MEN'S CAGER MARCUS SMALLWOOD WINS SECOND MAC WEST POW AWARD IN THREE WEEKS
CLEVELAND, OH - Every time out, Northern Illinois University men's basketball
coach Rob Judson knows he's going to get the most out of Marcus
Smallwood (Elgin). Last week was no exception as the junior forward
helped keep the Huskies at the top of the Mid-American Conference West
Division. Averaging a double-double for the two games, Smallwood was named
MAC West Division Player of the Week by commissioner Rick Chryst
on Monday (Feb. 3).
award is Smallwood's second Mid-Am honor in the last three weeks. He garnered
his first accolade on January 20. He joins an elite list of Huskies who
have won the award twice in one year, including teammate P.J. Smith
(Maywood / Proviso East) who grabbed NIU's first league honor on December
23, 2002. Johnny Hollingsworth of Akron and Ohio's Brandon Hunter
shared East Division accolades.
Hollingsworth's Zips and Ball State, Smallwood averaged 17.0 points per
game and 11.5 rebounds per contest. Even though the Cardinals stopped
his conference-best streak of six-straight double-doubles, the Huskies
prevailed 78-60 and moved back into a tie with Central Michigan for tops
in the division at 6-3.
fact that Marcus' rebounding effort has coincided with our record in January
is directly related," Judson said. "Marcus is playing his role
as hard as he can and in turn that leads everyone else to playing their
role as hard as they can. As a result we've been playing more consistent
Wednesday, the Huskies started the week with a thrilling 101-100 double
overtime loss to Akron. In that contest, Smallwood scored 19 points and
grabbed 14 rebounds to become the first NIU player since Donnell Thomas
in the 1987-88 campaign to register six consecutive double doubles. He
came up one rebound short of his seventh double-dip, nabbing nine boards
to go along 15 points versus Ball State. At the defensive end, he added
three blocks and tied his career-high with four steals.
the season, Smallwood rates 14th in the nation, and third in the league,
with his 10.4 rpg. When you consider his height, his numbers look even
more impressive. Only Louis Truscott of Houston (12.8 rpg.) and Amein
Hick of Morris Brown (11.8 rpg.), who also stand in at 6-foot-6, have
more rebounds than Smallwood. In other league categories, he ranks first
in offensive rebounds (4.00 rpg.) and is the Mid-Am's sixth-best shot
blocker (1.21 blocks per game). Among the Huskies, Smallwood rates second
on the squad at 13.1 ppg. Saturday he moved into 48th on the NIU all-time
scoring list at 726 career points.
league competition Smallwood's numbers only get better. At the offensive
end his 15.6 ppg. places him 14th, while shooting 57.8 percent (third)
from the floor and 75.0 percent (15th) at the free throw line. In MAC
play, he continues to top the conference at 4.33 offensive boards, but
moves up to second overall at 11.8 rpg.
has been truly consistent with his rebounding effort," Judson added.
"He is on a mission right now to average double figure rebounds.
Marcus is setting the standard for the effort level for our team."
and the Huskies will try to hold on to the top spot in the West when they
travel to Buffalo for a 7 p.m. contest on Thursday (Feb. 8). NIU visits
East Division leader Kent State Saturday (Feb. 6) in a 2 p.m. showdown.
by Michael Smoose