Asserting Their Will
(St. Louis, MO) – Playing your best basketball against the best teams will get you noticed and earn you some league wide accolades. That’s what this week’s Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes Valley Conference all-stars accomplished.
Ohio Valley Conference
Why is Tennessee Tech off to their best start in 15 years? Two newcomers and Torrance Rowe. Head Coach Steve Payne’s newcomers Ryan Martin and Hakeem Rogers have combined to win six ‘Newcomer of the Week’ awards. This week, Martin the 6’9 transfer from South Plains College and Rogers, the 6’1 transfer from Casper College are sharing the award. The Golden Eagles (16-7, 8-2) swept the top two teams in the OVC East Division (Tennessee State & Belmont) and the newcomers combined to score 78 points in those two pivotal games.
Martin collected his sixth and seventh double-doubles of the season and Rogers topped the 20 point margin twice.
Their teammate Torrance Rowe earned his third ‘Player of the Week’ award averaging 22.5 points per game including the game winning free throws in the Eagles’ win over Tennessee State. Rowe is a box score filler. He ranks in the top six in six different OVC statistical categories. He is fourth in scoring (17.7 ppg) and assists (4.7).
Ho hum. Nick Mayo picked up another ‘Freshman of the Week’ acknowledgement. Eastern Kentucky’s rookie has earned or shared the honor eight of the season’s 12 weeks. Last week he averaged 20.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in the Colonels’ two games.
Missouri Valley Conference
All-American Fred VanVleet led the Valley’s best team to two victories, including Sunday’s win over second place Evansville. The 6′ senior from Rockford, Illinois scored a career high 32 points in the win that gave the twenty-second ranked Shockers (16-5, 10-0) a three game lead over Southern Illinois and Evansville. VanVleet recorded his 200th steal becoming the second Shocker and 17th MVC player to reach that total. VanVleet is this week’s ‘Player of the Week.’
After watching Missouri State teammate Dequon Miller win five ‘Newcomer of the Week’ awards, freshman Jarred Dixon turned the trick this week. The Lee’s Summit West product scored a career-high 19 points against Indiana State and recorded a Missouri State freshman record six steals against Illinois State. The 6’2 freshman sank two free throws with 2.3 seconds left in the Bears’ (9-13, 5-5) three-point victory over the Redbirds.
Great Lakes Valley Conference
McKendree’s David Franklin scored 33 points against 21st ranked UW-Parkside to catapult the Bearcats to a 92-85 win over the Rangers. Parkside brought an 11 game winning streak into the game and Franklin’s heroics in that win earned him the GLVC’s ‘Player of the Week’ award.