It was the toughest call yet this season. There were so many really strong performances across college basketball over the past seven days, but without a clear-cut great pair of outings from a major-conference player, this week’s Player of the Week goes to the best player on the best mid-major team in the country.
Valpo junior Alec Peters had three games last week, and in helping the Crusaders keep pace atop the Horizon League, he averaged 21.0 points, 11.0 rebounds. He was also efficient, shooting 19 for 29 (66 percent) from the field, 8 for 14 from 3-point range, and 17 for 20 from the foul line. He had only four turnovers in three games.
Peters is now a top-10 scorer in school history, sitting at 1,498 career points. Peters is averaging 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds this season. Valpo’s biggest win was against Horizon League contender Oakland. The Crusaders won 86-84 on Friday, then beat Detroit 90-74 on Sunday behind 32 points from Peters. Bryce Drew’s team clinched a regular-season title with the win over Detroit.
Drew has won the Horizon regular season title four of the past five years.
Now, there were plenty of other candidates to consider here, and I’m going to name the finalists. Believe it or not, a player at Sacred Heart — Cane Broome — almost took the honors. He averaged 33.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in two road wins last week for SHU. He’s the leading scorer in the NEC.
Did you happen to see how Colgate won on Sunday? Austin Tillotson not only made a half-court shot to win an overtime game at the buzzer, he also averaged 24.0 points, 5.5 assists and 3.0 steals in Colgate’s two wins. In terms of big-time players on a big-time teams, Brice Johnson (22.5 points, 17.0 rebounds against Duke and Miami) was pretty good, but we try to award POTW to a guy whose team did not lose. And we also try to pick a guy who played at least twice, which is why Denzel Valentine (24, 10 and 7 against Wisconsin) didn’t take the honors this week, because MSU only had one game in the past seven days. Other really nice stat lines last week included Ohio’s Antonio Campbell (24.5 points, 15.5 boards), Marshall’s James Kelly (23.5 points, 15.0 rebounds) and Wyoming’s Josh Adams (26.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 4.0 steals 1.5 blocks).
Previous winners this season of the CBS Sports Player of the Week:
Week 1: Grayson Allen, Duke
Week 2: Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
Week 3: Kyle Collinsworth, BYU
Week 4: A.J. English, Iona
Week 5: Troy Williams, Indiana
Week 6: Brice Johnson, North Carolina
Week 7: Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
Week 8: Jarrod Uthoff, Iowa
Week 9: Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
Week 10: Shawn Long, Louisiana-Lafayette
Week 11: Juan’ya Green, Hofstra
Week 12: Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
Week 13: Roosevelt Jones, Butler
Week 14: Mo Watson, Jr., Creighton
Alec Peters is on a stacked Valpo team that could do damage in the NCAAs. (Valpo Athletics)