We're three weeks into the season and the B1G is slowly separating itself into tiers; Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin are the favorites (look familiar?), Iowa and a few others are knocking on that door, and Northwestern and Nebrasketball are slipping towards the basement. Players are separating themselves as well - this week's Player of the Week seemingly came from nowhere to run away with the votes, landing on each and every picker's team. To the Team of the Week:
Team of the Week: Nov 18th - Nov 24
Player of the Week: Frank Kaminsky - C, Wisconsin: 26.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 67.4% FG%, 62% 3pt%
Kaminsky was an easy choice for player of the week. He set the Wisconsin single-game scoring record with 43 against North Dakota St. and continued his great play with 14 and 21 against Bowling Green and Oral Roberts, respectively. Not the greatest competition, but as the centerpiece to Bo Ryan's Bucky 2.0 offense (the Badgers are averaging 80 points a game, a massive improvement over their usual 64-68 ppg average) this may not be the last we see of Kaminsky on the Team of the Week.
Adreian Payne - C, Michigan State: 17.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg
Payne is the lone member of last week's TotW to make a return appearance. Despite a sub-standard performance in the Coaches vs. Cancer final (six points in 25 minutes), Michigan State's monster in the middle was a force against Portland State and especially in Sparty's CvC semifinal victory over Virginia Tech, where Payne tallied a career-high 29 points to go with ten rebounds. The nation's premier senior big man also displayed his ability on the perimeter with four threes against the Hokies. Odds are he'll be on this list more often than not and I'll run out of superlatives by January.
Nik Stauskas - G, Michigan: 23.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 51% FG%, 42% 3pt
Have you heard? Stauskas is not just a shooter, though he certainly did some damage with his jumper in this year's Puerto Rico Tip-off. While most of the preseason plaudits were bestowed on Wolverine teammates Glenn Robinson III and the injury-hampered Mitch McGary, Stauskas has been Michigan's biggest offensive threat in 2013. He's averaging a smidge over 20 points a game this season and led the team's charge to the final in San Juan, recording a team-high in each contest. The reason for his success? He's getting to the free throw line a ton, just under eight times a game. His drive is then setting up the jumper and opponents are still figuring out how best to defend the Canadian. A near-unanimous selection to this week's team, expect him to keep sniffing around the list until defenders figure out the answer to that riddle.
Keith Appling - G, Michigan State: 21.7 ppg, 5.3 apg, 59% FG %, 69% 3pt
While Payne was certainly deserving of an appearance on this week's TotW, Appling probably deserves it more. Sparty's point guard was excellent in three games last week, shooting a very nice 69% clip from beyond the arc and committing just four turnovers. He led the scoring charge in the Coaches vs. Cancer title game against Oklahoma, getting to the line 14 times on the way to a game-high 27 points. Appling has arguably been the difference maker in Michigan State's rise to the top of the polls, and he's got to be on the shortlist for top point guard in the country thus far.
Yogi Ferrell - G, Indiana: 19.5 ppg, 3.5 apg
Ferrell was picked by many to have a breakout sophomore season, and he's proved those prognosticators right so far. It may not have been his absolute finest week, but Ferrell certainly performed admirably in Indiana's two-game stint in Madison Square Garden, averaging 19.5 points for the tourney in a win over Washington and a tight loss to UConn. Yogi holds the keys to the young Hoosier offense, and the team will likely go as far as he'll take them.
Others receiving multiple votes:
- Brandon Taylor - F, Penn State: 20.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.5 bpg, 58% FG%, 54% 3pt%
- Roy Devyn Marble - G, Iowa: 13.0 ppg, 6.0 spg
- Noah Vonleh - F, Indiana: 9.0 ppg, 5.5 ppg, 58.3 FG%
(c'mon, guys. we can do better)
More from BT Powerhouse:
- New Kids on the Block: Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok
- Preview: Minnesota vs. Syracuse - Can Austin Hollins Solve The Zone?
- Five Key Takeaways: Ohio State: How Much Can Scott & Della Valle Help The Backcourt?
- Around the Conference: Is Michigan in Trouble?
- BTP Preview: Michigan vs. Charlotte: Can Nik Stauskas Lead The Way?