Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
St. Bonaventure’s Marcus Posley Named ZAGSBLOG National Player of the Week
By CHRIS RUSSELL
St. Bonaventure guard Marcus Posley has been named the ZAGSBLOG National Player of the Week.
The 6-foot-1 guard hit not one, but two, game-winning shots, including this up-and-under scoop shot that triggered a 73-71 victory over No. 18 VCU on Saturday and set off a massive court-storm at the alma mater of Yahoo NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski.
Four days earlier, Posley hit this game-winning runner at the buzzer (below) to beat Davidson, 62-61, ending their 15-game home winning streak.
“It’s definitely nerve-racking,” the junior guard told reporters. “I’m just very grateful to be in that position. And to hit two back-to-back like that, it’s a crazy feeling.”
“He’s the heart and soul of our team,” Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said about Posley, a junior college transfer who is leading the Bonnies in scoring. “To be involved in two games like that against two teams that we’re not supposed to beat and we pull it out in the end. It’s exciting. It’s why you coach.”
OTHER NOTABLE PERFORMANCESKarl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky – The 7-foot freshman from Metuchen, N.J., is starting to become what Kentucky head coach John Calipari had hoped for, which is one of the nation’s top big men. With the absence of fellow freshman Trey Lyles due to an undisclosed illness, Towns rose to the challenge on Saturday against Florida, posting 19 points and 8 rebounds, ending Kentucky’s three-game losing streak to the Gators.
“I thought Karl is finally showing the signs that he’s as good as anybody in the country,”Calipari said on ESPN.
On the week, Towns averaged 17.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Towns is currently projected as the No. 4 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft according to DraftExpress.com.
Next game: Feb. 10 at LSU @ 7 PM
D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State – Now the projected No. 2 pick in the Draft by DraftExpress.com, Russell sent off for a triple-double of 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists Sunday in a 79-60 win at Rutgers. It was just the fourth triple-double in school history and first by a freshman. Russell also put up 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in a 60-58 loss at Purdue.
Next game: Feb. 11 vs. Penn State @ 7 PM
Kyle Collinsworth, BYU – On the week, the junior from Provo, UT set the NCAA single season record with his 5th triple double. In a victory over Loyola Marymount, Collinsworth posted 23 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assist. A spectacular comeback story considering the 6-foot-6 guard had ACL surgery last March. On the year, Collinsworth is averaging 13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game for the Cougars.
Next game: Feb. 12 vs St. Mary’s @ 9 PM
Rico Gathers, Baylor – Baylor has been one of the nation’s biggest surprises, in large part to the play of Gathers. While not explosive on the offensive side, Gathers ranks second in the nation in rebounding with 12.5 per contest. On the week, Gathers averaged 15.5 points and 17.0 rebounds in back-to-back crucial conference victories over TCU and West Virginia. Against the Mountaineers, Gathers posted his 12th double on the season.
Next game: Feb. 9 vs Oklahoma State @ 7 PM
Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga – The former transfer from Kentucky was the difference maker for the Gonzaga in Saturday’s victory over San Francisco. Against the Dons, Wiltjer connected on two three pointers late in the contest, securing the victory for the Zags. Wiltjer finished with 29 points on 10-for-18 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds in thirty-six minutes of action against the Dons. On Thursday, Wiltjer scored 22 points against Santa Clara. Wiltjer’s shooting ability and experience will have to play a crucial part for Gonzaga come March.
Next game: Feb. 12 vs Loyola Marymount @ 9 PM
Kellen Dunham, Butler – On the week, Dunham averaged 22.5 points per game, shooting Butler to back-to-back victories over St. John’s and DePaul. Against DePaul, the 6-foot-6 junior hit four 3s and scored 24 points. Offensively, Dunham has been one of the most consistent players in the nation, having scored in double figures in 22 of 23 games this season. Dunham’s efforts have catapulted Butler (18-6, 8-3) to second place in the Big East standings.
Next game: Feb. 14 vs Villanova @ 6 PM
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.