The Basketball MVP Draft returns to Big 12 play this week! We’re picking West Virginia for the second time this season. Will our players make the same picks or try something different this time around? Before we find out, we need to wrap up last week’s draft.
First off, for those who haven’t seen the MVP Draft before, here are the rules: Each participant will pick ONE PLAYER from EACH TEAM they think will perform the best. They will then pick a third player from either team as their wild card pick. Each correct pick is worth one point. We will tally the points throughout the season.
Now to tally up the Arkansas points...
Jeffrey Carroll | UofA: Moses Kingsley | Wild Card: Davon Dillard (OSU)
OSU: Phil Forte | UofA:
Daryl Macon | Wild Card: Jawun Evans (OSU)
Mitchell Solomon | UofA: Daryl Macon | Wild Card: Jaylen Barford (UofA)
Opponent: Doc Harper
Jeffrey Carroll | UofA: Dusty Hannahs | Wild Card: Moses Kingsley (UofA)
Oklahoma State: Carroll was great, leading the Cowboys in points (20) and tying for the most rebounds (7). However, Forte broke the Oklahoma State record for made threes. There’s NO WAY that doesn’t earn the guy the point!
Arkansas: This one comes down to Kingsley and Hannahs. Neither was particularly spectacular, and both had similar stat lines: Kingsley with 10 points on 3-11 shooting, four rebounds, zero assists compared to Hannahs with 13 points on 4-10 shooting, three rebounds, and zero assists. Kingsley gets the point, because of four(!) blocks and no turnovers. Hannahs lost the ball three times.
Wild Card: I don’t love giving the point to a player on the losing team, but the final score would have been a LOT uglier if not for Barford. He led Arkansas with 21 points on 8-13 shooting and added three rebounds and two assists. Evans had a good game, and I really wanted to pick Dillard because of his impact off the bench. However, the point has to go to Barford.
Let’s update the scoreboard!
Sumer - 11
Sam - 10
Opponent - 9
Tyler - 8
Movement continues to happen as Sam jumps past the Opponent, with Tyler now just one point away from climbing out of the basement.
This week’s draft features a return by the West Virginia Mountaineers.
The OU game on Monday was just too fast of a turnaround so, like the Cowboys themselves, everyone’s getting a second chance to do better against the Mountaineers.
Since opening Big 12 play with a (blowout) win over the Cowboys, West Virginia has gone 6-3. On the road, this is going to be a tough one for OSU.
This week we welcome Oklahoma State fan Adam Mikles to make the picks for the opponent! He’s an old friend, so everyone make him feel welcome.
Now that everyone’s been introduced... LET’S PICK!
OSU: Jeffrey Carroll | WVU: Jevon Carter | Wild Card: Phil Forte (OSU)
Oklahoma State: I know last time against the Mountaineers, Jawun Evans had a double-double, but I'm not going to pick any of the same players as I did last time. Carroll has been the anchor of this team for most of the season, and one bad game against OU isn't enough for me to look for someone else to carry the team.
West Virginia: In December, the WVU guards dominated the blowout of the Cowboys. I expect that the guards to lead the attempt once again. Jevon Carter is hitting 45% of his shots while he scores 11.8 ppg. What sets him apart though is his assists. He averages 4.6 per game, while the next closest player has 3.0 apg. While Brad has shored up the defense a lot, they are still susceptible to cross-court passes and backdoor cuts, which Carter could expose.
Wild Card: The super senior seems to have found his stroke, and now with the second round of conference play coming up, I expect Coach Underwood to look to his senior to hit big shots and help take down the Mountaineers in West Virginia.
OSU: Jeffrey Carroll | WVU: Nathan Adrian | Wild Card: Phil Forte (OSU)
Oklahoma State: When OSU and West Virginia met in December, Carroll finished with nine points. Since that game, Carroll has scored double figures in eight straight games including 23 against Kansas and 25 against Texas Tech. He clearly is finding his groove offensively. Same story as last time these two met, West Virginia will play a high octane style that rotates a lot of guards, so guys like Carroll, or even Solomon could have a nice game offensively. Expect a track meet with a lot of points scored. I see Carroll going for 18 points and five rebounds.
West Virginia: West Virginia is winners of three straight, including a dominant performance over Kansas. Nathan Adrian has been really good in big games this season, racking up 22 points against Baylor and 23 against Iowa State. Adrian is a 6’9 Forward who will play on the perimeter, creating a potential matchup problem for the Pokes. He finished with nine points against OSU in the last meeting, which is just under his season average of 11 points per game.
Wild Card: No one in college basketball has been as good in the last two games as Phil Forte. Okay, that’s probably not true, but the senior just surpassed Keaton Paige for all-time 3-pointers, and just recently hit one of the biggest shots in Bedlam history. Forte has as much momentum going into this game as anyone. Expect some early 3-ball's from him against the Mountaineers.
OSU: Phil Forte | WVU: Daxter Miles | Wild Card: Javon Carter (WVU)
Oklahoma State: He's hitting his offensive stride at the best possible time in the season.
West Virginia: He's an all around powerhouse that helps keep the Mountaineers dangerous.
Wild Card: He's another facilitator in Press Virginia's arsenal that keeps them alive on both ends of the floor.
Opponent: Adam Mikles
OSU: Jawun Evans | WVU: Esa Ahmad | Wild Card: Phil Forte
Oklahoma State: This team runs through Juwan Evans, and it's been more apparent than ever in the last three games. Taking a more aggressive approach in the lane has found him at the free throw line more regularly, and he is shooting better than .500 on 3-pointers in the last three games. Carroll may return to his former self before falling short in Norman, but I like how Evans has put this team on his back when he has to, and I'm afraid answers will be few and far between against West Virginia's stout defense.
West Virginia: West Virginia has a hot-handed player every week it seems, and rarely is it the same player. Esa Ahmad has been very productive for WVU in the last couple games. Given OSU's well-documented history of big men getting in foul trouble he could be in for a great game. He played lights out against Kansas with 27 points and had six assists in the SEC/Big 12 bout against A&M. He's averaging 18 points a game over the last three games and I just don't see OK State's big men having an answer for him.
Wild Card: West Virginia spreads the ball around so well it's interesting to see their stat leaders for the season versus OK State's, which is definitively top heavy. I'm going with Phil Forte III on this one since he's probably still amped from that game winning three against OU. He's also 7-9 from behind the arc in the last two games and I expect him to get more opportunities than normal given WVU's ability to limit action in the paint.