College Basketball Nation: Jerrelle Benimon

Numbers to Know: Tuesday recap

February, 27, 2013
Player of the Night - Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota
Among the oldest players in college basketball, Mbakwe was 2 days old when the Gophers last beat a No. 1 team in 1989. On Tuesday, he made it happen again with a season-high 21 points to go with 12 rebounds in a 77-73 win over Indiana. He’s the first Big Ten player with a 20-10 game in a win over No. 1 since Indiana’s Jared Jeffries in 2002. Meanwhile, star Hoosiers center Cody Zeller was held to just nine points before fouling out.

Scorer of the Night - Jordan McRae, Tennessee
McRae went for a game-high 27 points in the Volunteers' 64-58 win over Florida. That’s the most points for a Tennessee player against Florida since Chris Lofton in 2006. McRae is now averaging 28.0 PPG in his past three games. Tennessee has won six straight and now finds itself squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble.

Stat Sheet Stuffer - Jerrelle Benimon, Towson
Towson has gone from 1-28 last season to 17-13 this season, and Benimon is a key reason. On Tuesday, he had 31 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks in an 85-81 overtime win over George Mason. That snapped a 20-game losing streak against the Patriots. Benimon and Bucknell’s Mike Muscala are the only players averaging at least 17 PPG and 11 RPG this season.

Bench Player of the Night - Kamryn Williams, Air Force
Williams came into Tuesday averaging 2.7 PPG, but there must have been something in the thin air. He scored a career-high 25 points to go with 10 rebounds in Air Force’s 72-66 win over Wyoming. It’s the most points for a Falcon off the bench since Michael Lyons also had 25 in 2009.

Freshman of the Night – Semaj Christon, Xavier
Coming off a 10-turnover performance against VCU, Christon's ball-handling skills were understandably under scrutiny on Tuesday. But he only turned the ball over once in Xavier’s 64-62 win over Memphis. Christon finished with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Numbers to know: Wednesday recap

December, 13, 2012
Player of the Night – Andre Roberson, Colorado
Roberson was an enormous presence in Colorado’s 50-43 win over Fresno State, finishing with 17 points and a career-high 20 rebounds.

The last Pac-12 player with a 17-20 game was Leon Powe in 2006. It was Colorado’s first 20-rebound effort since Stephane Pelle in 2002, and first in a road game in almost 52 years.

Freshman of the Night – Isaiah Austin, Baylor
Austin scored 23 points and added 17 rebounds in Baylor’s 85-68 win over Lamar. He’s just the fourth player in Baylor history to reach both of those totals in a game.

Austin’s performance puts him alongside a pair of freshman legends. He joins Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley as the only Big 12 freshmen to post at least 23 points and 17 rebounds in a game.

Scorer of the Night – Keith Clanton, UCF
Clanton had one of the most efficient scoring games in recent memory as UCF beat Bethune-Cookman. He went 14-for-15 from the field to finish with 30 points and 13 rebounds.

The last player to attempt at least 15 shots and miss only one was Stephen F. Austin’s Matt Kingsley in 2008. The last player to go at least 14-for-15 from the field while collecting 13 rebounds was Washington’s Todd MacCulloch in 1998.

Stat Sheet Stuffer – Jerrelle Benimon, Towson
On a night where big men posted some huge double-doubles, Benimon scored 30 points to go with 18 rebounds in Towson’s loss to Temple. The transfer from Georgetown is the first player to reach both of those totals since Yale’s Greg Mangano last season. The last CAA player to do so was Delaware’s Hardin Nana in 2006.

Bench Player of the Night – Devon Collier, Oregon State
Collier led all scorers with 23 points, as the Beavers held off Portland State 79-74. A starter for most of his first two seasons in Corvallis, Collier has exclusively come off the bench in 2012-13. His 14.3 points-per-game average is tied for the fourth-highest among those who’ve yet to start a game. Northwestern State’s DeQuan Hicks leads that category with 15.3.

Numbers To Know: Wednesday recap

December, 6, 2012
Player of the Night – Jerrelle Benimon, Towson

Jerrelle Benimon’s career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds led Towson, a team that went 1-31 last season, to a win over Vermont, the preseason favorite in the America East. The transfer from Georgetown will face his old team on Saturday. The Tigers snapped a 27-game road losing streak, picking up their first win since December 2010 at La Salle.

Stat Sheet Stuffer – Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s

Matthew Dellavedova scored 31 points and added seven assists, as the Gaels beat Drake 88-73. He’s just the third West Coast Conference player with 30 points and seven assists against a Division I team in the past 15 years (Manny Quezada and Dan Dickau). Not all of his numbers were great though. Dellavedova also committed nine turnovers, the most for any Saint Mary’s player in at least 15 years.

Bench Player of the Night – Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga

Kevin Pangos was the hero of Gonzaga’s 71-69 win over Washington State, but Kelly Olynyk kept them in it. He scored a career-high 22 points, all coming in the second half. He went 10-for-12 from the field after halftime, and accounted for half of Gonzaga’s second-half points. At 9-0, Gonzaga is off to its best start since joining Division I.

Freshman of the Night – Jahii Carson, Arizona State

Jahii Carson scored 20 points and added five rebounds and six assists, as the Sun Devils beat Hartford 71-63. He’s just the sixth freshman with a 20-5-5 game this season. Carson currently ranks fourth among freshmen in scoring (18.3 ppg) and sixth in assists (5.3). Those averages stack up nicely to one of the greatest seasons for a Pac-12 freshman point guard. Terrell Brandon averaged 17.9 ppg and 6.0 apg for Oregon in 1989-90.

Ugly Stat of the Night - Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee failed to score 40 points for a second straight game, falling to Virginia 46-38. It’s the first time the Vols have been held under 40 in consecutive games since February 1946. It’s also the first time since 1943 that Tennessee has lost back-to-back games while failing to score 40.

Inside Wednesday's box scores

January, 21, 2010
1. On a wild night in college hoops, nothing could really compare with what happened in Savannah, Ga. Savannah State scored five points in the first half, while shooting 6.3 percent from the field (1-for-16) and committing 14 turnovers. Luckily, it was facing 4-16 North Carolina Central, which only had 13 first-half points. As if 40 minutes of this wasn’t enough, the game ultimately went into overtime. Savannah State outscored the Eagles 10-8 in the extra frame to claim a second straight win. That’s right, the Tigers scored twice as many points in overtime as they had in the first half.

2. UCF freshman Marcus Jordan, son of Michael, had the best game of his young career on Wednesday. So how many points did he have? Twenty-three, of course. In his fourth game since entering the starting lineup, Jordan went 9-for-9 from the field. The Knights came away with a 78-71 win over Houston, the school that Michael’s UNC squad beat in the 1982 Final Four on its way to a national title.

3. Houston’s Aubrey Coleman had 30 points in that game to raise his season average to 25.3. A lot of that has to do with the number of shots he is taking. Coleman was 7-for-18 from the field and 16-for-18 at the line. Coleman leads the nation with 19.4 field goals attempted per game and is second in the nation with 9.6 free throw attempts per game. Taking so many shots, the Cougars fate ultimately rests in how accurate Coleman is. When he shoots better than 45 percent, Houston is 8-1. When he doesn’t, like on Wednesday, the Cougars are just 2-7.

4. At 6-foot-7, Marshall Moses is the tallest player in an Oklahoma State starting lineup that features a pair of 5-foot-9 guards. In other words, he better rebound if OSU is going to win. That’s just what he did on Wednesday in the Cowboys' 90-78 win over Colorado. Moses matched a career-high with 18 rebounds and added 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field, his highest career point total in a Big 12 game. Meanwhile, Colorado has now lost 31 straight conference road games.

5. Georgetown snapped Pitt’s 31-game home win streak on Wednesday, but the Hoyas continue to get by without a bench. Jerrelle Benimon’s three points were the only ones by a Georgetown reserve. At 7.6 ppg, the Hoyas have the nation’s third-lowest scoring bench behind only USC and South Florida. Only 10.5 percent of the Hoyas' total points this season have come off the bench. That’s the lowest percentage in the nation. Things have been even worse during Big East play, during which the Hoyas are averaging only 3.4 ppg off the bench.

Jimmy V Classic: Hoyas hit the stage

December, 8, 2009
NEW YORK -- Villanova, Syracuse and West Virginia have all made their marks this season.

These three teams are clearly contenders for the Big East title. Winning elite tournaments in the month of November was a sure sign that none of them is going away anytime soon.

Now it's No. 13 Georgetown's turn.

If the Hoyas beat No. 20 Butler Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET) at Madison Square Garden and then go to Anaheim and defeat No. 16 Washington in the Wooden Classic on Saturday, it would be an indication of Georgetown's ability to be a part of the same conversation.

Connecticut could also enter the discussion if it can knock off Kentucky Wednesday night (ESPN, 9:30 p.m. ET) in the SEC-Big East Invitational at MSG, but anything short of that would likely put the Huskies in second-tier status without a headline win so far this season.

This isn't meant to dismiss Cincinnati's chances to challenge for the title after beating Vanderbilt and Maryland and losing to Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational. Or to totally dismiss undefeated Seton Hall or one-loss Notre Dame with perhaps the conference MVP in Luke Harangody. But it's not a reach to say the title will likely come down to Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia and then possibly the Hoyas or Huskies.

So, for now, it's up to the Hoyas to prove they belong with the elite in what is turning out to be the best conference yet again.

"This will be good for our team, regardless of how things go to get ready for the conference," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "This will get us ready for the conference with a league type of week. In the Big East, no matter who you play on a Tuesday you're going to play a tough game on the weekend. We want our guys to go through those emotions this week."

Butler and Washington will present two different challenges for the Hoyas. The Bulldogs defend extremely well, run their system fundamentally, and can shoot from mostly all five spots. Washington will want to push the ball, exploit its speed on the perimeter, and get the game in a high-scoring mode.

That's indicative of the Big East, as well, with two different styles on two different courts in the same week.

Georgetown has actually hit the road this season, but wins at Tulane and Savannah State don’t exactly give a true read on the Hoyas yet. And beating Temple by one (46-45), in a game that went down to the final possession in D.C., also doesn’t give a true indication whether the Hoyas are ready for prime time.

Sophomore center Greg Monroe has been solid as expected with nearly 14 points and 10 boards a game. The play of guards Chris Wright and Austin Freeman hasn't disappointed either with both players in double figures scoring. The stunner though has been how consistent Jason Clark has been through the first six games, averaging a dozen points, five rebounds and three assists.

"I don't think anyone outside of our program expected this," Thompson III said. "We did because we saw what he could do at both ends of the court. He doesn't get tired and he goes 100 miles an hour on both ends of the floor."

Georgetown goes big the rest of the rotation with Julian Vaughn, Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims rotating, something that could cause Butler problems -- especially with Matt Howard having foul issues throughout November.

To Howard's credit, he finally shed the foul-prone label in the last two games by committing just one in a win at Ball State and three in a win over Valparaiso, after fouling out of two games in the 76 Classic in Anaheim and picking up four in the fifth-place loss to Clemson. Prior to that, Howard had fouled out of games at Northwestern and Evansville. That's why he is only averaging 23.8 minutes a game this season, down four minutes from a year ago.

Butler has bigs like Avery Jukes and Garrett Butcher to complement Howard, but if he can't stay on the court against the Hoyas' big men then that will put even more pressure on the shooting of Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Willie Veasley and Ronald Nored.

Georgetown probably has had as little spotlight shone on it this season of any Big East contender, but that's because the games haven't been featured -- yet.

"I don't mind us not getting our pop," Thompson III said. "I don't mind us flying under the radar in November and December. It's all about getting better and if it happens then fine."

If you remember, a year ago Georgetown was a early-season story with a blowout win over rival Maryland in the Old Spice Classic and then a Big East-opening win at Connecticut. But it all went downhill with a flame-out in the league and an NIT berth.

"The good thing for us is that we're not cruising," Thompson III said. "We have a long way to go, a lot of room for improvement. We're pretty good now, but this week will be a big test."

Thompson III is hoping he can get 6-foot-7 freshman forward Jerrelle Benimon increased time again Tuesday night. A high-ankle sprain limited his minutes early in the season and kept him out of three games. He played 14 minutes in the win over American last Saturday and made 2 of 3 shots for four points.

"He's an active big body kid," Thompson III said. "He'll give us even more presence and he's strong and aggressive."

Thompson III wanted to be in the Jimmy V Classic because of the cancer research angle. His wife, Monica, is going on four years of being a breast cancer survivor. Thompson III said Monica is doing well.

"It didn't matter who we played," Thompson III said. "I was going to be in this. They do great work with cancer research."