MAC East Division Men's Basketball Player of the Week
Chris Evans, Kent State
Senior, Forward, Chesapeake, Va. (Petersburg / Wabash Valley C.C [Ill.]
Evans led Kent State to a 1-1 record in two games this past week. The 6'8" forward began the week by leading the Golden Flashes to an overtime win at Youngstown State racking up a career high 24 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. He added another 18 points and eight rebounds in a loss to Princeton on Saturday night. For the week he averaged 21 points 9 rebounds and 2.5 steals in the two games.
MAC West Division Men's Basketball Player of the Week
Shayne Whittington, Western Michigan
Junior, Center, Paw Paw, Mich. (Lawrence)
Whittington sparked the Broncos to a pair of victories at home last week, running Western Michigan's win streak to six games. Whittington recorded a game-high 10 rebounds in the Broncos' buzzer-beating win over High Point on Thursday, contributing four points, two assists, and two blocks in the effort as well. Whittington was dominant in the Broncos' win against Oakland two days later, contributing a team-high 14 points and a career-high six blocked shots, the second-highest single-game total in program history. Whittington also hauled in four rebounds and recorded an assist and a steal. The Broncos' six-game win streak is the longest since the 2004-05 season, and the win against Oakland was the 100th home victory for the Broncos under head coach Steve Hawkins, now in his 10th season.
Alex Abreu, Akron
Junior, Guard, Bayamon, P.R. (Bayamon Military Academy)
Following a two-week hiatus, junior guard led the Zips to an 82-77 overtime victory over Middle Tennessee on Sunday at James A. Rhodes Arena. Abreu led the Zips with 19 points, seven assists, four rebounds and four steals. His 19 points tied his career high, equaling his 19-point performance in the Mid-American Conference Title Game against Ohio on March 10, 2012. He had a big second half, scoring 11 points, and dishing out four assists while recording three of his four steals. Two of his four buckets in the second half gave Akron the lead and he assisted on two of UA’s three overtime buckets. For the game, he connected on 50.0 percent from the field (7-of-14), 50.0 percent from long range (1-of-2) and 80.0 percent from the charity stripe (4-of-5).
Jesse Berry, Ball State
Junior, Guard, Lafayette, Ind. (Jefferson)
Berry scored a career-high 28 points Wednesday against Cleveland State. He hit his first four shots from the field and finished with a career-high eight field goals made, including four 3-pointers. He also set career highs for free throws made (8) and attempted (11). His previous career high for points in a game was 25. Berry then scored a team-high 12 points Saturday at Butler. He helped Ball State to second-half leads against both the Vikings and the Bulldogs before the opponents rallied. Over the two games last week, Berry averaged 20.0 points and 3.5 rebounds. He has scored in double figures in 10 of his past 13 contests dating back to last season.
Jordon Crawford, Bowling Green
Senior, Guard, Cincinnati, Ohio (La Salle)
Crawford scored a career-high 26 points, making a career-best five three-pointers, in Bowling Green's 70-65 win over Detroit early in the week. Crawford made 9-of-16 shots overall, including 5-of-10 three-pointers as the Falcons defeated one of the Horizon League favorites. Crawford followed that up with 16 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in a loss to Youngstown State Saturday.
Jarod Oldham, Buffalo
So., Guard, Decatur, Ill. (Eisenhower)
Oldham averaged 11 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.5 steals in two games on the week. The junior point guard scored a career-high 20 points, including a 5-of-7 from beyond the arc at St. Bonaventure on Saturday. Oldham added four rebounds, six assists and two steals against the Bonnies. Against Temple, Oldham scored only two points, but did add seven assists, five rebounds and a steal.
Kyle Randall, Central Michigan
Senior, Guard, Youngstown, Ohio (Kennedy Catholic (Pa.))
Randall recorded a then-career-high 21 points against Bradley on Wednesday, only to top himself with a career-high 24 point performance in a 66-64 win over Niagara on Sunday. Randall made three-of-four free throws in the final minute to clinch the victory over Niagara, led theteam in assists with three and co-led the team with four rebounds. The 5’ 10” guard also co-led the team in boards against Bradley with five. In two games, he averaged 22.5 points per game - including shooting 18-of-19 from the free throw line and 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Will Felder, Miami
Junior, Forward, Cleveland, Ohio (Lutheran East)
Felder went 5-of-9 from the field to lead Miami with 15 points in its lone game of the week. Felder shot 55.6 percent from the field and was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line as Miami dropped a tough one-point loss on the road at IPFW Saturday night, 57-56. Felder also led all players with a career-high-tying eight rebounds. His 15 points were his most as a RedHawk and the third time this season he has scored in double figures. Felder also recorded two blocked shots.
D.J. Cooper, Ohio
Senior, Guard, Chicago, Ill. (Seton Academy)
Cooper led the Bobcats to a 1-1 record this past week after he averaged a team-best 17.5 points per game. He also dished out 6.0 assists, pulled down 1.5 rebounds and averaged 1.0 steals per game. Cooper opened the week by scoring 16 points in a 69-65 win at home over St. Bonaventure. Five of his 16 points came in the final 40 seconds to push the Bobcats over the Bonnies. On Saturday at Robert Morris, he dished out a game-high 10 assists and scored 17 of his team-high 19 points in the second half as the Bobcats dropped an 84-76 decision to the Colonials.
Rian Pearson, Toledo
Junior, Guard, Green Bay
Pearson scored a career-high 30 points last Wednesday vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi en route to averaging a team-high 21.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 2.0 spg for the week. Pearson, who sank 21-of-26 (80.8) free throws in UT's games, tallied his career-best point total by sinking 6-of-9 field-goal attempts (2-of-2 from three-point range) and a career-best 16-of-20 free-throw attempts. His 16 free throws were tied for second most in Savage Arena history and tied for third most overall in school history. Against Cleveland State, Pearson tallied 13 points and led the Rockets with six boards and three steals.