MAC Men’s Basketball East Division Player of the Week
Chris Evans, Kent State
Junior, Forward, Chesapeake, Va. (Petersburg)
Evans led Kent State to a pair of victories in an efficient manor this past week averaging 18.5 points per game while shooting 83 percent from the field connecting on 15-18 shots. The 6'7" high flying forward also added 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 2.5 steals per game all the while giving the Golden Flashes a +45 advantage in points scored when he was on the court. The week started for Evans with 14 points (6-8 FGs), four rebounds and three blocked shots in 27 minutes of action in a 90-56 win over Northern Illinois. Evans had four points in his first four minutes of action to boost a 21-3 start to the game for the Golden Flashes. On Saturday, one day before his 21st birthday, Evans racked up a career high 23 points on 9-10 from the field and 3-3 from three in a 77-61 win over Toledo that gave Kent State its first MAC road win of the year. He also added six rebounds, four steals and three assists in the victory. Three of his steals came during a decisive 11-0 run in the second half as the Golden Flashes forced turnovers on five consecutive Toledo possessions to fuel the game changing run. Evans is is averaging 15.6 points and shooting 72.7% (32-44) in the last five games. During MAC play he leads the league in field goal percentage shooting 64.0 percent.
MAC Men’s Basketball West Division Player of the Week
Rian Pearson, Toledo
Sophomore, Guard, UW-Green Bay
Pearson averaged 22.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg and shot 54.1 percent (20-of-37) from the field while playing a team-high 34.5 minutes per game. In Wednesday's 63-61 win at Miami which snapped UT's 27-game MAC road losing streak, Pearson tallied his fifth double-double of the season with a team-high 23 points and 10 rebounds. In Saturday's contest vs. Kent State, Pearson produced his sixth 20-point outing of the year with 22 points and tied for the team rebounding lead with seven boards. Pearson also tied his career best with 10 field goals made in both contests.
Brian Walsh, Akron
Sophomore, Guard, Coraopolis, Pa. (Moon High School/Xavier)
Walsh helped the Zips to a 2-0 start to MAC cross divisional play as the Zips posted back-to-back road victories at Ball State (70-58) and at Central Michigan (74-64). For the week, Walsh averaged 12.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 1.0 assist per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field (5-of-12), 44.4 percent from long range (4-of-9) and was a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe. Against Ball State, he led the Zips with 16 points and finished with five rebounds and three steals. He helped seal the victory by scoring 11 of the last 15 points for the Zips, with eight of those points coming from the free throw line (8-of-8). In Akron’s road win at CMU, Walsh finished with eight points, seven rebounds and three steals.
Jarrod Jones, Ball State
Senior, Forward, Michigan City, Ind. (Michigan City)
Jones averaged 18.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in the Cardinals two games last week against Akron and Ohio … Jones opened the week by scoring a game-high 25 points and grabbing nine rebounds against the Zips … This marks the ninth time this season and 19th of his career he has reached at least 20 points in a game … He followed that up with his 27th career double-double at Ohio as he scored 11 points and tied his career-high with 15 rebounds … He leads the team in scoring at 17.1 points and on the glass at 8.8 rebounds per game this season.
Javon McCrea, Buffalo
Sophomore, Forward, Newark, NY (Newark)
McCrea averaged 15.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2 steals to lead the Bulls to a pair of wins over Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois. Against the Eagles, McCrea had a game-high 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and added three rebounds, two assists and a steal in 25 minutes. He had one of his most productive games of the season against Northern Illinois, with 14 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals in only 19 minutes of action. He pulled down 11 of his rebounds in just nine minutes of the second half. It was his fifth double-double of the season.
Trey Zeigler, Central Michigan
Sophomore, Guard, Mount Pleasant, Mich. (Mount Pleasant)
Zeigler averaged 16.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game for the Chippewas last week. While battling the flu against Bowling Green on the road, he tallied a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds while dishing out three assists. He led the Chippewas in all three categories. Against MAC-leading Akron, he had 16 points, nine boards and another three assists. Zeigler is the only MAC player to lead his team in points, rebounds and assists.
Darrell Lampley, Eastern Michigan
Senior, Guard, Linden, N.J. (Linden)
Led the team in scoring in both games last week. Averaged 17.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals in two games last week. Made 13-of-27 field goals and 5-of-10 triples in the two games. Scored 14 points with three steals in a 65-47 loss at Buffalo Wednesday, Jan. 24, and led all scorers with 20 points in a 55-50 win at home against Bowling Green Saturday, Jan. 28. Against BGSU he made 7-of-13 field goals, and 4-of-6 triples.
Julian Mavunga, Miami
Senior, Forward, Indianapolis, Ind. (Brownsburg)
Mavunga averaged a double-double for the week, posting his 10th and 11th double-doubles of the season and upping his career total of double-doubles to 25 … He notched 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the RedHawks against Toledo, while handing out four assists … at Western Michigan, Mavunga tallied 19 points and 10 rebounds, while handing out three assists.
D.J. Cooper, Ohio
Junior, Guard, Chicago, Ill. (Seton Academy)
The junior guard scored a game-high 18 points, pulled down five rebounds, dished out three assists and had three steals in the win over Western Michigan. He then contributed six points and six assists in a victory against Ball State. Cooper currently ranks seventh in the nation in steals per game with 2.7 and has one of the top assist averages in the country with 5.6 per game.
Shayne Whittington, Western Michigan
Sophomore, Center, Paw Paw, Mich (Lawrence)
Whittington took on a more prominent role in the offense this past week, stepping into the starting line-up and teaming with WMU forward Flenard Whitfield for a dominant post and rebounding presence in the Broncos’ games against Ohio and Miami. Getting his first start at center since the MAC opener against Ball State, Whittington scored a career-high nine points and recorded a career-high 13 rebounds in the Broncos’ 56-51 road loss to Ohio. Whittington would get the start in the next game and break new ground in the Broncos’ win over Miami on Saturday, as well; he set a new career-high with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and contributed 11 rebounds to notch the first double-double of his career.