MAC East Division Men's Basketball
Player of the Week presented by YP.com
Shannon Evans, Buffalo, Guard
Sophomore, Suffolk, VA/Nasemond River
Evans averaged 17.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals this past week as UB won a pair of games to increase their season-long winning streak to four games. Evans finished with 13 points, four assists and three steals in the win over Akron and then he led the Bulls with 21 points and six assists in the road victory at Kent State on Saturday evening. Evans shot 50% from the field during the week, including 40% from behind the arc. Evans currently leads the Bulls in assists and is second on the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game.
MAC West Division Men's Basketball
Player of the Week presented by YP.com
Aaron Armstead, NIU, Guard
Senior, Chicago, Ill./Hales Franciscan
In a week that saw NIU defeat the top two teams in the MAC, senior Aaron Armstead led the way with a team-best 13.0 points per game, scoring in double figures in both games from off the bench as the Huskies claimed victories over Toledo and Central Michigan. Armstead shot a staggering 68.8 percent (11-of-16) from the field, including 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from three during the sweep of the week. The senior from Chicago started the week with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-4 from three, in just 18 minutes of action at Toledo. Armstead scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half as the Huskies held off the Rockets, 84-82. Three nights later, Armstead added another 11 points and four rebounds as the Huskies led wire-to-wire against the first-place Chippewas of Central Michigan. Armstead was 5-of-7 from the field in the contest.
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Deji Ibitayo, Akron, Guard
Senior, Chicago, Ill./Rich Central High School
Ibitayo helped the Zips to a 1-1 record last week, averaging 12.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.0 blocked shot and 0.5 steals per game. He shot 58.3 percent from the field (7-of-12), including a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc, and 77.8 percent from the charity stripe (7-of-9). In Akron's loss at Buffalo, Ibitayo scored 16 points and grabbed six boards. Twelve of his 16 points came in the first half against the Bulls. In Akron's win over Ohio on Senior Night, the senior got the start against the Bobcats, posting eight points and five rebounds. The MAC Sixth Man of the Year candidate is averaging a career-high 10.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.
Bo Calhoun, Ball State, Forward
Junior, South Bend, Ind./Washington
Calhoun averaged 22.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in Ball State's two games last week. He exploded for a career-high 30 points Saturday at Toledo, connecting on 13 of 17 shots from the floor. It was the third-best road scoring performance of any MAC player this season and the first 30-point effort by a Ball State player since Jauwan Scaife in 2013. Earlier in the week, Calhoun went for 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists against Western Michigan. He became only the second player to lead the Cardinals in each of those categories since 2008. Calhoun shot 69.2 percent from the floor for the week. He has now scored double figures in 10 of the past 12 games and leads Ball State at 13.4 points and 7.8 rebounds per game during that stretch.
Richaun Holmes, Bowling Green, Forward
Senior, Lockport, Ill./Lockport
Holmes not only had a solid week in which he led BGSU to two road conference wins, but he also made history becoming the first Falcon in BGSU history to post 1,000 career points, grab 600 career rebounds and swat away 200 career blocks. He also became on the 42nd player in BGSU's 100 year history to score 1,000 career points. In the Falcons' rout of Ohio on Tuesday, their first sweep of the Bobcats since 2008-09, Holmes reached the 1,000 career points plateau with 11 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two steals. He followed that performance up with 15 points, eight rebounds and a block in a road win at Miami on Saturday. Holmes extended his current double digit points scoring streak to 16 straight games. He averaged 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in the Falcons' two wins.
John Simons, Central Michigan, Guard
Junior, Cadillac, Mich./Cadillac
Simons averaged 14.0 points, on 10-of-19 shooting (.526), and 4.5 rebounds last week, helping Central Michigan to a 1-1 record in two road games. On Tuesday in Ypsilanti, Simons caught fire from beyond the arc, making seven 3-pointers, tied for tops in the MAC this season, contributing to CMU's Convocation Center record 16 triples and helping the Chippewas sweep the season series with Eastern Michigan. Simons finished the night with a season-high 23 points, on 8-of-13 (.615) shooting, and seven rebounds. At Northern Illinois on Saturday, Simons totaled five points and two rebounds in a loss to the Huskies. A starter of all 89 games of his career, Simons is the nations' top 3-point shooting forward and ranks No. 5 overall (.448). He leads CMU in rebounding (6.4 rpg) and is second in scoring (11.6). Simons is in line to become just the fourth player in CMU program history to lead his team in rebounding for three straight seasons.
Jimmy Hall, Kent State, Forward
Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Anthony's
In his first full week back on the court, Jimmy Hall was just as good as before being sidelined with mononucleosis. Hall averaged 21.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals while shooting 60 percent from the floor and going a perfect 8-for-8 from the foul line. Against Miami on Tuesday, Hall scored at will and finished with 24 points in just 29 minutes of action prior to fouling out. Hall got the upper hand in a battle of two of the MAC's premier big men Saturday night against Buffalo. He scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. More importantly. Hall's aggressiveness on offense kept Buffalo's Justin Moss in foul throughout the night. The MAC's leading scorer and rebounder totaled season-lows of 6 points and 2 rebounds.
Eric Washington, Miami, Guard
Junior, Columbia, S.C./Keenan
Washington tied a career high with 24 points and posted his sixth 20-point scoring effort of the season as he helped Miami evaporate a 19-point deficit with just over eight minutes to play and earn an 86-81 overtime win against then MAC-leader Kent State. Washington scored the first seven of Miami's nine overtime points to propel the RedHawks to the win, which extended Miami's streak to four straight, its longest since 2011. He added four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the game while sinking six field goals and 12 free throws. In a hard-fought battle against Bowling Green, Washington led the RedHawks with 16 points and added six assists for another 13 RedHawk points, accounting 51 percent of Miami's scoring against the Falcons. For the week Washington averaged an impressive 20.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.0 apg and 2.0 spg while shooting a solid 44.8 percent from the field.
J.D. Weatherspoon, Toledo, Forward
Senior, Columbus, OH/Northland
Weatherspoon led the Rockets extend with 17.5 ppg and 9.5 rpg last week. Weatherspoon was consistent offensively in each contest, scoring 17 points vs. NIU and 18 points vs. BSU. He also registered his seventh double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 boards vs. the Cardinals including 10 straight points down the stretch
Drake LaMont, Western Michigan, Center
Freshman, Plantation, Fla. / American Heritage
LaMont was dominant in the Broncos' victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday, recording his second double-double of the season as the Broncos earned their second straight win to improve to 18-11 overall and 9-7 on the season. LaMont averaged 14.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while shooting 76.5 percent from the field in a pair of WMU victories. He dealt with foul trouble against Ball State and saw his minutes limited but logged the best performance of his young career in the second game of the week, posting a career-high 27 points and hauling in 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season in the 80-72 win over Eastern Michigan. A true freshman, LaMont is averaging 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in conference play and has started every single game this season for WMU. His 53.5 field goal percentage in conference play is best on the team among all players with at least 80 field goal attempts, and his rebounding average is second on the team.