Week of Jan. 30 to Feb. 5
Kasey Hill and Chris Chiozza, Guards, Florida Gators
Don’t look now, but Florida is quietly turning into a final four contender, winning their last four games by a combined 128 points, including a 22-point rout over Kentucky on Saturday. Senior point guard Kasey Hill was the best player on the court Saturday during the Gators victory over the Wildcats. scoring 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting while grabbing five rebound and dishing out six assists. His point total matched a season high, and Hill’s production on Saturday played a huge role in Florida’s signature win. Just throwing it out there, he may be the fastest dude in the country.
On Thursday, Florida dominated Missouri beating them 93-54 thanks in large part to Chris Chiozza’s contributions. Despite coming off the bench, the junior guard recorded a triple-double, scoring 12 points to go along with 12 rebounds in 10 assists. Although he shot poorly from the floor against Kentucky, Chiozza still registered nine rebounds and nine assists. In his last four games, Florida’s backup point guard is averaging over eight assists per game. Quite a luxury to have when the backup point guard can come in and facilitate in such a manner.
PJ Dozier, Guard, South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina’s leading scorer had himself a nice week while his team swept its competition. In its two wins over Missouri and Georgia, the 6-foot-6 sophomore averaged 19 points while shooting 50 percent from the field, in addition to dishing out 3.5 assists in the two victories. Staying active on the defensive side of the court, he also recorded 1.5 steals per game, which is just below his season average of 1.7. Not a bad week for the former top-20 recruit.
South Carolina has been riding high with a 19-4 record and look like a legit top-20 team, thanks in large part to the improvement Dozier has made this season. Jumping his average in points over seven points, the sophomore seems to be molding his game together and reminding those why scouts were so excited about him coming out of high school. So long as Dozier is playing at this level, the Gamecocks will be a tough matchup come tournament time.
Sebastian Saiz, Forward, Ole Miss Rebels
Thanks to a much needed 2-0 week, the Rebels now sit at 5-5 and right in the middle of the pack in the SEC. Following victories over Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, the Rebels have responded strong after a rough 1-4 start to conference play. Sebastian Saiz, the senior from Spain, has been one of Ole Miss’ most important players throughout the season, averaging 15.6 points and 11.4 rebounds, and it’s no surprise he came up big this week.
In their two games, Saiz averaged 13.5 points and 13.5 rebounds, recording a double-double in each game. That makes eight of 10 conference games in which the Spaniard has registered a double double, and he has 16 on the season. If Saiz and company can continue this trend of good play, maybe Ole Miss can extend this hot streak for a couple more weeks.
Edited by David Bradford
Featured image by artic_whirlwind