By Rowan Shiell
Week 3 was a phenomenal week for the British players in division one of college basketball. Andrew Lawrence led the way as his team defeated top 25 ranked Baylor Bears. It must be nice for Lawrence to know that Baylor subsequently defeated Kentucky, who were ranked No.2 in most preseason top 25 polls. Not to be out done, Alasdair Fraser’s hard work finally paid off as his team picked up their first two victories of the season.
This week, Week 4, wasn’t quite as good but a new player has emerged to claim his first Hoopsfix.com player of the week crown.
Let’s take you back over the last week.
Player of the Week
Hamilton is crowned Hoopsfix.com player of the week for the first time this season and should also be in serious consideration for the West Coast Conference player of the week. Elias Harris of undefeated Gonzaga might have something to say about that though.
First Hamilton had 19 points and nine rebounds to beat Portland State (1-4), on Saturday. Then he followed that up with 24 points and six rebounds in an overtime victory against Northern Arizona, on Wednesday, to help Loyola Marymount improve to 5-4 on the season.
Loyola Marymount’s next game is on the 19th December. Enough time to rest up, study (can’t ignore that one) and prepare for currently undefeated Ole Mississippi.
On Saturday Andrew Lawrence scored 11 points and handed out four assists to beat Elon by two points. He also turned the ball over a staggering eight times but, as Jeremy Lin taught us in New York, turnovers are irrelevant in a win.
On Tuesday CofC (5-2) tried to go three of three on taking down power conference teams. They had already beaten Boston College and Baylor but No. 5 ranked Louisville turned out to be a brick wall. The Cardinals knew CofC flourished in the half court game and disrupted that. They forced CofC into 27 turnovers (Lawrence only had 3) en route to a 42 point margin of victory.
Fahro Alihodzic | University Alabama at Birmingham | Junior | Center
Over the week, Fahro scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds in two losses against North Carolina and Middle Tennessee.
As we get deeper into the season Fraser seems to be really hitting his stride. Last week he led Maine to their first two victories of the season, scoring 27 points. He had two opportunities to add to the win total but was only half successful.
The forward from Falkirk, Scotland fouled out with 14 points and eight rebounds against Duquesne (4-4), on Saturday, in a 13 point loss.
On Thursday, Maine was vengeful as they beat Fisher College by 53. Fraser had 13 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks and four assists although he only played 27 minutes.
Ben Mockford | St Francis NY | Junior | Guard | @BenMockford
St Francis (2-4) had another lackluster week as they picked up another loss. In their only game of the week Mockford made 50% of his three point attempts to score 18 points in a close loss, to Albany, on Thursday.
Will Neighbour | Arkansas Little Rock | Junior | Forward
UALR has won six of their last eight games but are still seeking a significant win to boost their chances of an NCAA at large bid. South Carolina and Ole Mississippi escaped but Trojans did give SMU their first loss of the season.
UALR (7-4, 2-0 Sun Belt) got by Louisiana Monroe ( 0-4, 0-2 Sun Belt) on Saturday with relative ease. Neighbour scored 13 points with 6 rebounds.
On Tuesday, Neighbour only played 15 minutes as UALR ran past St Gregory’s 91-30.
Then in the game of the week, against Cincinnati, the Trojans came up short. Cincinnati (8-0) set a school record of 23 steals as they beat UALR by 34.
Most players pad their stats against lesser opponents but Neighbour doesn’t seem to stoop to that level. Maybe it’s a coaching philosophy to rest arguably their best player, considering his history of injuries, when they can but that game against St Gregory’s was the perfect game for Neighbour to get out of his three point shooting slump. He is currently making 29% on three pointers, down from 41% least season.
Keith Rendleman | North Carolina-Wilmington | Senior | Forward
Rendleman, the resident double double machine, had an up and down kind of week. In a three point loss to Marshall (5-3), on Saturday, he had nine points and six rebounds.
Then on Wednesday he bounced back to his old self with 20 points and 13 rebounds against Coker. He also had six steals and two assists.
- Those of you who were lucky enough to tune into ESPN America, early Thursday morning (game was repeated later in the day), you might have seen Robert Gilchrist miss a couple of three throws. The 6’9” junior forward got some unexpected playing time and some UK coverage as his team (Florida State) battled Florida for instate bragging rights. Florida won easily but what are the chances of a little used player getting eight minutes (due to foul trouble) just when his team was shown on TV in his country!
- Charleston Southern (3-5) won both their games this week. They feature Allie Fullah, a 6’7” forward center from Hackney, who had 10 points and eight rebounds in total.
- Seattle University is finally ready to compete for the NCAA tournament after three years as a division one school. This means Manchester Magic’s Jack Crook has arrived at the right time as the Redhawks attempt to make history. The freshman currently averages 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 12 minutes but can earn more playing time, as he develops, over the next four years.
- Lee Goldsborough continues to give Providence valuable minutes as they have won their last five games. The 6’7” forward averages 20 minutes a game but his contribution to the team is more than his stats of 2.2 points and 4.4 rebounds, as we keep pointing out.
- Mickey Magnum is another player without overwhelming stats but his team, Oral Roberts (5-4), won both their games over the week. The junior scored 9 points, dished out five assists and had eight rebounds in both victories.
- Northwestern University plays in arguably the best conference of college basketball but from their record you wouldn’t know it as they mostly finished at the back end of the Big Ten conference standings. Remarkably they have never made the NCAA tournament, ever. That means this is senior Alex Marcotullio’s last season to make history as a member of the first Northwestern team to make the tournament. Can they do it? Who knows but they are currently 7-2 with a significant win over Baylor. Not to mention they play in a top heavy conference but as Jim Calhoun says, never say never.
- Another player to pay homage to as a non statistical star is Patrick Nyeko of Nevada (4-4). The 6’6” wing player is considered an excellent defender and is now a senior who averages just over 10 minutes a game. From personal experience, (he could finish with either hand around the rim as a pre-teen) this guy is a baller and hopefully he will earn some more playing time in his last season.
Thoughts on how the Brits are getting on so far? Anyone else who deserves a mention? Let us know in the comments!