MAC Men’s Basketball West Division Player of the Week
Julius Brown, Toledo
Freshman, Guard, Markham, Ill. (Hillcrest)
Brown averaged 11.0 ppg, 6.5 apg and 3.5 rpg to help the Rockets to a pair of victories last week. He also registered a 42.9 three-point FG% (3-of-7) and a 2.2 assist/turnover ratio. Brown scored 10 points and dished out five assists in UT’s 63-55 road win over Ball State and followed that up with 12 points, eight assists, six rebounds and a season-low one turnover in the Rockets’ 59-58 victory at Sam Houston State. His six rebounds tied a season high and he also knocked down a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to help UT secure its victory.
MAC Men’s Basketball East Division Player of the Week
DJ Cooper, Ohio
Junior, Guard, Chicago, Ill. (Seton Academy)
Cooper helped the Bobcats become the only MAC East team to win both its games during the past week and improve the ‘Cats’ home record to 15-1, a program best. Ohio became the first team to earn 20 wins on the season as Cooper scored a season-high 22 points , grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists against Bowling Green. Against UNCA, Cooper scored only six points but dished out eight assists, his highest total since his triple-double against Portland. Cooper is now 23 assists shy of breaking the Ohio all-time mark.
Alex Abreu, Akron
Sophomore, Guard, Bayamon, P.R. (Central Jersey EOTO Academy)
Abreu helped the Zips to a 1-1 records last week, averaging 12.5 points, 5.0 assists and 1.5 rebounds per game while shooting 41.7 percent from the field (5-of-12) and a perfect 12-of-12 at the charity stripe. He also posted a 3.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. In Akron’s 74-59 win over Miami (Ohio), Abreu finished with nine points, six assists and two rebounds. He finished the game with just one turnover. Against Oral Roberts, Abreu posted a game-high tying 16 points in addition to four assists, one rebound and one steal.
Jesse Berry, Ball State
Sophomore, Guard, Lafayette, Ind. (Jefferson)
Berry averaged 15.0 points per game off the bench last week while playing just 24.0 minutes per game. Berry scored 17 points off the bench against Toledo as he was 6-of-12 (.500) from the field, including four three-pointers. He followed that performance up with 13 points in 20 minutes against Southern Illinois as he hit three three-pointers. On the week, he connected on 46.7 percent (7-of-15) from long range.
Scott Thomas, Bowling Green
Senior, Forward, Ashley, Ohio (Buckeye Valley)
Thomas averaged 22.5 points per game and set new career highs in points and three-pointers as Bowling Green split two games this week. In Saturday's BracketBusters win over Morehead State, Thomas scored a career-best 28 points, making a career-high eight three-pointers, just one shy of the school record. He knocked down six of those three-pointers in the first half and scored 20 points as the Falcons built a 14-point halftime lead. He added four rebounds, four assists and three steals in the win. In a midweek loss at Ohio, Thomas scored 17 points and added five rebounds, an assist and a steal, breaking into the top 10 in BGSU history in career assists. On the week, Thomas shot 50 percent from the field, was perfect on four free-throw attempts, and made nine three-pointers.
Trey Zeigler, Central Michigan
Sophomore, Guard, Mt Pleasant, Mich. (Mt Pleasant)
In addition to averaging 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game, Zeigler also tallied 2.0 blocks and 1.5 steals in Central's two contests. In CMU's win over West Division-leading Eastern Michigan, Zeigler nearly recorded a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounding while blocking a career-high four shots. In CMU's game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Zeigler notched a game-high 22 points along with five assists. It was his sixth 20-point game of the season. Just a sophomore, Zeigler passed the 900-career points plateau on Saturday against the Islanders.
Michael Porrini, Kent State
Senior, Guard, Massillon, Ohio/Washington H.S. (Gulf Coast C.C. [Fla.])
Porrini averaged 12 points 7.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in two games last week. On Tuesday he helped Kent State erase an eight-point halftime deficit by scoring 14 of his 16 points in the second half in a 76-71 win vs Buffalo that extended the Golden Flashes winning streak to seven straight. Porrini's play transcended beyond the box score as he gave Kent State a +20 advantage in points scored (64-44) in the 31 minutes he was on the court. During the nine minute he was on the bench, Buffalo outscored the Golden Flashes 27-12. Despite Porrini totaling eight points, nine rebounds and five assists on Saturday, the win streak was snapped in an 80-73 BracketBusters loss to Charleston. During MAC play this season he is the only player in the league averaging more than nine points, five rebounds and five assists.
Demetrius Ward, Western Michigan
Senior, Guard, Detroit, Mich. (Pershing)
Ward had a game-high 18 points in the Broncos’ 78-53 win over Northern Illinois on Wednesday, shooting 6-of-12 from the field and 5-of-10 from three point range in helping the Broncos down the Huskies. Ward also contributed two rebounds and two steals. Ward would help the Broncos jump out to an 11-point lead in the first half of their Bracketbuster game at North Dakota State, contributing nine points and five rebounds in the loss. Ward ranks second on the team with an 11.7 points per game average.