MAC Men’s Basketball East Division Player of the Week
Zeke Marshall, Akron
Center, Senior, McKeesport, Pa. (McKeesport )
Marshall helped the Zips to two more victories last week to extend UA’s winning streak to a nation’s best 13-straight games. For the week, he averaged 16.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.0 blocked shot per game while connecting on a near-perfect 15-of-17 from the field (.882). In Akron’s 68-55 win at Bowling Green on Wednesday, Marshall posted 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Despite not recording a blocked shot, Marshall helped the Zips win the battle of the paint (36-26) and the rebounding battle (40-32). In Akron’s nationally-televised 86-72 win over Ohio on ESPNU on Saturday, Marshall was a perfect 8-of-8 shooting from the field for 17 points. He also grabbed 12 boards, blocked two shots and added two assists as the Zips held OU to just 32.2 percent shooting in the second half while adding nine points and eight boards over the final 20 minutes. Akron dominated the boards (40-22) and were +12 scoring in the paint (40-28).
MAC Men’s Basketball West Division Player of the Week
Abdel Nader, Northern Illinois
Sophomore, Wing, Skokie, Ill. (Niles North)
Nader averaged 22.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals as Northern Illinois split a pair of games against Kent State and Toledo. Nader posted double-doubles in both contests and shot 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from beyond the 3-point arc for the week. On Wednesday (Jan. 30), Nader tied a career-high with 26 points and set a new career-high with 11 rebounds while leading NIU to its first win over Kent State since 2003. With the game tied at 65, Nader hit a pull-up, 18-footer with 2.2 seconds remaining to lift the Huskies to a 67-65 victory. Nader finished the contest 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Against Toledo, Nader scored a team-high 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to post his second consecutive double-double. Nader played a season-high 33 minutes against the Rockets. For the season, Nader is averaging a team-best 14.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
Jauwan Scaife, Ball State
Senior, Guard, Muncie, Ind. (Central)
Scaife averaged 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists over Ball State's two games last week. The senior guard poured in a season-high 23 points Wednesday against Toledo to go along with a season-best six rebounds, finishing one off his career high in both categories. He led four Cardinals in double figures for the game while making good on 11 of 12 free throw attempts. Saturday at Bowling Green, Scaife led the Cardinals again with 17 points and added three steals. He has now scored double figures in nine of the past 10 games and is averaging 16.5 points per game during that stretch. He ranks sixth in the MAC at 15.8 points per game in conference play.
A'uston Calhoun, Bowling Green
Senior, Forward, Southfield, Mich. (Southfield)
Calhoun averaged 14.0 points and 8.5 assists per game as the BGSU men's basketball team split two games this week at home, losing to first place Akron before defeating Ball State. Calhoun carried the Falcons offensively in the win over Ball State, finishing with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He also grabbed six rebounds and had two of the team's season-best 13 steals. Earlier in the week, Calhoun posted his third double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds against Ball State. He also went 8-for-10 from the free-throw line on the week.
Javon McCrea, Buffalo
Junior, Forward, Newark, NY (Newark)
McCrea averaged 19.5 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks as the Bulls went 1-1 on the week. The junior forward scored 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and added eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal in UB's 91-73 win over Central Michigan on Wednesday. At Western Michigan on Saturday, McCrea posted 22 points and 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season. He added two assists, two blocks and a steal against the Broncos. With 10 rebounds against WMU, McCrea became just the sixth player in school history to record 600 rebounds.
Blake Hibbits, Central Michigan
Freshman, Forward, Hudsonville, Mich. (Hudsonville)
Hibbitts averaged 14.5 and 4.5 rebounds off the bench in two games last week. He scored a career-high 17 points at Buffalo and hit four three-pointers in the first half against Miami. He has made at least three shots from behind the arc in the last three games, in which he is averaging 15 points, and has become the league's leading freshman three-point shooter.
Randal Holt, Kent State
Senior, Guard, Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville)
Holt became Kent State’s all-time leader in three-pointers, surpassing Trevor Huffman with 211 career trifectas. Holt averaged 13.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 3.0 three-pointers on the week. He scored a game-high 17 points and matched career marks with five three-pointers and six assists in leading the Golden Flashes to a 77-62 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday. Up just six points at half tie, Holt connected on back-to-back shots from long range to cap a 10-0 run to open the final period. Holt added nine points in a 67-65 loss at Northern Illinois on Wednesday.
Will Felder, Miami
Junior, Forward, Cleveland, Ohio (Lutheran East)
Felder averaged 14.0 ppg and 9.5 rpg last week and helped Miami win the program’s 600th Mid-American Conference game … Felder recorded his second double-double in three games with 17 points and 13 rebounds against Western Michigan, six coming on the offensive glass … he sunk 9-of-10 free throws and added a blocked shot and two steals to his performance … Felder’s 13 boards against the Broncos are the most by a Miami player this season and helped Miami win the battle on the boards by eight caroms against WMU, which was ranked 18th nationally in rebounding margin … he posted his 11th straight double-figure scoring effort with 11 points in a big road win at Central Michigan that ended a four-game losing skid for the RedHawks … Felder also notched six rebounds against the Chippewas.
Nick Kellogg, Ohio
Junior, Guard (Westerville, Ohio)
Kellogg led the Bobcats with 15 points in Saturday's 86-72 setback at Akron. While Ohio struggled from the field with a 40.7 percent effort (22-54), Kellogg was on point with a 6-of-11 (.545) shooting performance. He also knocked down two 3-pointers and added an assist in 34 minutes of action. On the year, Kellogg ranks fourth on the Bobcats with 9.1 points per game, and his 38.7 percent mark (41-106) from 3-point territory is seventh in the MAC.
Matt Smith, Toledo
Junior, Forward, UW-Green Bay
Smith was nearly perfect from the field and free-throw line last week on his way to averaging 16.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Smith converted 11-of-13 field-goal attempts (84.6 percent), including 5-of-6 (83.3 percent) from three-point range, and was 6-of-7 (85.7 percent) from the charity stripe to help Toledo post a pair of road wins over Ball State and Northern Illinois and extend its win streak to three games.
Shayne Whittington, Western Michigan
Redshirt Junior, Center, Paw Paw, Mich. (Lawrence)
Whittington was part of a pair of winning efforts for the Broncos last week, help extending their MAC win streak to six games with a road victory over Miami and a home victory against the Buffalo Bulls. Whittington got into foul trouble against the RedHawks on Wednesday, but still managed to score a team-high 13 points, including the game-winning jump shot with less than a minute remaining to put the Broncos on top. Whittington also added three rebounds and a block in the victory. Whittington had his fourth 20-point scoring performance of the season against the Bulls on Saturday, dropping 23 points, 14 rebounds, and a career-high four steals in the win against Buffalo. The double-double was the sixth of the season for Whittington, the most for a Broncos since Joe Reitz had six double-doubles in the 2007-08 season. The Broncos have won six straight MAC games, their longest win streak since winning six to start the 2004-05 season.