Watanabe, Tillman Share A-10 Player of the Week Honors
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – George Washington senior Yuta Watanabe and VCU senior Justin Tillman were chosen as the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Co-Players of the Week, while Rhode Island freshman Fatts Russell was selected the league’s Rookie of the Week. The awards, announced Monday are for games played Nov. 27 – Dec. 3.
Watanabe averaged 21.5 points and 6.5 rebounds to lead GW to a perfect week with wins over Morgan State and Temple. The guard from Kagawa, Japan, did it all by shooting .577 (15-of-26) from the floor and .455 (5-of-11) from 3-point range, while on the defensive end, he totaled seven steals and five blocks. Against Morgan State, Watanabe scored a career-high 26 points and hit 3-of-7 from three-point range. He also had a team-high tying seven rebounds, with game-highs of three blocks and a career-high five steals. His first point of the game marked the 1,000th of his career. Then, against Temple in the BB&T Classic, Watanabe scored a team-high tying 17 points and grabbed six rebounds, along with three assists, two steals and two blocks, to lift the Colonials to a 71-67 victory.
Tillman averaged 24.5 points and 6.0 rebounds, while shooting .727 from the field, in a pair of VCU wins last week. The forward from Detroit tallied 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting (.667) and a perfect 2-for-2 from 3-point range with six rebounds against Appalachian State. He followed that with 28 points and six rebounds, shooting 10-for-13 (.769) from the field, 4-of-5 (.800) from 3-point range and a perfect 4-for-4 at the line.
Russell scored exactly 20 points in both of Rhode Island's games, an 86-62 win over Brown and a 75-68 win over Providence. The guard from Philadelphia game off the bench in both games and shot .560 from the floor (14-of-25), including 7-of-12 (.583) from beyond the arc, for the week. Against Brown he also had four assists with no turnovers while shooting 5-for-6 (.833) from 3-point range. Then versus Providence, he grabbed five rebounds and shot .500 from the floor (7-for-14). Russell also averaged 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
Peyton Aldridge averaged 23.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in a win over rival Charlotte and a close loss to No. 13/11 North Carolina … Wildcat freshman Kellan Grady had another strong performance with 22 points and five rebounds versus Charlotte and 18 points against North Carolina … Dayton’s Darrell Davis had a 17-point, 10-rebounds double-double to help the Flyers rally on the road at Mississippi State … Flyer freshman Jalen Crutcher scored 18 points, hitting 4-of-8 (.500) from 3-point range and 6-of-11 (.545) overall against Mississippi State … Duquesne freshman Eric Williams, Jr. had a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double against Cornell, followed by an 18-point performance in the City Game versus Pitt … George Mason’s Jaire Grayer had back-to-back double-doubles, with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a win at James Madison and 18 points and 11 rebounds at Auburn … Matt Mobley averaged 23.5 points and was spectacular for the Bonnies in a pair of road wins, including registering four steals in the two games and shooting 14-for-16 from the line (.875) at Siena and Buffalo … Saint Joseph’s Shavar Newkirk had his first career double-double, a 19-point, 10-rebound effort in a victory over Bucknell… Saint Louis’ Javon Bess had 22 points and 10 rebounds at Butler and was 12-of-14 (.857) from the line for the week … SLU freshman Jordan Goodwin had a 13-points on 6-of-10 (.600) shooting with seven rebounds against Western Michigan.