Calendars are about to switch over to February, and the stretch run is about to kick in for every team in the country. The push for conference titles and post-season berths will be kicked into high gear, and players will bring their best efforts to the hardwood night in and night out.
With the end of the season near, it’s time to think about individual awards in the NCAA. Starting at the end of February, we will be opening the fan-voting for the 2nd Annual Fan-Voted All-American awards.
But, we also hand out our own hardware here at College Court Report. With that, it’s time to put out some watch lists to give you an idea of where we are leaning in terms of overall awards. Each day of the week, we will update a different Watch List for different awards.
Here is the first edition of the Mid-Major Player of the Year Watch List.
We looked at statistics of each player, and the overall impact that each player has on their team. While the selections may not be the best player on their respective team, they are a key cog in the process, and that weighs heavily in our decisions.
Take a scroll down to see who cracks the Top 10 in the first edition of CCR Mid-Major Player of the Year Watch List, to be updated every Friday!
#1: Kahlil Felder – Oakland Golden Grizzlies
Stats: 25.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 8.9 apg, 2.0 spg
What can you say about the play of Kahlil Felder that hasn’t already been said? The junior guard is third in the country in scoring (25.3 ppg) and first in assists (8.9 apg), and he has the Golden Grizzlies in contention in the Horizon League race. He has put up some big numbers against big opponents this season (38 against Washington, 37 against Michigan State). Felder has also scored in double-figures in every game this season, failing to break the 20-point mark just once, which happened to be his last time out (17 against Milwaukee). Add 10 double-double performances to his resume, and Felder is the top threat for Mid-Major Player of the Year.
#2: Justin Robinson – Monmouth Hawks
Stats: 20.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.1 spg
The Monmouth Hawks have been one of the best surprises this season, and the play of Justin Robinson has been a big reason for their surge to the top of the MAAC standings. Robinson has topped the 20-point mark 12 times this season, and has scored in double-figures in all but one game (8 vs. Niagara on Dec. 6th). He has been a steady force on the back end, leading the Hawks night after night. Robinson may stand at 5’8”, but he’s got insane talent and has helped lead Monmouth onto the national stage in his senior campaign.
#3: Egidijus Mockevicius – Evansville Purple Aces
Stats: 16.7 ppg 14.2 rpg, 2.7 bpg
The unsung hero for the Evansville Purple Aces has been big man Egidijus Mockevicius. The nation’s leading rebounder has taken his game to another level this season, and Evansville is reaping the benefits all through the lineup. On a regular basis, he is drawing double-teams inside, which frees up a man on the outside, allowing the guards to do their thing. Mockevicius doesn’t need to have the ball in his hands in the paint to have a strong impact on the game. His presence alone forces teams to pick their poison, as they need to either double him in the paint, or trust their forwards to try and hold him down one-on-one.
#4: Juan’ya Green – Hofstra Pride
Stats: 17.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 6.9 apg, 1.9 spg
The pre-season pick for CAA Player of the Year has lived up to the hype, and has the Hofstra Pride in contention for a conference title. Juan’ya Green is filling up box scores on a nightly basis, and has the Pride rolling into February. Green can hurt you from anywhere on the floor, and he doesn’t need to be scoring to do so. He can battle in the paint, or find open teammates for easy looks at the basket. On defense, he has quick hands to disrupt passing lanes and alter shots. In his second season with the Pride, he is putting together a career-year.
#5: Ron Baker – Wichita State
Stats: 14.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.4 apg, 1.8 spg
One half of the best back court tandem in the country has been a reliable, steady force for the Wichita State Shockers this season. Ron Baker made headlines when he opted to return to school for his senior campaign, and it was a great thing for the Shockers. After a rough start to the season, Baker and company have turned things around, and are back atop the Missouri Valley Conference where we are used to seeing them. Baker is a consistent scorer on offense, and a reliable player on both ends of the floor. He can score, rebound, or find open teammates with relative ease.
#6: Jameel Warney – Stony Brook Seawolves
Stats: 18.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 3.1 bpg
Jameel Warney has been an impact player ever since he stepped on the floor for the Seawolves, and this season has been no exception. For the second season in a row, Warney is averaging a double-double per game, and he has been a key piece in the Seawolves’ current 12-game winning streak. He has been a consistent performer on offense (double-figures in every game) and is a rim protector on defense.
#7: Dallas Moore – North Florida Ospreys
Stats: 20.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 5.8 apg
Dallas Moore is one of five (5!) players on the Ospreys who average at least 12.1 points per game this season. Due to the balance of the starting lineup, the North Florida Ospreys are flexing their muscle atop the Atlantic Sun standings, and Moore is the leader of the pack. Shooting a dazzling 51.4% from the field, Moore can hurt you in many different ways. His vast skill set on both ends of the floor has helped the Ospreys fly to the top of the conference standings, and he is one of the best mid-major players in the country.
#8: Joel Bolomboy – Weber State Wildcats
Stats: 17.9 ppg, 13.3 rpg 1.2 apg, 1.2 bpg
Joel Bolomboy should be known as “Mr. Double-Double” in 2015-16. The 6’9” big man is #2 in the country in terms of rebounds per game, trailing only Mockevicius in that category. He has 18 double-double performances in 20 games this season, tied for tops in the country. Ironically, the only two games he didn’t record a double-double, the Wildcats lost 69-68 (against Denver and Idaho State). After a down year last year, Weber State is back in contention in the Big Sky Conference, and Bolomboy is a big reason for their resurgence.
#9: Joshua Braun – Grand Canyon Antelopes
Stats: 17.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 0.9 apg
The Grand Canyon Antelopes enter Friday with an NCAA-high 19 wins. Yes, you read that correct. A big reason for their strong play, and current 6-0 start in WAC play, has been the development and talent of sophomore guard Joshua Braun. Leading the team in scoring, Braun has developed into a strong lead scoring option for Dan Majerle’s crew in just his second year in Division I. If Braun can keep up his strong pace, and keep getting support from the likes of Grandy Glaze and DeWayne Russell among others, the Antelopes will be making waves all season long.
#10: Rashawn Thomas – Texas A&M-CC Islanders
Stats: 17.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.3 apg, 2.4 bpg
For the past few years, the Southland Conference has been ruled by the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. However, there could be a changing of the guard this season around, as Rashawn Thomas is leading the Texas A&M-CC Islanders on a serious charge towards to the title. The high-flying forward is an offensive threat who can go off on any given night for a ton of points (30+ in four games this season). Thomas plays with a high level of intensity each time out, and has the Islanders soaring to new heights in 2015-16.
D.J. Balentine – Evansville Purple Aces
James Daniel – Howard Bison
Roderick Bobbitt – Hawaii Warriors
Shawn Long – UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns
Pascal Siakam – New Mexico State Aggies
Here is the schedule for each day of the week, and which watch list will be put out on that day.
Monday: CCR Player of the Year Watch List
Tuesday: CCR Breakout Player of the Year Watch List
Wednesday: CCR Coach of the Year Watch List
Thursday: CCR Freshman of the Year Watch List
Friday: CCR Mid-Major Player of the Year Watch List
*All statistics as of Thurs. Jan. 28, 2016