MAC Men's Basketball East Division Player of the Week
D.J. Cooper, Ohio, Guard
Sophomore, Chicago, Ill. (Seton Academy)
Cooper finished with a team-high 19 points, game-high five assists and four rebounds for the Green & White against St. Francis (PA). Cooper scored a career-high 43 points, while adding 13 assists, eight rebounds and eight steals but Ohio dropped lost 112-107 in quadruple overtime at St. Bonaventure. Cooper's 43 points were the most since Gary Trent scored 46 in a home win against Bowling Green back on February 19, 1994. The 41 field goal attempts were the most ever by a Bobcat, breaking the record that had stood since 1957. The 13 assists and eight steals were each career-highs and second-best all-time in a game by an Ohio player. His 41 shot attempts were the most by a Division I player in 15 years.
MAC Men's Basketball West Division Player of the Week
Xavier Silas, Northern Illinois, Guard
Senior, Austin, Texas (Brewster Academy/Univ. of Colorado)
Silas opened the week by scoring 40 points to lead NIU to an 80-78 victory over Illinois-Chicago. Silas' 40 points set a new NIU Convocation Center scoring record and was the first 40-plus point game for a Huskie since 1979. Silas scored 28 points in the second half of the contest, tying a NIU single-half record. He also went 22-of-24 from the free-throw line against the Flames, both marks also tied school records and the 22 free throws made also tied a Mid-American Conference mark. Silas capped the week with a game-high 27 points at Temple. He also recorded a career-high-tying five assists against the Owls. Silas is currently tied for the national lead in scoring with UConn's Kemba Walker, averaging 28.1 points per game.
Nikola Cvetinovic, Akron, Forward
Junior, Loznica, Serbia (Virginia Episcopal School)
Cvetinovic led the Zips to a 1-1 record last week, averaging 14.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists while averaging 35.0 minutes per game. Against No. 21/20 Minnesota (L, 66-58) on Dec. 15, Cvetinovic posted his first double-double of the week with an 11-point, 12-rebound performance. His 12 rebounds was a career high. Cvetinovic backed up that performance with a second-consecutive double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 boards in a 77-66 overtime win against Bethune-Cookman (Dec. 18). He is the first Zips' player to record back-to-back double-doubles since Jeremiah Wood did so in February 2007. For the week, he shot .421 from the field (8-for-19) and .750 from the charity stripe (12-for-16).
A'uston Calhoun, Bowling Green, Forward
R-Sophomore, Southfield, Mich. (Southfield)
Calhoun came off the bench to score a career-high 26 points and grab a career-best eight rebounds in Bowling Green's 72-69 loss at Milwaukee Saturday. Calhoun made 13-of-21 shots and scored 18 points in the second half as Milwaukee could find no answer to stopping him. The 13 field goals made are the second most in a game in the MAC this year.
Zach Filzen, Buffalo, Guard
Junior, North Field, Minn.
Filzen led all scorers with 21 points in a 79-47 win over Houghton. The junior shooting guard shot 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. It was his third 20+ scoring game of the season. He added a career-high six rebounds.
Jalin Thomas, Central Michigan, Forward
Senior, Columbus, Ohio
Thomas led the Chippewas in scoring for the fifth game this season, scoring 17 points versus Wright State on Dec. 14. The senior went on an individual 13-1 run in the second half to tie the game at 45-45. On Saturday, Thomas recorded a season-high eight rebounds in the loss to the Detroit Titans.
Julian Mavunga, Miami, Forward
Junior Indianapolis, Ind. (Brownsburg)
Mavunga led all scorers with 17 points and tied for the game-high with seven rebounds while adding four assists and a steal to his line at Wright State ... he was 6-for-9 from the field (.667), including 1-for-2 from 3-point range against the Raiders ... he led Miami in points, rebounds and assists.
Reese Holliday, Toledo, Guard
Freshman, Kansas City, Kan.
registered his second-straight double-double to lead the Rockets to a 75-63 win over Florida Gulf Coast. Holliday scored 11 points to go along with a career-high 13 rebounds and career-best four assists in a career-high 36 minutes. Holliday has scored in double figures in four straight contests and leads Toledo with a 55.3 field-goal percentage.
Demetrius Ward, Western Michigan, Guard
Junior, Detroit, Mich. (Pershing)
Ward scored a career high 19 points, his first game as the team's leading scorer in a game, in the Broncos' fourth-straight win and third-straight win decided by one possession (vs. South Dakota State, 77-74). The junior guard has scored in double figures in three-straight game and has been held to single digits on the scoreboard only twice during WMU's first nine games of the season. Ward made a career-high seven FGs in the win, also pulling down five boards, dishing two assists and swiping his 14th steal of the season.