Since we're about halfway through the season, I thought it was time to hand out some hardware. Who would've thought we'd be 12-3 at this point without Coble? Well, it's because of the guys I'm about to hand these awards to.
Player of the First Half: Michael Thompson
While a case could be made for John Shurna, "Juice" Thompson's play this season has been even more important to the Cats' success. He's averaging just under 15 points a game, which is pretty good, but his 4.5 assists per contest are what won him this award. Plus, he has an insane 2.8/1 assists to turnover ratio.
Breakthrough Player: John Shurna
No contest. While Crawford has been good, Shurna has taken his game to a whole new level. He's the Cats' leading scorer, averaging over 17 a game. The three point shooting leaves a little to be desired, but his inside presence has been a major help after Coble's injury.
Player Who Annoys the Other Team the Most: Jeremy Nash
Nash has been a nightmare for many teams defensively at the top of the 1-3-1. He averages 1.7 steals per game, which is great, but even when he doesn't personally record the steal he's made other teams' lives a nightmare. Keep it up, Nash.
Newcomer of the Year: Drew Crawford
Marcotullio has been in a slump lately, and Crawford won the Michigan game for us almost by himself. It's going to be fun to watch him develop as a player over the next few years, regardless of how this season turns out.
Performance of the Year: John Shurna in the Chicago Invitational Challenge
Shurna scored 25 against Notre Dame and 23 against Iowa State. Those two wins were so big for the Cats, and the Notre Dame victory could be one of those "signature wins" that gets the Cats into the tournament. It couldn't have happened without Shurna.
And finally, on the flip side...
Player Who Deserves Less Playing Time: Kyle Rowley
Sorry, Kyle, but you're killing us out there. Rowley is the only player playing double digit minutes who has an assist to turnover ratio of less than one. He looks lost every time he has the ball, and frequently misses easy layups. His free throw shooting is awful as well. I realize his size is a good thing, but he needs to step it up. Or else Carmody should be giving Luka Mirovic even more playing time.