Week of Feb. 6 to Feb. 12
Sindarius Thornwell, Guard, South Carolina
It was quite a week for the SEC Player of the Year candidate. Thornwell scored 72 points through two games this week. In a quadruple-overtime loss to Alabama on Tuesday, he had a double-double with 44 points and 21 rebounds. Thornwell also broke Pistol Pete Maravich’s record of free throws made in a single game with 25 in the contest. South Carolina would not have been close in the game without Thornwell, as he scored over half of their 86 points.
It was a more modest effort for Thornwell in a win over Mississippi State on Saturday. He still led the Gamecocks with 28 points in the win, including scoring 10 of their 19 in the first half. At this point, it may be a two-horse race for SEC Player of the Year between Thornwell and Malik Monk from Kentucky. More weeks like this from Thronwell and he may very well be in the driver’s seat.
J.J. Frazier, Guard, Georgia
It’s been a rough slate of games for the Bulldogs this season. After facing Kentucky, South Carolina and Florida back-to-back, the Bulldogs became the first team in the SEC to face three straight ranked opponents this season. SEC minutes leader J.J. Frazier had a huge night against Tennessee on Saturday to get the Bulldogs back in the win column after three tough losses. Frazier. for the second straight year, killed Tennessee throughout the game. He had 29 points including a bucket and the foul in the last minute to secure the win for Georgia.
Frazier also put in a nice effort in a loss against the red-hot Florida Gators on Tuesday. He scored 18 points while also securing seven rebounds in the loss. Playing all but two minutes in the game, Frazier continues to be a guy who Georgia cannot leave out of the game.
Grant Williams, Forward, Tennessee
The freshman from Charlotte has continued to defy the odds for the Baby Vols this season. At only 6-foot-5, Williams is currently fourth in the conference in blocked shots with 2.0 blocks per game. He has scored in double figures in seven straight games and has arguably been the Vols’ best player during SEC play. In a come-from-behind win against Ole Miss on Wednesday night, he finished with 18 points and seven rebounds while holding his own against one of the best big men in the conference in Sebastian Saiz.
Williams’ best effort of the week, however, came in a losing effort on Saturday. Having to go against the third-highest scorer in the conference in Yante Maten of Georgia was not going to be an easy job for Grant Williams coming in. How did he end up performing against him? He absolutely dominated. Williams had arguably the best game of his career, tying his career-high with 30 points. It was an impressive showing for the first-year player, and one that may continue to vault him into the conversation for the SEC All-Freshman team.
Malik Monk, Guard, Kentucky
Where would the Kentucky be without Malik Monk? Time and time again this season, Monk has made big shots when the Wildcats have needed it most. Monk had another good week for 14th-ranked Kentucky, as they were able to bounce back from a 1-3 stretch of games. Monk performed well against LSU after a rough game against Florida by scoring 23 points and hitting a free throw late to secure the win.
After a shootout against LSU, Kentucky grinded out a win in Tuscaloosa against Alabama on Saturday. Monk led the Wildcats with 17 points on the day, again coming up big when he was needed. At 21.7 points per game, Malik Monk continues to lead the conference in scoring.
Edited by Robert Hughes
Featured image by Hayley Pennesi, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics