MAC East Division Men's Basketball Player of the Week
D.J. Cooper, Ohio,
Senior, Guard, Chicago, Ill. (Seton Academy)
Cooper averaged 16.0 points, 12.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals, while compiling an impressive 3.4 assist/turnover ratio, in two games this week for the Bobcats. In Ohio's Wednesday night matchup at UMass, the Chicago, Ill., native led the 'Cats with a season-best 23 points and added 10 assists and seven rebounds. The performance was Cooper's third double-double of the season and 20th of his career. With his sixth assist against UMass, Cooper became the MAC's all-time career assists leader (769). In a battle of two of the nation’s best point guards, Cooper held UMass' Chaz Williams to just nine points, marking the first time since Jan, 18 2012, that Williams did not reach double figures in scoring. On Saturday in a 93-57 win versus Maryland Eastern Shore, Cooper posted nine points while notching a season-best 14 assists in just 23 minutes on the floor.
MAC West Division Men's Basketball Player of the Week
Shayne Whittington, Western Michigan
Junior, Center, Paw Paw, Mich. (Lawrence)
Whittington had a career week for the Broncos, setting career highs in points in two consecutive games as the Broncos split a pair of contests. Whittington set a career-high with 20 points as part of a 20-point, 10-point double-double in the Broncos' loss at Duquesne. The performance was the third double-double of the season for Whittington, and represented the fourth straight game in which a Bronco recorded a double-double, a streak longer than any other going back to the 1998-99 season. Whittington was even better against Mount St. Mary's on Saturday, recording a career-high 24 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the field. Whittington went 18-of-27 from the field in two games for a 66.7 shooting percentage, and averaged 8.5 rebounds per game as well.
Zeke Marshall, Akron
Center, Senior, McKeesport, Pa. (McKeesport)
Marshall helped the Zips to a 2-0 last week, including a pair of 30-point wins over Arkansas-Pine Bluff (76-46) and Cleveland State (87-57). For the week, Marshall averaged 15.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocked shots and 1.5 steals per game. In 21 minutes against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Marshall pitched in with 13 points, six rebounds, five blocked shots and one steal. His five blocked shots marked the sixth time in nine games that he posted five or more swats in a single contest. In 23 minutes against Cleveland State, Marshall scored 18 points, grabbed four rebounds and recorded two steals. Despite not blocking a shot against the Vikings, Marshall helped limit CSU to just 12 points in the paint. He closed the week shooting 64.7 percent from the floor (11-of-17) and 90.0 percent from the charity stripe (9-of-10).
Jesse Berry, Ball State
Junior, Guard, Lafayette, Ind. (Jefferson)
Berry averaged a team-best 15.5 points per game for Ball State last week. The junior guard scored 22 points Tuesday at Purdue, including four 3-pointers. It was the third time this season Berry has topped 20 points in a game. He helped the Cardinals to a two-point lead midway through the second half before the Boilermakers made a late run. Berry then added nine points Sunday against IUPUI to go along with three assists.
Jordon Crawford, Bowling Green
Senior, Guard, La Salle (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Crawford averaged 18.5 points, 5.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds in a pair of near-upsets over power six conference schools this week, including scoring a career-high 27 points in a wild triple overtime loss at South Florida. Crawford opened the week with 10 points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals against No. 20 Michigan State as the Falcons were tied with the Spartans midway through the second half. Against USF, Crawford went scoreless in the first half before exploding for his career-high and he added six rebounds and four assists, while making four three-pointers. The diminutive 5-foot-6 point guard shot 40 percent from three-point distance on the week, knocking down six.
Kyle Randall, Central Michigan
Senior, Guard, Youngstown, Ohio (Kennedy Catholic (Pa.)
Averaged 19 points and 4.3 rebounds leading Central Michigan to a 2-1 record last week and pushing them to their seventh win. Randall scored 18 in a win over Texas State and opened the Sun Bowl Invitational with a career-high 27 points and 8 rebounds against Nebraska that included a 15-for-15 performance at the line. Randall was perfect from the line all week, hitting all 23 attempts, tallied nearly three times as many assists as turnovers (11 to 4), and earned a spot on the Sun Bowl Invitational All-Tournament Team. The Chippewas became the first team in a decade and only the second team in the last 25 years to win seven non-conference games.
Will Sullivan, Miami
Sophomore, Guard, Elmhurst, Ill. (York)
Sullivan shot a scorching 87.5 percent from the field for the week, including 80.0 percent from 3-point range. He missed just one field goal from the floor over Miami’s two games last week, a 3-point attempt at Wright State. As the fourth guard in a four-guard starting lineup against UIC, the 6-foot-3 Sullivan was the low-post guard and had the best game of his Miami career. He was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field, including 3-for-3 from long range tolead all players with a career-high 16 points, which doubled his previous career high. He added two assists, two steals and two rebounds in 29 minutes of action against the Flames to catapult Miami to a 3-0 record at home. The RedHawks snapped a four-game losing skid and handed a very good UIC team just its third loss of the season and its first to a MAC school in three meetings with the league this season. It also was the first back-to-back losses for the Flames. At Wright State, Sullivan earned his first start of the season and was a spark plug or the RedHawks. He hit a key 3-pointer and was fouled on the field goal in the first half to keep the RedHawks within striking distance. He also amassed three steals against the Raiders. For the week, Sullivan averaged 10.5 ppg and 2.5 spg.