Jerrelle Benimon, Nate Lubick

Towson, Jerrelle Benimon off to hot start in CAA play

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If you are a Georgetown fan, please, stop reading this now.

Just turn off your laptop and put away your iPhone. Trust me on this. Because after watching your Hoyas struggle to score 50 points for what seems like the 10th consecutive game in a 73-45 loss at home to Pitt, you probably don’t want to know that a former Hoya is well on his way to winning the CAA Player of the Year award.

That would be Jerrelle Benimon.

After going for 26 points, 12 boards, seven blocks, three assists and three steals in a double-overtime win over William & Mary last night, Benimon is now averaging 17.1 points, 11.7 boards and 2.3 blocks. He’s got 10 double-doubles on the season now.

But more importantly, he’s put Towson back on the map. The Tigers won just a single game last year. Seriously. One win. They were the worst team in Division I basketball. And while their rise this year has to do with Pat Skerry’s crop of transfers and incoming freshmen, it’s still as big of an improvement as you will find this season. The Tigers are now 3-0 in the CAA and sitting in first place in the conference. They’ve won four straight games, the first time that has happened for the program since 2000. They went into Corvallis and knocked off Oregon State.

Much of that improvement can be placed on the shoulders of Benimon.

You have to wonder.

How much would Benimon’s scoring ability have helped the Big East’s ugliest offensive this season?

You know what? For the sake of the good folks on the Hilltop, don’t answer that.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
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It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: