MAC Men's Basketball West Division Player of the Week
John Simons, Central Michigan, Forward
Junior, Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac
Simons contributed standout performances in leading Central Michigan to two pivotal conference wins, the only MAC West team to go undefeated last week. In the Chippewas' 84-73 victory over then-MAC East leader Buffalo, Simons, the nation's top 3-point shooting forward, helped break down the conference's No. 2-ranked 3-point defensive team, draining five of CMU's 16 total triples. In addition to his 15 points, Simons matched the MAC's top rebounder, UB's Justin Moss, board-for-board, recording nine. In CMU's 65-51 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Simons led the Chippewas with 15 points to go along with 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a block. Simons, who has started all 17 games this season and all 79 of his career, is CMU's top rebounder (6.0 rpg) and is the second leading scorer on the nation's No. 2 offense, averaging 11.3 points per game. He also ranks first in the MAC in 3-point field goal percentage (.489) and is fifth in field goal percentage (.531).
MAC Men's Basketball East Division Player of the Week
Maurice Ndour, Ohio, F
Sr., Mbour, Senegal/Okayama Gakugeikan
Ndour helped the Ohio men's basketball team (7-10, 2-4 MAC) pick up its first two victories of the 2015 Mid-American Conference season last week, leading the Bobcats with averages of 24.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 8.0 field goals made and 7.0 free throws made as well as a field goal percentage of .640 (16-25) and a free throw percentage of .824 (14-17). He also ranked second on the squad with an average of 1.5 steals and third with an average of 2.0 assists.
Behind a last-second dunk and a career-high 31 points from Ndour, Ohio men's basketball team emerged victorious in dramatic fashion against MAC East Division rival Buffalo, 63-61, on Saturday (Jan. 24) at the Convocation Center. In addition to his career-high scoring output, Ndour added six rebounds, three blocks and a steal. He went 10-of-15 from the field and a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe -- a career best.
That performance came after he chipped in 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds to go along with three assists, two steals and a block in 33 minutes in an 82-73 win on the road at MAC West foe Ball State on Wednesday (Jan. 21) at Worten Arena. He went 5-of-7 from the field in the second half, totaling 11 points. Ndour is the only player on the team to start all 17 games this season for Ohio, leading the team lead with averages of 16.0 points (sixth in the MAC; 272), 5.5 field goals made (94), 8.4 rebounds (second in the MAC; 143), 2.2 blocks (second in the MAC; 37), 5.8 free throw attempts (98), 4.5 free throws made (77) and 33.6 minutes played (571). He also ranks second on the team with 11.9 field goal attempts (202), 1.1 steals (18) and a .786 free throw percentage (77-98) and ranks third with 1.8 assists per game (30).
Ndour leads the team with 17.7 points per game (106), 8.7 rebounds per game (52) and 2.8 blocks per game (17) in conference play while ranking second with 1.2 steals (7) and third with 1.5 assists (9). Ndour reached double figures in points for the ninth game in a row, 12th time in the last 13 games, a team-high 15th time this season and 40th time in his career against Buffalo. He has led the team in scoring on seven occassions in 2014-15. Ndour has either reached or surpassed the 20-point mark four times this season. He has tallied three or more blocks five times this season.
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Isaiah Johnson, Akron, Center
Sophomore, Cincinnati, Ohio/Walnut Hills High School
Johnson helped the Zips to a 1-1 road record last week, averaging 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game while shooting 63.6 percent from the field (7-of-11) and 75.0 percent from the charity stripe (6-of-8). Against Northern Illinois, Johnson posted four points and two boards in 17 minutes. Against Western Michigan, he sealed the Akron win, making four-straight free throws in the final 1:05. His first pair of free throws gave Akron a 69-68 lead with 1:05 left while his final two freebies gave the Zips a 71-69 lead with 27.3 on the clock. He finished the game with a career-high 16 points and tied his career high with eight rebounds, connecting on 5-of-8 from the field (62.5 percent) and 6-of-8 at the line (75.0 percent).
Sean Sellers, Ball State, Forward
Freshman, Greensburg, Ind./Greensburg
Sellers averaged 16 points and five rebounds per game last week, scoring 16 points against both Ohio and Kent State. The freshman wing shot 55.6 percent from both the floor and the 3-point line for the week. He remains the league's top freshman scorer at 12.6 points per game.
Richaun Holmes, Bowling Green, Forward
Senior, Lockport, Ill./Lockport
Holmes posted back-to-back games with double digit points last week and has scored 10 points or more in each of the last six contests. The senior posted a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds in the home win over Eastern Michigan. He also added three assists, three blocks and two steals, while shooting 80 percent from the floor overall and 71.4 percent from the free throw line. Despite playing only seven minutes in the first half at Toledo on Saturday night, Holmes still finished the game with 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. For the week, Holmes shot 62.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the three-point line, while averaging 13.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per contest. Holmes leads the Falcons in scoring, rebounding, blocks, field goal percentage, and free throw percentage.
Jimmy Hall, Kent State, Forward
Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Anthony's
Hall led Kent State to a pair of victories to move into first place overall in the Mid-American Conference standings. Hall controlled the paint with 32 points and 8 rebounds in the Golden Flashes' 63-52 win at Ball State on Saturday. The forward was nearly perfect, making 14 of his 17 field goals attempts, all three of his free throws and his first three-pointer of the season. Hall battled foul trouble in a matchup vs. Toledo on Wednesday, but contributed a team-high 4 assists to go with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. For the week, Hall shot 61.5 percent from the field and averaged 19.0 points per game.
Will Sullivan, Miami, Guard
Senior, Elmhurst, IL/York
Sullivan spearheaded Miami to its first road win of 2014-15, going 4-for-4 over the final seconds to secure a 60-55 win at Northern Illinois. Sullivan led the RedHawks with 14 points and shot 66.7 percent from the field, including 50.0 percent from 3-point range, against the Huskies. For the week, he averaged 10.5 ppg, shooting 63.6 percent from the field.
Aaron Armstead, NIU, Guard
Senior, Chicago, Ill./Hales Franciscan
Armstead shot 53 percent from the field, including 40 percent from three-point range, while averaging 11.0 points and 3.0 rebounds as the Huskies split a pair of games against Akron and Miami. In the first game of the week against the Zips, Armstead scored seven points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field as the Huskies knocked off Akron, 64-61. Against Miami, Armstead scored a season-high 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-8 from three, while also grabbing four rebounds.
Julius Brown, Toledo, Guard
Senior, Markham, IL/Hillcrest
Brown paced the Rockets with 18.5 ppg last week, including a game-high 28 points in UT's 71-67 victory over Bowling Green. He also grabbed four boards and tied his season high with three steals vs. Falcons in 38 minutes. Brown sealed the victory over the Rockets with 5-of-6 free throws in the final seconds.
Tucker Haymond, Western Michigan, Forward
Sophomore, Seattle, Wash. / Garfield
Haymond helped lead the Broncos to a MAC road win on Wednesday at Miami and was solid in the Broncos' narrow loss to Akron on Saturday. The sophomore wing player finished one point off the game-high against the RedHawks, scoring 15 points while also pulling in four rebounds in WMU's 69-58 win. Haymond went 8-of-10 from the free throw line in the game, including a 5-of-6 stretch in the final minute of regulation to ice the victory. He went on to post 14 points, six rebounds, an assist, and a block against the Zips on Saturday, including a 2-of-3 performance from three-point range.