MAC Men’s Basketball East Division Player of the Week
Zeke Marshall, Akron
Junior, Center, McKeesport, Pa. (McKeesport)
Marshall had a dominating week as the Zips returned home to Rhodes Arena after opening the season with six of their first eight games on the road. He helped Akron to a 2-0 record, averaging 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.0 blocked shots, 1.0 assist and 1.0 steal per game. Against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, he scored a season-high 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 7-of-10 from the charity stripe. He also grabbed six boards and blocked seven shots, setting the Rhodes Arena record for blocked shots by an Akron player and posting the fourth total of six or more blocked shots in a single game of his career. His seven blocked shots also helped Akron break the Rhodes Arena record for blocked shots by a team with 12. Against Florida A&M, he just missed his first double-double of the season, posting 13 points, nine rebounds and blocking three more shots. He closed the week shooting 68.4 percent from the field (13-of-19) and 72.7 percent from the free throw stripe (8-of-11). Through Dec. 17, Marshall leads the MAC in blocked shots (2.9 blocks/game) and is blocking 10.11 percent of the shots taken by opponents while on the floor, the tenth-best mark in the nation.
MAC Men’s Basketball West Division Player of the Week
Nate Hutcheson, Western Michigan
Junior, Forward, Marion, Iowa (Linn-Mar)
Hutcheson exploded offensively for the Broncos in their 85-71 win over the Duquesne Dukes on Saturday, notching 24 points on 7-of-9 (.778) shooting from the field. Hutcheson’s 24 points ranked as his new career high, and made him the fourth different Bronco to score 20+ points in a game this season, joining Mike Douglas (33), Matt Stainbrook (32), and Demetrius Ward (26). Hutcheson knocked down a pair of three-pointers against the Dukes, and contributed an 8-of-8 performance from the free throw line. Hutcheson is averaging 9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game in 2011-12.
Austin McBroom, Central Michigan
Freshman, Guard, North Hollywood, Calif. (Campbell Hall)
McBroom averaged 12.0 points per game for the Chippewas. The freshman scored a career-high 16 points at Minnesota, including a 5-for-5 performance from the arc.
Julian Mavunga, Miami
Senior, Forward, Indianapolis, Ind. (Brownsburg)
Mavunga had one of his best all-around performances to spearhead Miami to a 66-61 win over a very good Belmont team and to halt a four-game losing skid. Mavunga posted his fifth double-double of the season and 19th of his career with 17 points and 10 rebounds and added two assists and two steals in 34 minutes of action. Much of what Mavunga did to catapult Miami to the win does not show up in the stat sheet but was critical to the RedHawks' win with good passing to help get his teammates involved and solid leadership. He knocked down 12 free throws and moved into 10th on Miami’s career made free throw list. Mavunga continues to average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game, numbers that are among the best in the nation. He was one of just three players in the country entering the weekend to average such numbers and was the only among the three to average 2.0 apg.
DJ Cooper, Ohio
Junior, Guard, Chicago, Ill. (Seton Academy)
Cooper scored 20 points, one shy of his season-high, and grabbed nine rebounds as Ohio defeated Wright State 82-54 on Saturday night. Cooper made 7-of-9 field goal attempts as the Bobcats shot 61.7 percent (29 of 47), their best offensive performance of the season. Cooper led all scorers with 15 points and a game-high seven assists in a win over D3 power Marietta College earlier in the week. He has led Ohio in scoring seven times this season and also led the squad in assists every game. Cooper ranks ninth nationally in assists, 15th in steals and recently moved into second-place all-time at Ohio with 199 career steals.
Dominique Buckley, Toledo
Junior, Guard, Romulus, Mich. (Iowa State)
Buckley matched his career high for a third time this season with 21 points while shooting 5-of-9 from field, 3-of-4 from three-point range and 8-of-9 from the free-throw line in Toledo’s 86-77 win over Youngstown State. Buckley leads the Rockets with a 48.8 three-point field-goal percentage and 86.8 free-throw percentage and is averaging 13.4 ppg this season.