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February 9, 2009

Awards: McClinton lifts Miami into tourney picture

Miami has lost four of its past five games, but the Hurricanes made perhaps their most compelling case for the NCAA tournament in the past week.

They can thank senior guard Jack McClinton for that.

The sharp-shooting McClinton topped 30 points in both games last week, a win over Wake Forest and an overtime loss at Duke. For his efforts, Rivals.com named McClinton its national player of the week.

McClinton scored 32 points in a 79-52 rout of the Demon Deacons, and scored a season-high 34 points, including Miami's last 11 in regulation, against Duke. His last shot of regulation a long 3-pointer tied the game at 68. In the two games, McClinton was 23-of-37 (62.2 percent) from the field.

Also considered:

Forward Evan Turner helped Ohio State pass Purdue and Minnesota in the Big Ten standings with double-doubles against both those conference rivals. He had 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in an 80-72 win over the Boilermakers on Tuesday and 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in a 64-58 victory over the Golden Gophers.

Arizona is back in the NCAA tournament discussion thanks to junior forward Chase Budinger. He had 17 points and eight rebounds in a 56-53 win at Oregon State on Thursday and 25 points and nine rebounds in an 87-77 victory at Oregon on Saturday.

Hasheem Thabeet led the way as Connecticut held onto the No. 1 ranking in the polls for a second consecutive week. Thabeet had 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in a 17-point win at Louisville on Monday. He added 17 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks in a non-conference victory over Michigan on Saturday.

Florida State strengthened its case for an NCAA at-large selection thanks to Toney Douglas. The senior guard had 21 points and four rebounds in a 62-58 victory at Georgia Tech on Thursday and added 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a 65-61 upset of Clemson on Sunday.

Villanova forward Dante Cunningham had 31 points and 10 rebounds in a 102-85 win over Syracuse on Saturday for the Wildcats' second win over a ranked team this year. He also had 12 points and 11 rebounds in a 94-91 victory at Providence on Wednesday.

Cincinnati is making noise in the Big East thanks to leading scorer Deonta Vaughn. The junior guard had 34 points in a 93-83 win over Notre Dame on Wednesday, then had 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists to complete a season sweep of Georgetown with a 64-62 overtime victory on Saturday.

Guard Jerome Randle helped California reverse a 1-4 slide with a sweep of the Pac-10's Washington schools. Randle had 21 points and five assists in an 86-71 win over Washington on Thursday; he added 20 points and three assists in a 71-63 victory over Washington State on Saturday.

NON-BIG SIX PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Lester Hudson, UT-Martin

Hudson, a senior guard who is the nation's third-leading scorer, did nothing to hurt his numbers with two 30-point games on the road.

Hudson scored 30 points and added 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals in an 87-82 overtime win over Austin Peay. He topped that with 34 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals in a 100-73 victory over Tennessee State.

Also considered:

Austin Peay forward Drake Reed had 35 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks in his team's loss to Hudson and UT-Martin on Thursday. He also had 32 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in an 83-80 win over Murray State.

Guard Aaron Jackson led Duquesne's 72-68 upset of Xavier with 21 points and five rebounds. He also had 29 points and six rebounds in a 78-74 loss at Saint Louis.

UAB guard Paul Delaney recorded a triple-double in an 81-61 win over Tulane on Wednesday. He had 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds against the Green Wave. He added 16 points, six rebounds and five steals in a 66-49 victory over Southern Miss.

UNC-Asheville forward Reid Augst had 23 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists in a 103-95 win at Big South-leading VMI. He also had 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a 80-71 victory over Charleston Southern.

Old Dominion forward Gerald Lee had 19 points and 11 rebounds in a 71-62 win over Towson on Tuesday. He added 23 points and 10 rebounds in a 64-53 victory at Drexel on Saturday.

Houston guard Aubrey Coleman recorded two double-doubles, against UCF and Rice. Coleman had 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a 97-69 rout of the Golden Knights. He had 27 points and 12 rebounds in a 72-65 win over Rice.

Wisconsin-Green Bay handed Butler its first Horizon League loss behind 21 points and six rebounds from senior guard Ryan Tillema. Tillema also had 14 points and two boards in a 72-68 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Tyreke Evans, Memphis

Evans made sure to take advantage of Memphis' last opportunity to impress in a non-conference game. Evans led the way with 22 points as the Tigers dominated Gonzaga 68-50 in Spokane, Wash.

Memphis jumped on Gonzaga early and led 40-23 at halftime behind 14 points from Evans.

In a 79-66 win over SMU on Thursday, Evans had 26 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Also considered:

Rider guard Novar Gadson scored 17 points and added four rebounds and four assists off the bench in the 90-88 upset of Siena. He also had 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists in a 68-55 victory over Canisius.

Mississippi State guard Dee Bost had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists in an 66-57 upset of Kentucky on Tuesday. He added 25 points, seven assists and three rebounds in an 86-77 victory over Arkansas on Saturday.

Kansas guard Mario Little had 12 points and three rebounds in a 75-65 win at Baylor on Monday. He added 13 points and five rebounds in a 78-67 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday. He was 10-of-15 from the field for the week.

Cincinnati forward Yancy Gates had 15 points and eight rebounds in the win over Notre Dame and 11 points and seven rebounds in the victory over Georgetown.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.



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