If it’s Monday, it is now time for the weekly honors:
Player of the Week:
Duke freshman forward Marvin Bagley III. He was magnificent in Portland. His numbers were stunningly good. These were his numbers: 18, 34, 30 points; 15, 15, 15 rebounds; 2, 0, 1, blocks; 6, 12, 10, field goals. Duke came back and won each of the three games to claim a PK80 tournament title over Portland State, Texas (OT) and Florida. Bagley is one of the favorites for national player of the year after his early-season performance.
Marvin Bagley III
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) November 27, 2017
Team of the Week:
Texas A&M. There were so many choices this week. Florida would have been a lock had it beaten Duke. Duke could have claimed it as well. Villanova (Battle 4 Atlantis), Michigan State (PK80), Notre Dame (Maui Invitational), Baylor (CBE), Virginia (NIT), West Virginia (Advocare Orlando), Arizona State (Continental Tire Las Vegas) or Washington State (Wooden Legacy). But the difference between those tournament winners and the Aggies is they didn’t also add in a true road win against a top 20 team.
Big stage for the young man.
— Texas A&M Basketball (@aggiembk) November 27, 2017
Texas A&M followed up the wins over Oklahoma State and Penn State at the Legends Classic in Brooklyn with a Sunday night true road win at USC. The Aggies dominated the Trojans in the second half, shutting them down defensively and signaling to Kentucky and now Florida that they have every right to be a favorite with them for the SEC regular-season title.
Most impressive win:
Arizona State 102, Xavier 86, Continental Tire title game in Las Vegas. Bobby Hurley’s Sun Devils are rolling offensively. Tra Holder went for 40 in this game and he’s averaging 23.3 a game.
The Sun Devils actually trailed Xavier at halftime, 46-44, and then blitzed the Musketeers in the second half with a 58-40 run. The Sun Devils certainly look the part as a Pac-12 favorite — something not sure anyone would have written a month ago.
Most bizarre game:
Alabama’s 3 against Minnesota’s 5 for the final 10 minutes in the Barclays Center Classic game Saturday in Brooklyn. Alabama coach Avery Johnson handled the situation as well as anyone could have in the moment. He didn’t flinch. The five bench players never should have left the court (the assistant coaches and other personnel should share the blame of not holding them back) to get into the skirmish (it was NOT A BRAWL).
And then Dazon Ingram’s fifth foul and John Petty’s ankle injury within a minute were simply cases of bad luck. But Collin Sexton’s 19 of the team’s 23 points (he finished with 40) in that final stretch helped the Tide cut the Gophers’ lead from 13 to 3 before losing 89-84. The coaches and players on both sides said after the game they had never seen anything like this. The officials did a good job of controlling the game. It was just flat-out surreal to see.
Most surprising remaining unbeaten:
San Diego. The WCC desperately needs depth to help Gonzaga out, let alone Saint Mary’s and BYU, the three schools traditionally pushing for a postseason berth. USD has already won two road games — at San Jose State and at Grand Canyon, a potential WAC favorite — to go to 5-0 before their city showdown Thursday against San Diego State. Isaiah Pineiro has been on a tear of late, scoring 17 points in the win over Grand Canyon and 20, 7 rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks in the win over Arkansas-Little Rock.