MAC East Division Men's Basketball Player of the Week
D.J. Cooper, Ohio
Senior, Guard, Chicago, Ill. (Seaton Academy)
Cooper averaged 18.5 points, 6.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in a 2-0 week for the Bobcats to open MAC play. The 2013 Cousy Award finalist connected on 60.0 percent of his field goal attempts (12-20), including a 53.8 mark (7-13) from 3-point territory. In Ohio's 86-68 win over Buffalo Wednesday, Cooper posted a game-high 21 points, distributed seven assists, and made 7-of-9 shot attempts (.778), including a season-high .833 mark (5-6) from beyond the arc. On Saturday in Ohio's 61-59 win at Western Michigan, Cooper led the 'Cats with 16 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals. During the game, the Chicago, Ill., native passed Johnathon Jones (Oakland), Chris Duhon (Duke) and Ronald Moore (Siena) to move into 24th place on the all-time NCAA Division I assists list.
MAC West Division Men's Basketball Player of the Week
Julius Brown, Toledo
Sophomore, Guard, Markham, Ill. (Hillcrest)
Brown guided Toledo to a 2-0 start in conference play by nearly recording a double-double for the week as he averaged 14.0 points and 9.5 assists per game while also grabbing 6.5 rebounds per contest. Brown was also perfect in nine trips to the charity stripe and nearly flawless directing the Rocket offense with just two turnovers.
Brown helped UT open the week with a 70-58 win at Kent State in its MAC opener by dishing out 10 assists (with just one turnover) to go along with seven points and six boards. The victory was the Rockets’ first at the M.A.C. Center since the 1999-2000 season and also snapped the Golden Flashes’ 31-game win streak against the MAC West Division.
In UT’s 76-72 (OT) win over Central Michigan, Brown tallied 21 points, nine assists and a career-best seven rebounds with just one miscue in a career-high 40 minutes. Brown scored 15 of his points following the opening stanza and put the Rockets ahead to stay, 71-70, by burying an 18-foot jumper with 1:03 remaining. After a Chippewa miss, he knocked down two free throws with 31.1 ticks left for a 73-70 lead. He then sealed the victory with two more free throws and converted all six of his attempts in overtime.
Nick Harney, Akron
Junior, Forward, Cleveland, Ohio (Benedictine)
Harney led the Zips to a 2-0 record over the last week, including a pair of double-digit wins to open Mid-American Conference play. For the week, Harney averaged 13.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocked shots and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 47.4 percent from the field (9-of-19) and 70.0 percent from the charity stripe (7-of-10). In Akron’s 65-43 win over Western Michigan, Harney led all scorers with 15 points, in addition to four rebounds and a career-high three steals. He pitched in with 12 points, seven boards and two blocked shots in Akron’s 68-53 win at Northern Illinois on Saturday. Harney has now scored in double figures in each of the last four games.
Chris Bond, Ball State
Junior, Forward, Gary, Ind. (Bowman Academy)
Bond turned in a pair of strong all-around performances last week, averaging 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.5 assists over Ball State’s two games. Bond lifted the Cardinals to a 60-58 victory Wednesday at Eastern Michigan by knocking down the game-winning free throws with less than one second left to break a tie score. He finished the game a perfect 8-for-8 from the floor, the most efficient shooting performance in the league this year, and matched his career high with 18 points to go along with four assists and four steals. Saturday against Kent State, Bond fell just shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. The junior forward, who entered the week second in the league in steals, added four more against the Golden Flashes and helped the Cardinals slice an 18-point deficit to one late in the second half.
Jordon Crawford, Bowling Green
Senior, Guard, Cincinnati, Ohio (La Salle)
Crawford set a career scoring high in a mid-week game at Central Michigan and then hit a game-winning three-pointer with 6.1 seconds remaining to defeat Eastern Michigan Saturday. Crawford opened the week by scoring 25 second-half points to rally Bowling Green back from a 23-point second half deficit. The senior point guard finished with a career-best 29 points as the Falcons eventually tied the score late, but were unable to get over the hump for the win. Saturday, the Falcons bounced back as Crawford knocked down a long three-pointer from the top of the key with 6.1 seconds remaining to give the Falcons a 46-44 win over EMU. On the week, Crawford averaged 20.0 points and 4.0 assists per game, while making five three-pointers and connecting on all five of his free-throw attempts. He also had five rebounds and four steals.
Javon McCrea, Buffalo
Junior, Forward, Newark, NY (Newark)
McCrea averaged 16 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2.5 steals in two games on the week. The junior forward had 13 points, six rebounds, four blocks and a steal at Ohio. He followed up that performance with his fourth double-double of the season against Miami on Saturday. Against the RedHawks, McCrea had 19 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, four blocks and four steals.
Kyle Randall, Central Michigan
Senior, Youngstown, Ohio (Kennedy Catholic (Pa.)
Randall averaged 27.5 points and 4 rebounds while shooting 65.4 percent from the floor last week leading Central Michigan to a MAC-opening win over Bowling Green before taking preseason favorite Toledo into overtime. Randall scored 31 points and grabbed six rebounds in the win over the Falcons, hitting 8-of-11 from the field and all 13 free throw attempts. His performance at the line stretched his consecutive free throw streak to 39. At Toledo, he scored 11 of his game-high 24 points in the second half, including seven straight late in the game to erase a CMU deficit, and scored the final basket of regulation to send the game into overtime.
Chris Evans, Kent State
Senior, Forward, Chesapeake, Va. (Wabash Valley C.C.)
Evans continued his stellar senior campaign, averaging 17.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists over Kent State’s two games. Evans tallied his fourth 20-point game of the season in a 70-58 loss to Toledo on Wednesday, finishing the game with team-highs of 20points, three assists, and two blocked shots. He also added seven rebounds in defeat. Coming off the bench for just the second time this season on Saturday, Evans lifted the Golden Flashes to a 61-47 win over Ball State. Trailing 7-0 at the first media timeout, Evans entered the game and sparked a 35-13 run to end the half. Evans finished 14 points, four rebounds, and three assists. The lead was cut to a single point with a few minutes remaining, but Evans made two big shots to help the Flashes pull away down the stretch.
Allen Roberts, Miami
Junior, Guard, Middletown, Ohio (Middletown)
Roberts spearheaded Miami to a thrilling 58-57 road win at Buffalo, the RedHawks’ first MAC win of the season and their first win at UB since 2008. Roberts scored 22 points to lead all scorers, sinking the game-winning free throws with seven seconds remaining. He was a scorching 8-of-11 from the field (.727) and was 2-of-3 from 3-point range. It was Roberts’ third 20-point game of the season and the fifth of his career. he also scored 11 points against Northern Illinois in the RedHawks’ MAC opener. for the week, he averaged 16.5 ppg, shot 54.5 percent from the field and 85.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Darrell Bowie, Northern Illinois
Freshman, Wing, Milwaukee, Wis./La Jolla Prep (Calif.)
Bowie averaged 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds as Northern Illinois split a pair of games to open conference play. Bowie scored a career-high 10 points and tied a career-best with five rebounds, as NIU defeated Miami, 72-61, to win its conference opener for the first time since the 2009-10 season. Bowie also contributed two steals and a block in the Huskies first victory in Oxford, Ohio in 32 years, breaking a 13-game losing streak at Miami. Bowie then set another career-high with 13 points and five rebounds against Akron. Bowie is averaging 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game for the season and 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game since moving into the starting lineup four games ago.
Shayne Whittington, Western Michigan
Junior, Center, Paw Paw, Mich. (Lawrence)
Whittington was solid for the Broncos in their opening week in MAC play, posting his fourth double-double of the season in the Broncos' narrow loss to preseason favorite Ohio. Whittington notched 10 points and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds in the loss. Whittington led the Broncos with an average of 9.5 rebounds per game in their two contests last week.