MAC East Division Men’s Basketball Player of the Week
Walter Offutt, Ohio
Junior, Guard, Indianapolis, Ind. (Warren Central)
Offutt and the Bobcats went 2-0 against Buffalo and Akron, the only MAC East team to win both their games on the week. Offutt led the team in scoring after scoring a career-high 23 points on a record five three-pointers against the Bulls in Buffalo. The junior also added seven rebounds as the ‘Cats out-boarded one of the top teams not only in the league, but in the nation. Offutt then had 14 points and five rebounds in a blowout home win over the league-leading Zips. For the week, Offutt led Ohio in scoring and rebounding while shooting 60 percent from the field and 64 percent from three-point range (7-of-11).
MAC West Division Men’s Basketball Co-Players of the Week
Julius Brown, Toledo
Freshman, Guard, Markham (Hillcrest)
Brown led the Rockets to a pair of victories last week and put UT into a second-place tie in the West Division by averaging 21.5 ppg, 3.5 apg and 1.5 spg. He also was impressive shooting the basketball with a 62.5 FG% (15-of-24), 66.7 3PTFG% (2-of-3) and 78.6 FT% (11-of-14). Brown opened his week tying a school record for a Mid-American Conference game by hitting 10-of-11 shots (90.9 FG%) and tying his career high with 29 points in a 72-67 win over Central Michigan. He knocked down a career-high eight free throws, including seven in the final three minutes, to help the Rockets secure the victory.In Toledo’s 83-74 win over Western Michigan, Brown tallied 14 points to go along with a game-high seven assists and three steals. He also was part of a Rocket offense that committed a season-low five turnovers (one in the second half). The Markham, IL native again came up big down the stretch by burying a jumper with 2:31 to play after the Broncos had cut UT’s lead to 72-71. He then hit pair of free throws with 15.8 seconds left to clinch the victory.
Darrell Lampley, Eastern Michigan
Senior, Guard, Linden, N.J. (Linden)
Lampley helped lead the Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team to two West Division wins last week. The 5-foot-10 Lampley averaged 17 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists while making 17-of-19 free throw attempts as EMU won two games. Lampley scored 21 points with five assists and three steals in a 48-45 win over Northern Illinois, Feb. 22. He also made 9-of-11 free throws in that victory. Saturday, Feb. 25, at home on Senior Day, Lampley scored 13 points with five rebounds and eight assists in a 61-50 victory over Ball State. Lampley hit all 10 free throw attempts in that contest.The two wins boosted the Eagles to 8-6 in MAC action, good for at least a tie for their first-ever West Division title. EMU has a two-game lead over second-place Western Michigan and Toledo with two games left.
Scott Thomas, Bowling Green
Senior, Forward, Ashley, Ohio (Buckeye Valley)
Thomas averaged 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists as Bowling Green went 1-1 on the week. Thomas added seven three-pointers, four steals, and shot 50 percent from the floor in two games. In Saturday's win over Kent State, Thomas set the tone by making four first-half three-pointers and scoring 15 points. He finished the game with 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and blocked shot, making 6-of-10 three-pointers. In a mid-week loss to Akron, Thomas had nine points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Mitchell Watt, Buffalo
Senior, Forward, Goodyear, Ariz. (Desert Edge)
Watt averaged 23.5 points, 6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 blocks in pair of games this week. Against Ohio, Watt had 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 shooting from the free throw line. He added seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. He had the best game of his career in an 84-74 win over Miami. The senior forward finished with a career-high 28 points and added five rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal. He shot 11-for-16 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. For the week Watt shot 74 percent from the field (17-for-23).
Trey Zeigler, Central Michigan
Sophomore, Guard, Mt Pleasant, Mich. (Mount Pleasant)
Zeigler averaged 23.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in CMU's two games last week, including a home win over Northern Illinois. In CMU's midweek game at Toledo, the sophomore poured in a career-high 33 points, including scoring 14 of CMU's final 18 as the Chippewas clawed back in the game. The 33 points was a MAC individual season high in conference play and the most points by a CMU player since 2008. In the win over NIU, Zeigler tallied 14 points and seven rebounds while shooting 6-for-8 from the floor.
Julian Mavunga, Miami
Senior, Forward, Indianapolis, Ind. (Brownsburg)
Mavunga shot 50 percent from the field, while knocking down three 3-pointers last week as he averaged 18.5 ppg and 4.5 apg … Mavunga tallied 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists, one blocked shot and one steal in 40 minutes of action in a thrilling 62-60 win over Kent State … he clinched the game with a pair of free throws with three seconds left, his only charity tosses of the game … at Buffalo, Mavunga notched his 14th career and sixth 20-point game of the season … he also added five assists to his tally … he shot 52 percent from the field to lead Miami to a 51.9 percent shooting effort for the game.
Abdel Nader, Northern Illinois
Freshman, Wing, Skokie, Ill. (Niles North)
Nader averaged 17 points, 7.5 rebounds and three assists this past week in games against Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan. Nader shot 54.5 percent (12-of-22) from the field and was a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe combined against the Eagles and Chippewas. Nader opened the week with 10 points and a game-high seven rebounds against Eastern Michigan. He followed that up with 24 points, his 15th double-figure scoring game of the season, on 8-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-6 from three, against CMU. Nader also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds against the Chippewas while also recording three assists and three steals in the contest.
Flenard Whitfield, Western Michigan
Senior, Forward, Detroit, Mich. (King)
Whitfield was the focal point of the offense for the Broncos in last week’s games; even as the team continued to light it up from three-point range (13 triples against Ball State, tied for fourth-most in school history), Whitfield controlled the post and put up strong numbers. Whitfield went 5 of 10 from the field against Ball State for 15 points, and also added five rebounds, one block, and one assist, as the Broncos avenged an earlier loss to the Cardinals with a 78-61 win. Whitfield would have a nearly identical scoring performance three days later, scoring 15 points on 6 of 12 shooting in the Broncos’ loss at Toledo. Whitfield, though, would recorded eight rebounds and a career-high six assists.