City 6 Weekly Awards: Wyatt shines, tourney resumes take hits

City 6 Weekly Awards: Wyatt shines, tourney resumes take hits

February 4, 2013, 11:45 am
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City 6 Scoring Leaders

Points per Game
(through February 3; minimum 8 games)

18.6 – Khalif Wyatt, Sr. Temple
18.2 – Damion Lee, Soph., Drexel
17.0 – Ramon Galloway, Sr., La Salle
15.1 – Carl Jones, Sr., St. Joe’s
14.1 – Tyreek Duren, Jr., La Salle
13.9 – Langston Galloway, Jr., St. Joe’s
13.9 – Frantz Massenat, Jr., Drexel
13.8 – Fran Dougherty, Jr., Penn
13.7 – Miles Cartwright, Jr., Penn
12.9 – JayVaughn Pinkston, Soph., Villanova

Raise your hand if you can figure out any of this city’s college basketball teams.

A week after one of the most memorable weeks of all-time, the City 6 squads returned to their typically inconsistent ways. Villanova and La Salle failed to hold momentum after their back-to-back wins over nationally ranked teams last week,

Drexel sandwiched two disappointing losses around a great win, Penn followed its first league victory with one of its worst losses of the year, and Temple continued to let its NCAA tourney hopes slip away with another loss. The only team that had a perfect week was Saint Joseph’s, which has probably been the most maddeningly inconsistent team of all this year.

Let’s take a closer look at the week that was in City 6 hoops with our weekly awards and power rankings.

Player of the week
What else can you say about Khalif Wyatt? Right now, the star senior is simply putting Temple on his back and just playing at a different level than anyone else in the city.

On Wednesday, Wyatt filled out the box score with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists in a 71-64 victory over Richmond. And on Saturday, he had perhaps the best single-game performance of any player in Philly this season, pouring in a career-high 34 points with seven three-pointers (also a career high) in a 70-69 loss to St. Joe’s.

For the first time this season, Wyatt leads the city in scoring, averaging 18.6 points per game. He also ranks first in the Atlantic 10, well ahead of Rhode Island’s Xavier Munford, who’s second.

Game of the week
Was there ever a doubt this award wouldn’t go to Saturday’s Big 5 showdown between Temple and St. Joe’s at Hagan Arena?

In a classic installment of a storied rivalry, the Hawks overcame a nine-point deficit with 5:39 remaining to survive in a game that featured 18 lead changes and 10 ties.

While Wyatt had the best numbers, Carl Jones made some of the biggest shots, burying two late three-pointers to key the comeback for St. Joe’s, which is now 2-1 in the Big 5, just like Temple.

The only team that hasn’t yet lost in the city series is La Salle (2-0), which plays St. Joe’s and Temple later this month.

Play of the week
After trailing by 20 points to George Mason on Thursday, Drexel rallied for an unlikely victory thanks in large part to a huge shot from Damion Lee.

With the game tied, the Dragons’ high-scoring sophomore drained a three-pointer from the wing with 23 seconds left to provide Drexel with enough cushion to hold off the host Patriots.

Lee, who’s led the city in scoring for most of the season, finished that game with 29 points.

Quote of the week
“I’m phenomenally disappointed but I’m not surprised. I kind of saw this coming.” – La Salle coach John Giannini after the Explorers’ followed their back-to-back wins over nationally ranked teams with a home loss to UMass on Wednesday

Stat of the week
Penn’s Patrick Lucas-Perry has made more than half of his 47 three-point attempts this season. No one else on the Quakers is shooting more than 37 percent from long-distance.

Games to watch this week
There aren’t any must-see showdowns but with the calendar inching toward March, every game is important for La Salle, Villanova, Temple and St. Joe’s as they try to build their NCAA tournament résumés.

Villanova will try to snap a two-game losing streak on the road against DePaul on Tuesday and St. Joe’s will try to extend its three-game winning when it takes on Dayton on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, Temple hosts a surprisingly good 17-win Charlotte team.

On Saturday, La Salle and Villanova both have home games they need to win with the Explorers hosting Fordham and the Wildcats facing South Florida.

Power rankings

1. La Salle (15-6): La Salle keeps the top spot after responding to its one-point loss to UMass with a solid road win vs. George Washington on Saturday. The Explorers’ only game this week is against Fordham on Saturday, and if they take care of business in that one, they’ll remain right where they need to be in the NCAA tourney picture.

2. Saint Joseph’s (13-7): The Hawks still have a long way to go to boost their at-large candidacy for the Big Dance. But with three straight wins, including their gutsy one over Temple, things finally seem to be clicking into place for them heading into tough road matchups vs. Dayton and UMass this week. If they can find a way to win both of those, they’ll come back to a campus buzzing with excitement.

3. Temple (14-7): Since the calendar flipped to 2013, the Owls have lost more games (five) than they’ve won (four) as Wyatt is not getting enough help from his teammates. Against St. Joe’s, nobody besides else made more than four baskets besides Wyatt, who made 11. The Owls follow their Wednesday game vs. Charlotte with a road matchup against Dayton on Saturday.

4. Villanova (13-9): It’s hard to imagine the Wildcats being ranked fourth in the city after they beat two national championship contenders in Louisville and Syracuse last week. But it’s hard to put them any higher after an 0-2 week, which included a home loss to a beatable Providence team Sunday. Head coach Jay Wright says the team can’t panic – and he’s right. Because they already have a couple of signature wins, they still have a decent chance to get into the NCAA tournament if they can go on a run. But that probably needs to start with week’s games against DePaul and South Florida.

5. Drexel (9-13): Following a 1-2 week that included a loss to first-place Northeastern on Saturday, the Dragons are currently four games out of first place in the Colonial Athletic Association with eight games to play. That means it will be almost impossible for them to win the regular-season title and earn an automatic berth to the NIT as well as a first-round bye in the CAA tournament. And that means pretty much everything will come down to whether or not they can win three straight games in their conference tourney next month.

6. Penn (4-16): Junior tri-captain Fran Dougherty just can’t catch a break. After missing eight games with mono, Penn’s leading scorer returned Friday to help Penn beat Columbia for its first Ivy League win. But in the second game of the back-to-back, Dougherty left with an apparent arm injury, which hurt the Quakers in a 71-69 loss to Cornell. Penn has another two-game homestand coming up as Yale and Brown pay a visit to the Palestra on Friday and Saturday, respectively. It remains to be seen if Dougherty will be available.