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College Basketball: Machado, Lillard and the Mid-Major Midseason All-Americans

Jesse KramerCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2012

College Basketball: Machado, Lillard and the Mid-Major Midseason All-Americans

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    Everyone knows about the big boys of mid-major basketball.

    Iona's Scott Machado leads the nation in assists.

    Damian Lillard of Weber State leads the nation in scoring.

    And Doug McDermott, who is No. 3 in the nation in scoring, has led Creighton to a top 25 ranking.

    Here is a look at all of the main guys at the mid-major level—some that you may have heard of and some that have flown under the radar.

    There will be a final edition at the end of the college basketball season.

     

    **Follow Jesse Kramer on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer for more college basketball news and information.

Scott Machado, First Team Guard, Iona

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    Machado is easily the best mid-major point guard and he might even be the best point guard at any level of college basketball. The senior leads the nation in assists with 10.2 per game. He has had at least 10 assists in 11 games and fewer than six only once.

    Machado has posted eight double-doubles and he has even come close to a triple-double on multiple occasions. He recorded nine points, nine rebounds and nine assists against Siena early in January, and then he came one rebound shy against Rider last Friday.

    Not only has Machado been a great distributor, but his scoring output is not too shabby either.

    Machado is averaging 13.1 ppg on 47.1 percent shooting. In addition, he shoots 40.7 percent from three-point range. 

Nate Wolters, First Team Guard, South Dakota State

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    Wolters has dominated the Summit League so far. He has one of the best overall stat lines of any mid-major player with 21.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 5.9 apg. The junior is also averaging 1.5 steals per game.

    Wolters opened up the season with possibly his best performance to date, scoring 32 points on 10-of-20 shooting and dishing out 11 assists. This season he has put together three 30-point performances and six additional 20-point performances.

    The junior point guard has not hit double figures in assists since the season opener, but he has recorded at least three assists in every game so far this year.

    Wolters is also a very good rebounder for his size. At 6'4" it would make sense for him to not do much on the glass, but he has had five boards in 11 of 20 games. His season-high is eight.

Damian Lillard, First Team Guard, Weber State

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    No one was quite sure how Lillard would rebound after a foot injury sidelined him for almost all of last year. 

    The redshirt junior has silenced any doubters by leading the nation in scoring with 25.1 ppg. He has scored in double figures in every game this year with his season-high 41 points coming against San Jose State back in December. Lillard has not had any other 40-point outings, but he has notched 30 or more in four additional games.

    Many would think that someone would scores upwards of 25 points per game would be somewhat of a ballhog, but that is not the case with Lillard. He is willing to pass the ball, as shown by his 3.7 assists per game.

    Lillard has had nine games with four or more assists, including a season-high nine against Southern Utah.

    Although he has a solid supporting cast with Scott Bamforth and Kyle Tresnak, Lillard is the main reason why Weber State currently stands at 15-3 overall and 7-0 in the Big Sky Conference.

Dominique Morrison, First Team Forward, Oral Roberts

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    Morrison is the second Summit League player to make the first team. The 6'6" forward is No. 4 in scoring the Summit League with 20.5 ppg. In Summit League play, he is averaging 23.5 ppg.

    Morrison has also been a somewhat efficient scorer, shooting 50 percent from the field. Every once in a while he has had an off night, but he has missed 60 percent or better from the field in eight games this year.

    His overall stat line would be much better if he was a better rebounder. Despite playing in the frontcourt, Morrison only averages 4.5 rebounds per game. Although he has had some good games on the board, there have also been games when he has been ineffective on the glass. 

Doug McDermott, First Team Forward, Creighton

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    McDermott is only a sophomore, but he is as skilled as any big man at the mid-major level. He will undoubtedly be the MVC Player of the Year with 23.2 ppg and 8.5 rpg—the forward leads the conference in both those statistics in addition to field goal percentage and three-point percentage.

    He is also one of the top two candidates for Mid-Major Player of the Year, along with Lillard.

    McDermott has scored in double digits in every game this year and he has scored less than 20 points in only five games this year. His season-high is 44 points against Bradley.

    Not only does he score in volume, but he is also extremely efficient. McDermott shoots 60.8 percent from the field, 50.7 percent from three-point range and 81.4 percent from the foul line.

    If he continues to put up numbers like these during the final games of the season there is no doubt that he will remain on the first team at the season's end. 

Second Team

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    G—Jesse Sanders, Liberty

    Sanders is closer to averaging a triple-double than any other player in college basketball with 12.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg, and 8.1 apg. After flirting with a triple-double in multiple games this year, he finally got one against High Point last Saturday (14 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists).

    G—Isaiah Canaan, Murray State

    Although he has some good players at his side, Canaan is still the main reason that Murray State is undefeated this year. He is No. 2 in the OVC in both scoring (18.7 ppg) and three-point shooting (47.2 percent).

    G—Reggie Hamilton, Oakland

    Hamilton competes with Lillard for being the best pure scorer at the mid-major level. He leads the Summit League in scoring with 23.7 ppg and he can score in a variety of ways.

    F—Michael Glover, Iona

    Glover is not averaging a double-double like last year, but he is still having a great year with 19.1 ppg and 8.8 rpg. He has had an outstanding two years with Iona, already with more than 1,000 points in his career.

    F—T.J. Robinson, Long Beach State

    Robinson is averaging a double-double for the third straight season. The 6'8" senior is shooting 54.6 percent from the field.

Third Team

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    G—Casper Ware, Long Beach State

    Ware's senior year has been slightly worse than his junior year. However, he is still one of the premier guards at the mid-major level. 

    G—C.J. McCollum, Lehigh

    McCollum is inching closer to 2000 career points in his third year at Lehigh. This season, he is averaging 21.1 ppg.

    G-F—Colt Ryan, Evansville

    Ryan is having a breakout year for the Aces. He is one of the leading scorers in the MVC at 21.2 ppg, and he is shooting 44.2 percent from beyond the arc.

    F—Ken Horton, Central Connecticut State

    Horton is averaging 20.4 ppg and 9.5 rpg so far this season. He has scored 30 or more points on three different occasions this year.

    F—Greg Mangano, Yale

    Mangano is averaging a double-double for the second consecutive season. He is also a premier defender, averaging 2.5 blocks per game.


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