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Blake Hamilton, Buffalo, Wing
Senior, Pasadena, CA (Pasadena)
Hamilton averaged 20.0 points per game this past week as he led the Bulls to a pair of important victories to end the regular season. On his Senior Night, Hamilton had one of his best games as he finished with 32 points, six rebounds, and five assists. It was Hamilton's third 30-point game of the season as he shot 13-of-18 from the floor and 4-of-7 from three. Hamilton added five assists in each of the two wins this past weekend, while also averaging 4.5 rebounds per game. His 32 point effort gives him 979 points for his career in just two seasons. Hamilton continues to lead the Bulls in scoring and assists.
MAC West Division Men’s Basketball Player of the Week
Tayler Persons, Ball State, Guard
Sophomore, Kokomo, Ind.
Persons averaged 22.5 points, 6.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game last week to lead Ball State to the MAC West Division co-championship and a first-round bye in the conference tournament. Persons scored 31 points Tuesday in an 82-74 win at Toledo to go along with five assists and seven rebounds. He then came up a couple assists shy of a double-double with 14 points and eight helpers in Friday's 87-82 victory over Northern Illinois. Persons came out on fire against Toledo, scoring Ball State's first 17 points and 22 of the first 31. He was 8-for-8 from the floor during that stretch, including 6-for-6 from 3-point range, doubling his career-high for 3's in a game in the first eight minutes. In the NIU game, Persons became the first Ball State player ever to surpass 500 points and 150 assists in a season. The point guard finished the week with 13 assists and just four turnovers. He wrapped up the regular season second in the MAC in assists per game (5.0) and eighth in scoring (16.2), helping the Cardinals reach the 20-win mark and share the MAC West title for the second year in a row. He led Ball State to a top-four seed in the MAC Tournament for the first time since 2011.
Ray Lee, Eastern Michigan, Guard
Redshirt Senior, Detroit, Mich. (Romulus)
Lee led the Green and White to its first ever Michigan MAC Trophy in men's basketball when he poured in a record breaking 50 point performance in the 109-81 win over Central Michigan, Feb. 28. The 50 points were the most scored by an EMU student-athlete in single game history, while he also connected on 10 triples, which marked the most in a single game as well. Lee went 17-of-26 from the floor, recording a tie for the fourth-most field goal makes in a game, while his 26 shot attempts were tied for the second-most (since 1998-99). Additionally, his 65.4 shooting percentage in the contest was the sixth-best in a game for an EMU student-athlete since 1998-99. In addition to his 50-point performance over CMU, Lee added 14 points versus Toledo, March 3. Overall for the week, Lee averaged 32 points, three rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals in the pair of games, while also shooting 54.8 percent (23-of-42) from the floor and 52.2 percent (12-of-23) from beyond the arc. In addition the Detroit, Mich. native was stout from the charity stripe, missing just one free throw on seven attempts.
Michael Weathers, Miami, Guard
Freshman, Roeland Park, Kan. (Shawnee Mission North)
Weathers was an offensive force on the road last week as Miami split its two games. The RedHawks earned a 79-75 victory at MAC regular season champion Akron on Tuesday in large part due to Weathers' efforts. He finished with 22 points in 36 minutes, driving for several layups late as Miami made its comeback. He was 7-for-13 from the field and 8-for-9 from the free throw line. He also had seven assists, four rebounds, a block and a steal. Weathers was also strong against Ohio on Friday. He finished with 17 points in 33 minutes of action. Weathers averaged 19.5 points and 4.5 assists per game last week.
Jimmy Hall, Kent State, Forward
Senior, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Hall once again put forth an outstanding effort in leading the Golden Flashes in the last week of the regular season. The senior forward led the team in almost every category, posting 16.5 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and 1.5 blocks per game. He shot 15-for-25 from the floor, good for a team-best 60 percent on the week. On Tuesday at Bowling Green, Hall continued his torrid pace with 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting. He posted team-highs of 15 rebounds, six on offense, and four assists. Hall went on to lead the Flashes against Akron Friday with 16 points on 50 percent shooting. He also had a team-best 11 rebounds to secure his 19th double-double of the season. He will enter the postseason tied for third all-time at Kent State in scoring with 1,565 points in three years as a Flash. Hall averaged five offensive rebounds a game on the week, continuing to give Kent State second chance opportunities to score.
Jason Carter, Ohio, Forward
Fr., Johnstown, Ohio (Johnstown-Monroe)
Carter (Johnstown, Ohio) helped the Ohio men's basketball team (19-10, 11-7 MAC) split a pair of games against Mid-American Conference East Division rivals last week to wrap up the 2016-17 regular season and help the Bobcats clinch the No. 2 seed in the upcoming 2017 MAC Tournament presented by VisitMyrtleBeach.com. Carter averaged a team-high 17.5 points, 13.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks over two games. He also averaged 1.0 assists and 0.5 steals. He shot 52.2 percent (12-of-23) from the field. Carter tallied a team-high 19 points and nine rebounds, but Ohio was edged by Buffalo, 83-79, last Tuesday (Feb. 28) at the Convocation Center. In addition to his near double-double, he added two assists and a steal in 31 minutes. He went 8-of-13 from the field. Carter then produced his fifth double-double of the year in the 2016-17 regular season finale with 16 points to go along with a career-high 17 rebounds as Ohio topped archrival Miami, 69-55, on Senior Night last Friday (March 3) at the Convo. He went 8-of-10 from the free throw line to help Ohio shoot 83.3 percent (20-of-24) from the charity stripe in the victory.