Monday, February 11, 2008

Grading The Bobcats vs Western Michigan

Leon Williams: A++++

With the exception of his monster performance and late game heroics at the 2005 MAC Championship, this may have been Leon's greatest performance as a Bobcat. 26 points and 15 rebounds is insane on any night, let alone while going up against the best rebounding team in the conference and All-MAC Selection Joe Reitz. Just give Leon MAC Player of the Year award now.

Bubba Walther: A-

While some of my fellow reporters have dissed the Bubbalicious One for being "selfish," he was anything but on Saturday. It was evident that every time he touched the ball, the #1 priority was feeding the Beast. Couple that with a scoring burst at the end of the first half, and you have a great game. He may have had a few errant passes, but Walther didn't take a single bad shot. He's starting to look like the Senior leader we need.

Mike Allen: B-

I've been high on Mike all year. The Bobcats have desperately needed a PG the past two years, and Allen is it. His play has been a little inconsistent lately, but nothing scary. I love his unselfish attitude, but honestly wish he'd try to score little bit more. One thing he needs to work on is fouling... he had 4 on Saturday with about 4 minutes left; not usually what you'd expect from your PG. Still, a good effort.

Devaughn Washington: C+

Pretty much what we've come to expect from this talented freshman. A nice block, and a few key rebounds, but no points. He'll be an offensive threat soon enough. Like Allen, one consistent flaw in his game has been fouls. It seems like he quickly gets one or two right after coming off the bench in every game. I love the aggressiveness, though... he just needs to play with slightly more control.

Tommy Freeman: C

Ditto for the Bobcats' other talented freshman. Saturday was pretty much par for Tommy. Not a huge scoring threat, but ran the offense well. Nothing amazing on defense, but not a liability either. Another unspectacular, but solid game.

Bert Whittington, Allen Hester, KVK: C-

I literally wondered aloud late in the game if these guys had even played. After a string of amazing games, Bert has gone cold, and one has to wonder if the hip pointer injury has anything to do with it. Give Hester props for the big rejection on Western's last second shot, but that was really the only notable thing he did. Speaking of which, KVK has seemed to have slipped into the unnotable category for most of the conference season. I was really high on his improvements at the beginning of the year, but he hasn't really shown much in conference play. All these guys have shown flashes of brilliance, it's just a matter of getting consistency.

Jerome Tillman: D+

It absolutely pains me to give this grade to Big Tilly, but he was almost invisible out there on Saturday. Maybe I'm being hard on him... he did have 8 rebounds. But only getting 2 points, both of which from free throws, is hardly what we've come to expect from Rome. Fortunately, I doubt this is a trend and fully expect to see him back to form against Toledo. When Jerome and Leon both bring their A game, there isn't a team in the MAC that can beat the Bobcats.

Western Michigan: A-

The Broncos proved that there is good basketball to be found in the MAC West, and nearly handed the Bobcats their first home loss of the 07-08 season. Joe Reitz & David Kool are a formidable 1-2 punch, and leave Western as a virtual lock for the West championship. Earlier in the year I said that I'd rather be a 3 seed than a 1, because that would allow the Bobcats to play the West champs instead of an East team in the semis... I'm not so sure about that now. After Saturday, I have to say that it looks like Western is as good as anyone.


1) Kent 8-2
2) WMU 7-3 (MAC West leader)
3) Akron 7-3 (1-0 vs. Ohio)
4) Ohio 7-3 (0-1 vs. Akron)
5) BGSU 6-4 (1-0 vs. Miami)
6) Miami 6-4 (0-1 vs. BGSU)
7) CMU 5-5
8) EMU 4-6 (1-0 vs. Toledo)
9) Toledo 4-6 (0-1 vs. EMU)
10) Buffalo 2-8 (1-0 vs. NIU and BSU)
11) NIU 2-8 (1-1 vs. NIU and BSU)
12) Ball St. 2-8 (0-1 vs. Buffalo and NIU)

Right now the Bobcats are hanging on for a crucial bye in the first round... but wins against Toldeo and Kent in the next two games would most likely rocket them up to the #1 seed after the tiebreakers shake out... case in point: It's a big week for the Bobcats.

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