Player of the Week
In back-to-back games last week, UIC forward Ahman Fells set career-highs for scoring. The 6-foot-5 senior posted 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with 8 rebounds and 2 steals in a loss to Milwaukee.
Over the weekend, Fells recorded 28 points in a loss to Valparaiso. In that game, he shot 11-of-13 from the field, including 6-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Honorable mentions: Trayvon Palmer, Chicago State; Alec Peters, Valparaiso; Montel James, Loyola
Freshman of the Week
Valparaiso guard Tevonn Walker put together another solid week, averaging 12 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals in a pair of wins. He shot 60 percent from the field and 81.8 percent from the foul line in the victories.
Walker’s 14 points against UIC were his highest mark since he scored 22 in an overtime loss Jan. 2 at Oakland.
Honorable mentions: Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern; David Skara, Valparaiso
Team of the Week
Valparaiso moved into a tie for first place in the Horizon League last week by ganging up on Milwaukee and UIC. The Crusaders, at 7-2, are now tied with the Cleveland State Vikings.
With a 20-4 overall record, Valparaiso is also one of six teams in Division I with at least 20 victories.
Rexrode: MSU shows own grit in OT shutout of U-M--The Detroit Free Press
MSU's 9-0 run from there included Costello swatting Abdur-Rahkman at the rim, then Bryn Forbes (10 points) getting on the floor for the ball and starting a break that ended in Dawson's tying lob dunk from Denzel Valentine (career-high-tying 25 points, seven assists, seven rebounds).Windsor: Izzo wins because he sees what needs fixing--The Detroit Free Press
DETROIT FREE PRESS
Close is not enough for Michigan in another overtime loss
Trice capped the run with a jumper, a steal of an Albrecht pass and a bullet to Forbes in the corner. His three-pointer made it 66-61 Spartans with 1:24 to play, and Breslin prepared for the victory party. Moments later, Breslin was eerily silent and Valentine was gut-punched after his missed front end of a one-and-one opened the door.
"As soon as I missed it, I'm like 'No way,' " said Valentine, but Costello, Forbes and Lourawls (Tum Tum) Nairn got in his face and implored him to move on as MSU huddled for overtime.
"Those are the types of moments," Valentine said, "we grow as a team."
This is what the rivalry has become. Last year, MSU couldn't handle U-M's shotmaking and swagger in the second half here. This year, they did.Local College Basketball Insider--Cleveland Plain Dealer
Denzel Valentine hit shots he hadn't been hitting. Travis Trice, after struggling on both ends of the floor for the first 35 minutes of the game, made plays every where down the stretch. Matt Costello blocked shots and hit free throws. Bryn Forbes chased down a loose ball.
Cleveland State (13-10, 7-2): Early in the season, Cleveland State's Anton Grady seemed to be tracking for a lackluster 2015. He could barley score against good teams, building his scoring average only against the bad ones. But that has changed dramatically in Horizon League play.
While not quite on the Player-of-the-Year pace teammate Trey Lewis is working on (four games over 25 points in HL play), Grady has still been dominant. The 6-8, 225-pound junior center from Central Catholic High has delivered games like the 24 points and six rebounds he had in his latest outing vs. Green Bay.
That was preceded by four straight double-double performances against Wright State, Youngstown State, Detroit and Oakland.
Grady is averaging 13.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game this season. In HL play, he is averaging 15.4 points and 9.0 rebounds a game. He has posted all five of his double-figure rebound games in conference play.
On the Horizon: The answer is no. Valparaiso (20-4, 7-2) one of America's historical NCAA Sweet 16 darlings, does not have the resume to earn a NCAA Tournament at-large spot. The Crusaders are currently tied with Cleveland State, a half game ahead of Green Bay (17-5, 6-2) and Oakland (11-12, 6-2) for the Horizon League lead at the halfway split.
As one of the first teams in the country to reach the 20-win mark, coach Bryce Drew's team will draw the early curiosity seekers looking to inspect potential at-large prospects. But Valpo has nothing to hang its hat on.
The Crusaders did not play one team currently in the RPI Top 50, and its only RPI Top 100 win is over Murray State. They also have a Top 100 loss, in league play, to Green Bay.
The resume for WGB does not measure up to last season, when the Phoenix topped Virginia and came within one possession of taking down Wisconsin, but should WGB win the league it will be better than Valpo's. The Phoenix have a Top 50 win over Miami, and three Top 100 wins over Evansville, Georgia State and Valpo. It has one Top 50 loss to Wisconsin, and one Top 100 setback to Georgia State, a team they played twice.
Cleveland State, aside from its run of small college fodder, played a decent schedule to build a resume, but had no quality wins and too many bad losses in non-conference.
Detroit (11-13) and Valparaiso (20-4) Square Off--Titans Update
Reynolds, Seward Earn Weekly Accolades--detroittitans.com
Oakland handles Youngstown State 96-80--The Oakland Press
FELDER AND HAYES GARNER HORIZON LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS--ougrizzlies.com
UIC Wraps Homestand Against Cleveland State--uicflames.com
Pregame Shootaround: Two big games between top-15 teams highlight Monday’s action--CollegeBasketballTalk
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:Green Bay Starts Second Half of League Play at Wright State--GreenBayPhoenix.com
How will Green Bay respond after losing this weekend at Cleveland State? The Phoenix have another road test in the Horizon League against Wright State. The at-large chances for Green Bay are finished, but this is still a talented team that could do damage in March.
Milwaukee Adds JayQuan McCloud To Men’s Basketball Roster--uwmpanthers.com
Valpo Basketball Preview--valpoathletics.com
Concussions end Wright State senior guard’s college career--CollegeBasketballTalk
Stucke Named Horizon League Player of the Week--wsuraiders.com
Second-half woes, lack of effort plague YSU--Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle
Oakland's Felder and Hayes Collect Men's Basketball Honors--Horizon League Network
Wright State's Stucke and Detroit's Seward Collect Weekly Accolades--Horizon League Network