Player of the Week: Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall

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Seton Hall had themselves an impressive week.

It started on Thursday night, when the Pirates picked off No. 22 Texas Tech in Madison Square Garden. It continued on Sunday, when Seton Hall went into Louisville and knocked off No. 17 Louisville.

In both games, Rodriguez was the best player on the floor. He had 24 points, seven boards and four assists in the win over the Red Raiders, following it up with a 29-point outburst at Louisville that included the game-winning shot with eight seconds left.

The striking thing about this Seton Hall team is that their two best players this season have been Rodriguez and Myles Powell, and that’s not a knock on Angel Delgado or Khadeen Carrington, two guys that were thought to be potential first-team all-Big East players. Delgado hasn’t gone a game without facing a double-team while Carrington is learning a new role and a new position.

The Pirates haven’t lost a step, however, because Rodriguez has become one of the most potent scorers in the Big East. A 6-foot-6 lefty, he’s a powerful slasher with three-point range that has learned how to operate in ball-screens. If you talk to people around the program, they’ll tell you that their success is a direct result of the fact that there is no jealousy. Everyone on the roster likes each other. They’re happy for their teammate, happier for the wins and know that they’ll be able to get their’s soon enough.

And that right there is what winning teams are built around.

THE ALL-‘THEY WERE GOOD, TOO’ TEAM

  • DEVONTE’ GRAHAM, Kansas: Graham popped off for 35 points and five assists not once, but twice this past week. One of those performances came during a neutral court win over Syracuse in Miami. Graham started out the season in something of a slump, but after Saturday’s win he’s now averaging 18.6 points and 8.0 assists on the season.
  • DEWAN HUELL, Miami: Huell has quietly turned into the presence in the paint that Miami desperately needed this season. Well, it was quiet until Wednesday’s 23-point outburst at Minnesota. Playing against one of the best front lines in college basketball, Huell proved to be the best big man on the court.
  • LUKE MAYE, North Carolina: Maye looked like, well, Luke Maye when North Carolina got embarrassed by Michigan State in the title game of the PK-80 event in Portland. In the three games since, he’s returned to being Kevin Love’s mini-me. In wins over Michigan, Davidson and Tulane, Maye averaged 24.3 points, 11.0 boards, 2.3 assists and 1.7 blocks. Not bad for a three-star recruit.
  • CHANDLER HUTCHISON, Boise State: It was a big week for the Broncos, as they they won three games, including a victory in Eugene over Oregon. That win could end up looking good come March. Hutchison probably had the best week of anyone on the roster. Not only did he return from a concussion, but he had 20 points and 10 boards at Oregon before exploding for 20 points, 10 boards and 10 assists in a win over Portland.
  • SHAKE MILTON, SMU: Milton put together arguably the best performance of his college career on Saturday night, as the Mustangs picked off No. 14 USC in Moody Coliseum behind Milton’s 22 points and nine assists. Long a name on NBA Draft boards, the junior point guard finally had a breakout performance against an elite opponent.