For details on these players, as well as other nominees, click “Read More.”
Kwan Cheatham, Jr., Akron, Forward
Senior, Cincinnati, Ohio (Winton Woods)
Cheatham, Jr. led the Zips through another undefeated week in Mid-American Conference play as Akron (18-3, 8-0) extended its winning streaks to 11-straight games on the season and 28-consecutive at James A. Rhodes Arena. Cheatham averaged 25.5 points in a pair of wins over Western Michigan (90-80), and Buffalo (91-90), while shooting 60.7 percent from the field (17-of-28) , 52.6 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (10-of-19), and a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. He added 9.5 rebounds per game, pulling down 11 rebounds against WMU for his fifth double-double of the season and third in the last six games. In addition, Cheatham set two career milestones against Buffalo, scoring a career-high 31 points while knocking down a career-best seven 3-pointers. Against WMU, Cheatham poured in a team-high 20 points to go along with a team-best 11 rebounds for the double-double. In 33 minutes of work, he shot 63.6 percent from the field (7-of-11), 50.0 percent from downtown (3-of-6) and a perfect 3-of-3 from the free throw line, Against Buffalo, Cheatham had a career night with 31 points in 35 minutes of play. He shot 53.6 percent from deep, connecting with 7-of-13 long distance shots while shooting 58.8 percent from the floor (10-of-17). He was a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe and added seven rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
MAC Men’s Basketball West Division Player of the Week
Marcus Keene, Central Michigan, Guard
Junior, San Antonio, Texas (Warren)
Keene led Central Michigan to a 2-0 MAC record last week, averaging 34.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists. On Tuesday, in a 82-76 win over Bowling Green, Keene scored a game-high 28 points and had five assists and three rebounds, as CMU moved to 9-1 at home this season. On Saturday, Keene garnered the national spotlight again, fueling a 105-98 overtime road win over Kent State, CMU's first at the MAC Center in 20 years. Keene became the first player since BYU's Jimmer Fredette in 2010-11 to score 40-plus points in four games in a season when he totaled 41 in the victory, including 11 clutch points in overtime. After regulation, the nation's leading scorer took the game over, knocking down three 3-pointers to give CMU a lead it would not relinquish. Keene also notched his third double-double of the season by corralling 10 rebounds. His 41-point outburst pushed him back over the 30-point per game scoring barrier for the year (30.3 ppg). It also moved him into 5th place on the CMU single season scoring list, with at least 11 games to play.
Franko House. Ball State, Forward
Senior, Elkhart, Ind. (Concord)
House averaged 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists last week to help Ball State to a pair of wins that moved the Cardinals into a share of first place in the MAC West Division. House led the way with 17 points, nine rebounds and three blocks Tuesday as Ball State knocked off preseason West Division favorite Eastern Michigan on the road. He went for 18 points, six rebounds and four assists Saturday as the Cardinals topped Western Michigan for their fifth win in the past six games. House, who connected on 50 percent of his shots for the week, ranks fifth in the league at 54.2 percent for the season. He went 9 for 10 at the foul line for the week and ranks third in conference play at 86.1 percent from the stripe.
Blake Hamilton, Buffalo, Wing
Senior, Pasadena, Calif./Pasadena
Hamilton had his second 30 points game of the season on Saturday night at Akron as he finished with a game-high 33 points against the Zips. Hamilton went 13-of-16 from the floor and a perfect 4-of-4 from the three-point line. He hit one of his four threes in the final 30 seconds of the game to tie it up at 90-90. Hamilton also added six rebounds and a pair of assists.
Tim Bond, Eastern Michigan, Guard
Junior, Baltimore, Md. (City College)
Bond led the Eagles to a 1-1 week after a strong performance on both ends of the floor. The junior put together a 17 point performance versus Ball State, Jan. 24, where he went 6-of-14 from the floor, while connecting on a pair of three pointers. In addition, the Baltimore, Md. native dished out five assists, while also picking up four steals and a block on the other end. Bond was again brilliant on both ends of the floor versus Miami. He scored 10 points while sharing the ball at a high level, pickup up seven assists. Additionally, on the defensive end, Bond ended up with six steals and a pair of blocks. Overall for the week, Bond averaged 13.5 points on 41.7 percent shooting and 50 percent from the long line while dishing out six assists and bulling in 2.5 rebounds per contest. On the other end of the floor, Bond averaged five steals a game while picking up 1.5 blocks. The junior boasted an assist/turnover ratio of 2.4 for the week.
Jimmy Hall, Kent State, Forward
Senior, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Hall led the Flashes this week to a road victory and an overtime battle that featured two of the best players in the league. Hall led the Flashes in scoring and rebounding, with 23 points and 12.5 boards per game. He was one short of the team lead in assists with five. Starting the week at Northern Illinois, the reigning MAC Player of the Year continued his fantastic run. He logged team bests of 18 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. He shot 8-for-12 from the floor. Against Central Michigan, Hall finished the game with team-highs of 28 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. He shot 12-for-18 from the floor and brought down five offensive rebounds, converting key put-back buckets late. One of those put-back shots was the score that sent the game to overtime, converting with a second left. After shooting 64 percent from the floor last week, Hall raised his percentage to .667 over the last two games.
Marcus Weathers, Miami, Forward
Freshman, Roeland Park, Kan. (Shawnee Mission North)
Weathers had one of the best weeks of his career to lead the RedHawks, averaging 16 points and 7 rebounds per game. In the victory over Buffalo on Tuesday, Weathers was one short of his career high with 19 points and also had six rebounds. He was 8-for-12 from the floor. He followed that up with 14 points and eight rebounds, one assist and two steals in 32 minutes on against Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
Jaaron Simmons, Ohio, Guard
R-Jr., Dayton, Ohio (Archbishop Alter)
Simmons helped the Ohio men's basketball team (13-6, 5-3 MAC) split a pair of Mid-American Conference games last week, averaging a team-high 20 points and 7.5 assists over two games. He shot 47.2 percent (17-of-36) from the field -- including 36.4 percent (4-of-11) from three-point range. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds over the two contests. Simmons logged his third double-double of the season for the Bobcats with 17 points and a game-high 10 assists to go along with three rebounds and a steal over 38 minutes in a tough 79-76 setback to West Division foe Toledo last Tuesday (Jan. 24) at the Convocation Center in Athens. He followed that performance up by going 10-of-18 from the field -- including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc -- to tally a season-high 23 points as Ohio posted a 96-72 blowout win at East Division rival Bowling Green on Saturday (Jan. 28) at the Stroh Center. His 10 made field goals matched his career high. Simmons also handed out a game-high five assists and collected four rebounds in 33 minutes. He finished with at least 20 points for the third time in 2016-17. Simmons accounted for three of Ohio's season-high 18 three-point field goals made, which ranks as the second-most in a single game in program history.
Steve Taylor Jr., Toledo, Forward
Senior Chicago, IL (Simeon Academy)
Taylor Jr. tallied 16.0 ppg, 16.0 rpg and 7.0 apg in the Rockets' two games last week. In UT's 79-76 road win at Ohio, Taylor produced a 25-point, 15-rebound, 5-assist effort to lead the Rockets to their first league road win of the season. He then followed that up by grabbing 17 rebounds and dishing out a career-high nine assists with seven points in a 74-72 home setback to Northern Illinois.