College Basketball Mid-Major Weekly: West Coast Conference Dominates Awards

Ari KramerSenior Analyst IIJanuary 3, 2011

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 19:  Steven Gray #32 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs handles the ball against Derwin Kitchen #22 of the Florida State Seminoles during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at HSBC Arena on March 19, 2010 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Team of the Week: Gonzaga

In its three games this week, Gonzaga beat Lafayette, Oklahoma State, and Wake Forest by an average of nearly 20 points.

The Bulldogs will be tough to beat in conference because of their wealth of offensive threats—something they flaunted this week. In each game, a different Bulldog led the team in scoring. Gonzaga also out-rebounded its opponents by 14 boards per game.

The Bulldogs have put their early season struggles behind them and have a lot of momentum entering conference play.

Team of the Week Runner-Up: Morehead State

After dropping three straight road games, Morehead State returned to the Ellis T. Johnson Arena to face Kent State, Binghamton, and Charelston. The Eagles won all three, beating the Golden Flash and a Cougar team that had just upset Tennessee by double-digits. 

Co-Players of the Week: Mickey McConnell, Sr., Saint Mary's; Keith Benson, Sr., Oakland

In two games against Mississippi State and Hartford, McConnell averaged 24.5 points, 10 assists, 1.5 turnovers, and 4.5 treys per game. The Gaels won both contests by more than 20 points thanks to the play of their senior point guard.

Benson averaged 24 points, 11 rebounds, and six blocks in Oakland's two victories this week. The senior blocked three shots in the final 4:26 to help seal an eight-point victory at conference foe Oral Roberts.

Mid-Major Battle of the Week: Quinnipiac 82, BU 81

This game certainly lived up to its hype. Justin Rutty and Quinnipiac, the NEC's first unanimous preseason favorite since 1997, traveled to Boston to play John Holland and the team America East coaches picked to win the conference.

Neither team led by more than three points, and Quinnipiac won on a tip-in with three seconds left on the clock. It doesn't get much more exciting than that.

Rutty posted a 26 and 10 while Holland, whose potential game-winning three rimmed out at the buzzer, dropped 31 points.

Upset of the Week: Charleston 91, Tennessee 78

Charleston only needed seven players to pull off the upset against a Tennessee team that was ranked in the top-10 just two weeks ago. Of course, it helped that two of those players were Andrew Goudelock, who drained six threes and scored 31 points, and Donovan Moore, who added 27 points.

93 seconds into the game, Antwaine Wiggins nailed a trey to put Charleston ahead, 3-2. The Cougars never relinquished the lead, as Tennessee simply couldn't find a way to stop Charleston's barrage of three-pointers.

Somehow, Goudelock and the Cougars laid an egg in their next game, falling by 20 at Morehead State. We'll try to remember the positives from the week, though.

Conference Update: Horizon League

Cleveland State (15-1) demolished Loyola-Illinois and Illinois-Chicago by an average of 21 points en route to a 4-0 start in league play. The Vikings head to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday with a chance to prove their legitimacy against Butler, who is on a six-game winning streak.

Conference Update: MVC

Wichita State, Missouri State, and Creighton are off to 2-0 starts in conference play, but Northern Iowa lost its first two contests by a total of three points. The Panthers' recent performance isn't a reason to count them out of the MVC race—expect UNI to win at least four of its next five leading up to the Wichita State game.

Other Important Things From The Week

  • Coastal Carolina tacked two more onto its 10-game winning streak.
  • UMBC and Colgate finally won, leaving Alcorn State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Centenary, and UNC Greensboro as the only winless teams in the nation.
  • With its victory over BU, Quinnipiac improved to 9-2; its two losses were by four against Vermont and two against UMass. The Bobcats only play LIU once, so its not inconceivable to think they can finish 18-0 in the NEC.
  • Anatoly Bose (25 ppg, Nicholls State), Xavier Silas (24.5 ppg, Northern Illinois), and Adrian Oliver (24.4 ppg, San Jose State) rank two, three, and four, respectively, on the national scoring chart.
  • Iona's Scott Machado is tied for the national lead in assists with 8.3 per game.
  • Kenneth Faried (13.8 rpg, Morehead State) and Ryan Rossiter (13.2 rpg, Siena) are at the top of the rebounding leaders.
  • Northwestern State's William Mosley is leading the country with 4.2 blocks per game. He hasn't swatted fewer than two shots in any game this season.
  • Shane Johannsen of Northern Arizona is leading the country with a 77.8 percent field goal percentage. He topped the charts in 2008-09 at 72.7 percent.

From the Web

  • Texas-Arlington's LaMarcus Reed threw one down on Kansas' Thomas Robinson.
  • Joe Lunardi released his first Bracketology of the new year.

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