Off The Boards By Jack Scheuer – March 8, 2017 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

March 8, 2017 Edition

Trying to decide who is the National Player of the Year is a very tough proposition.  In fact, just to narrow it down to the top five choices is really difficult, but we’ll give it a try.

Villanova’s Josh Hart, who will be  voted the Big East’s top player, is certainly a well-qualified candidate.  Solid at both ends, he is the best player on the # 2 team in the country.

The same thing could be said about Frank Mason III of Kansas, who may have a little bit of an edge because his Jayhawks are currently ranked as the nation’s # 1 team.

Another strong candidate is Caleb Swanigan, the 6-9 sophomore from Big 10 champion Purdue, a double-double machine, who most people consider to be the best big man in college basketball.

Nigel Williams-Goss, Gonzaga’s 6-3 point guard, averages 16.7 a game for the Zags, who have lost just one game all season.  He leads the team in assists, and makes 90% of his free throws.

Finally, Lonzo Ball, the UCLA freshman, who averages 15 ppg, and is the nation’s assists leader.  He is also the main reason that the Bruins, who were 15-17 last season, are currently 28-3.

Arguments could certainly be made for others, such as Oregon’s Dillon Brooks and Carolina’s Justin Jackson, but  I’ll stick with the above five.


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How’s this for great free throw shooting: Oklahoma State’s 5-11 senior guard Phil Forte is 79 for 83 at the line. That’s 95.2 %.  Also among the leaders, is St. Joe’s Prep product Steve Vasturia. The Notre Damer is at 91%.


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Trivia Time : Who are the only three brothers to have played in the NBA? Answer at the end of the column.


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Lots of Coach of the Year candidates, but a surprise entry should be Northwestern’s Chris Collins. Doug’s son has his team primed to make the NCAA’s for the first time in the school’s history.  Even though they lost to Purdue before a rare packed-house home game, the Wildcats look like they deserve to be in the tournament.


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This and That: Highly-regarded freshman 6-3 Frank Jackson appears to finally be healthy, which means that Duke will be a factor in the Big Dance…. Still can’t figure out why Ersan Ilyasova didn’t fit in with The Process.  Maybe the Sixers had a problem  dealing with a healthy big guy?….Among the  underrated in college hoops is North Carolina’s point guard Joel Berry II, who can really play….How quickly they forget department: Good guy Kevin Ollie is on the hot seat at UConn….With its defeat by Wake Forest yesterday, Boston College has now lost 15 straight against ACC opponents…. Upcoming in league tournament games: Tonight, Saint Joe’s plays UMass; Tomorrow, Temple faces East Carolina, La Salle meets Davidson, and Villanova plays the winner of Georgetown-St. John’s;  On Saturday, at the Palestra, it’s Penn-Princeton….And whatever happened to Mo’ne Davis?


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Answer to Trivia Time: The Barry boys, Jon, Brent and Drew all played in the NBA.


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