Jan. 15, 2009
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Derrick Brown - Xavier
Junior, Forward, 6-8, 225 lbs.
Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne HS
In Xavier's lone contest of the week, Brown was perfect from the field en route to scoring a game-high 20 points in just 19 minutes of action as the Musketeers downed Saint Louis on Jan. 8, 70-44...made all six of his field goal attempts, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, and sank all five of his free throws...added three rebounds, an assist and a block...marked his second 20-point outing of the season.
Ahmad Nivins - Saint Joseph's
Senior, Forward, 6-9, 235 lbs.
Jersey City, N.J./St. Anthony's HS
Nivins scored 28 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds on Jan. 10 as Saint Joseph's edged Rhode Island in triple overtime, 92-86, in the Hawks' lone contest of the week...shot 9-of-15 from the field and added three blocks...marked his seventh double-double of the season, tops in the Conference...tabbed the A-10 Player of the Week for a league-leading fourth time this season.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Andrew Nicholson - St. Bonaventure
Freshman, Forward, 6-9, 230 lbs.
Mississauga, Ontario/Father Michael Goetz Secondary HS
Nicholson earns his league-leading and program-record fourth A-10 Rookie of the Week honor after averaging 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while knocking down 11-of-14 shots from the field over two games...scored 13 points and grabbed nine boards on Jan. 7 in the Bonnies' 78-65 win at Fordham...scored a team-high 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting and added eight rebounds as St. Bonaventure dropped a 98-80 decision to Duquesne...his 51 blocks are the most of any freshman in the nation.
SHOT CLOCK SNIPPETS...
Off to its first-ever 3-0 start in Conference play, Duquesne is one two schools (South Carolina State) to have two players (Aaron Jackson, Damian Saunders) ranked in the top 25 nationally in field goal percentage.
Xavier is ranked 15th in the latest Associated Press
top 25 poll.
Dayton is 28-4 with sophomore forward Chris Wright in the lineup.
HONOR ROLL: Dayton sophomore forward Chris Wright averaged 13.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in a pair of contests...senior guard Aaron Jackson averaged 25 points and seven assists, while freshman swingman Melquan Bolding averaged 11.5 points and five rebounds in a pair of Conference victories for Duquesne...Fordham freshman guard Jio Fontan scored a team-high 22 points in the Rams' 78-65 loss to St. Bonaventure on Jan. 7...junior forward Wynton Witherspoon scored 15 points in George Washington's 60-48 home loss to Richmond on Jan. 10...UMass junior guard Ricky Harris scored 23 points, including 17 in the opening half, as the Minutemen turned aside Dayton on Jan. 10, 75-62. Teammate Tony Gaffney chipped in 17 points and seven blocks...senior guard Jimmy Baron of Rhode Island averaged 17.5 points and six rebounds in a pair of road contests...Richmond sophomore forward Justin Harper scored a game-high 19 points and added four blocks in the Spiders' 60-48 road win over George Washington on Jan. 10...senior guard Dionte Christmas of Temple averaged 21.5 points and 4.5 rebounds, while freshman guard Juan Fernandez scored eight points in each of the Owls' two non-conference victories on the week.
PUTTING UP THEIR DUKES: Duquesne improved to 3-0 in Conference play for the first time in program history with an 88-83 home win over George Washington on Jan. 14. The Dukes' 12-4 record after 16 games is their best since the 1979-80 campaign, while their seven-game winning streak is the team's longest since 1980-81. DUQ seeks its first eight-game winning streak since 1971-72 when it hosts Dayton on Jan. 17. The catalyst for the Dukes is senior guard Aaron Jackson, who recorded his second 30-point performance of the season on Jan. 7 in the Dukes' 76-71 win over Charlotte. Twice named the A-10 Player of the Week this season, the senior guard became the 32nd player in program history to join the 1,000-point club versus the 49ers. Jackson's 6.06 apg. average this season - tops in the Conference - is on pace to break the school's single-season mark of 6.0, set by Norm Nixon in 1973-74 and matched by Nixon in 1975-76. Jackson has topped the 100-assist mark twice in his three previous seasons at Duquesne.
BOARD WORK: Saint Joseph's senior forward Ahmad Nivins grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds versus Rhode Island on Jan. 10. The last A-10 player to pull down 20 or more rebounds in a game was former Charlotte standout Curtis Withers, who amassed 21 against Dayton on Feb. 4, 2006.
GOOD AS GOLD: Xavier head coach Sean Miller and his staff reward players with a gold jersey to be worn by the top practice player from the previous week. In addition, the player's locker is also marked with a gold "X" that hangs for the duration of the season. The players can also earn a gold "X" for game or academic efforts and those gold "X" markers are also hung in the players' lockers as badges of honor.
STREAKIN: St. Bonaventure earned a 78-65 win at Fordham on Jan. 7 and climbed to 6-0 on the road for the first time in program history. With a record of 10-6 overall, the Bonnies - who won one road contest all of last season - have already surpassed their victory total (eight) from all of last season. Moreover, the SBU bench has won the scoring battle in each of the team's 16 games this season.
STRAIGHT SHOOTER: Saint Joseph's senior forward Ahmad Nivins seeks to join former George Washington standout Alexander Koul (1995-97) as the only players in A-10 history to lead the league in field goal percentage three consecutive years. Nivins shot .647 (165-of-255) from the field a year ago. The Jersey City, N.J., native has made 103-of-155 shots through the Hawks' first 15 contests and leads the league with eight double-doubles. Nivins has scored in double figures in 72 of his 108 career games and has reached double figures in rebounds 21 times, including eight times this season, good for second in the A-10. He also boasts 18 career double-doubles.
SELECT COMPANY: Temple senior guard Dionte Christmas averaged a league-best 19.7 points last season to become just the third player in Conference history to lead the Atlantic 10 in scoring in successive years. The two other players to hold that distinction are John Battle of Rutgers (1984-85) and St. Bonaventure's Earl Belcher (1980-81). With nine career A-10 Player of the Week honors, Christmas trails only Xavier's David West (14) and Jameer Nelson of Saint Joseph's (13) and is tied with Massachusetts' Marcus Camby for the third-most in league history.
DANDY ANDY: St. Bonaventure freshman forward Andrew Nicholson leads all freshmen nationally in both blocked shots (53) and field goal percentage (.618 - 81-for-131) entering the Bonnies' Jan. 17 contest at Richmond. Named the A-10 Rookie of the Week four times this season, Nicholson's nine blocks at Bucknell on Dec. 30 marks the highest single-game total in Division I this season. UMass senior forward Tony Gaffney also registered nine blocks on Dec. 6 versus Boston College.
CLOSE SHAVES: Dayton improved to 6-0 in games decided by five points or less after edging Fordham on Jan. 14, 72-71.