 points in a 78-58 triumph over Eastern Michigan.
Central Michigan's Chad Pleiness (6-6, F, Fr., Scottville, Mich.) averaged 18 points and four rebounds as the Chippewas went 1-2. He scored a game-high 21 points versus Kent, 19 against Akron and 14 versus Northern Illinois.
Kent's Trevor Huffman (6-1, G, So., Petoskey, Mich.) averaged 19.5 points in two games as the Golden Flashes went 2-0 with wins over Western Michigan and Central Michigan. He led Kent in scoring in both games, scoring 22 versus WMU and 17 against CMU, shooting 52.9% (9-of-17) from the field during the week. Huffman was also nominated for defensive player of the week honors for his 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.
Marshall's Tamar Slay (6-9, So., F, Beckley, W.Va.) scored 26 points in the Thundering Herd's only game, a 93-61 triumph over Buffalo. Slay made 55.5% (10-of-18) of his field goal attempts.
Northern Illinois' T.J. Lux (6-9, C, Sr., Merrillville, Ind.) averaged 18.0 points and 9.3 rebounds in the Huskies' three games. Lux became the school's career scoring leader in the process. Lux got the record by scoring 18 points in the Ohio game and ended the week with 1,876 points. He scored 20 points in a 69-59 win against Miami, sparking a Huskie comeback from a halftime deficit of five points.
Defensive Player of the Week nominations
Ball State's Theron Smith(6-8, F, Fr., Auburndale, Fla.) grabbed 14 rebounds (9 defensive) as the Cardinals went 2-0 with wins over Bowling Green, 71-61, and Eastern Michigan, 78-58. BSU moved into a tie for the West Division lead.
Buffalo's Mike McKie (6-8, F, So., Brooklyn, N.Y.) had nine blocked shots in two games, including a career-high six versus Toledo. The Bulls went 0-2 with losses to Marshall, 93-61, and Toledo, 93-65. McKie also had 14 rebounds in the two games.
Ohio's Shaun Stonerook (6-8, F, Sr., Westerville, Ohio) tallied 15 defensive rebounds in two games as the Bobcats beat Northern Illinois, 76-61, and lost at Bowling Green, 73-69. Stonerook also had six steals in the two games while contributing 35 points.