It is time yet again for the Busting Brackets player of the week to be handed out. There were some huge performances this week especially in the mid major ranks. I know that I say this every week but figuring out who to select as the winner of the player of the week in the mid major part realm of the college basketball landscape. There were only two players who I felt worthy of the player of the week award in the Power conferences and the player who won it should have won it earlier this year, but I chose someone else who I felt had a better week.
This week we head to the Southern Conference to meet an old friend who is one of the best players in all of college basketball. This player is not only a player who is an elite scorer but is one of the best rebounders and passers in the country as well. The player of the week also takes us to the Big Ten where we will meet a transfer into the league, who is playing for a national title contender. The player is putting up huge numbers for his new power conference school and it is time he was recognized.
Vonterius Woolbright - Western Carolina Catamounts
Hello Old Friend and welcome back to the Player of the Week award. This is now the second time that Woolbright has won this award in the last three weeks, and it is for good reason, before I get into that I want to give some other recognition to the rest of the mid major players this week. There were some huge weeks across the board and in the slimmest of margins Woolbright edged out Great Osobor from Utah State and James Bishop IV from George Washington. The week that the guard from Western Carolina had been too good to pass up.
The Catamounts have one of the best players in the NCAA and the problem is that Western Carolina is rarely on TV and most people don’t know about him. He is one of the best scorers currently averaging 21 points, is third in the country in rebounding with 12 a game and is 42 overall with 5 assists per game. All of those were on full display this week. In a win over the Citadel, the guard scored 22 points on 8-18 shooting, 1-4 from deep and 8-8 at the line. It was the rebounding and assists that caught my attention. He was to haul in 15 rebounds and tally 7 helpers.
That stat line is fantastic for anyone but its just another day at the office for the Catamount guard. In his second game of the week, a win over Wofford, the 6’6” guard was in his bag again. Woolbright scored 18 points on 7-19 from the floor, 1-3 from deep, and 3-6 from the free throw line. He added 14 rebounds and 5 assists as well.
Woolbright is a guy who is starting to get talked about more in college basketball circles because of his ability to affect the game in a lot of ways. He is one of the best rebounding guards the game has ever seen and he is also one of smartest players in the game. He knows when to pull the defense in to get a wide open look and he knows when it is time for him to take over a game. The one knock he would have is the guard is not a great shooter from deep. He shoots well under 30% for his career. He does all of his damage inside the three point line and is adept at getting fouled and getting to the line where he converts at 70%. Just do yourself a favor and watch a Western Carolina game they are exciting to watch and it wont take long for Woolbright to stand out to you. Congratulations to Woolbright on his second win of the season.
Marcus Domask - Illinois Fighting Illini
Domask is a graduate transfer from Southern Illinois, and when he arrived at Illinois, many likely wondered what kind of a role he could carve out with Illinois. He was always a dynamic scorer with Southern Illinois but sometimes the uptick in competition takes a little while to adapt. Domask has been just fine. He is doing what he does best and that is score. Domask is usually a guy who hits shots from all over the floor but his three point shot has not been falling this year I do expect that to change. The guard has taken his game to a new level since star guard for Illinois Terrance Shannon was suspended.
In a 30-point win over Northwestern, the guard scored 32 points and his line is like a video game. The 32 points were scored on 11-15 shooting. He was 1-1 from deep and 9-10 from the free throw line. Domask 5 rebounds and 6 assists in that game. The Illinois offense was operating at an extremely high level that game. They made a lot of shots that game and it was sparked by Domask getting hot from the floor.
In close loss to Purdue, which will be the best game in the Big Ten all year, the guard scored 26 points on 8-17 shooting. He was 1-2 from deep and 9-10 from the line. The guard added 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Domask will need to continue to score at this rate for Illinois to succeed. He will always be a guy who will rebound and pass the ball very well. Hopefully, he can start hitting some threes, making the Illinois offense that much harder to stop.
The only player in the Power five ranks who was even considered for the Player of the Week award was Keisei Tominaga from Nebraska. Tominaga is starting to get hot and is going to have a few games coming up when he carries the Huskers on the offensive end. Domask beat him out because of his ability to acquire more counting stats . Congratulations to Domask on winning the award this week.