Marshall senior forward Ryan Taylor was selected as the C-USA Player of the Week as he posted three-straight double-double performances to average 25.3 points and 13.3 rebounds. His efforts helped Marshall improve to 4-0 in conference play and 9-0 at home this season.
UTSA guard Giovanni De Nicolao was named the C-USA Freshman of the Week as he averaged 15 points in a pair of road games for the Roadrunners and hit the game-winning three-pointer to secure a win at Louisiana Tech. Awards are chosen by a vote from a media panel representing the 14 member schools.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
RYAN TAYLOR, MARSHALL
Senior, 6-5, 249, F, Indianapolis
Taylor averaged a double-double with 25.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game in three Marshall conference wins this week. He also averaged 2.0 assists, 2.3 blocks, 1.3 steals per game and 33.7 minutes of playing time. It was his first time to have three consecutive double-doubles since Feb. 5-14, 2015 and brought his career total to 33 (the fourth-most in C-USA history).
His 25.3 points came from 29-of-47 (.617) shooting and he hit 3-of-7 (.429) three-pointers. In the Jan. 2 win at Florida Atlantic, he scored a career-high 31 points, shooting 13-of-20 (.650) from the field, and pulled down a then-season-high 13 rebounds. Taylor added 21 points against Old Dominion as he helped Marshall become the first school to score 90 points on ODU in its last 179 games. He also collected a career-high five blocks and grabbed 13 rebounds.
In Saturday’s high-scoring affair with Charlotte, Taylor scored 24 of the Herd’s 110 points and pulled down a season-high 14 rebounds. He was 9-of-14 (.643) from the field and was credited with three assists, two steals and one block in 33 minutes of action. This is Taylor’s first C-USA Player of the Week award of his career, but he was recognized twice as a C-USA Freshman of the Week. He also becomes the third member of the Thundering Herd to win the weekly honor this season, joining teammates Jon Elmore and Stevie Browning.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
GIOVANNI DE NICOLAO, UTSA
Freshman, 6-3, 175, G, Padua, Italy
De Nicolao averaged 15.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals in a pair of games last week for the Roadrunners. The Padua, Italy, native shot 42.9 percent from the floor (12-of-28), including a 50.0 percent (5-of-10) clip behind the arc. De Nicolao started the week with a season-high 19 points, including four 3-pointers, along with four rebounds, three assists and three steals on Thursday night at Southern Miss.
He scored 16 points in the first 12 minutes of the contest to quickly surpass his previous season best of 14 points. On Saturday night, De Nicolao scored 11 points and he hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 20 seconds to play that helped UTSA earn its first win at Louisiana Tech.
He scored seven points in the second half, capped by his only triple of the night as the Roadrunners erased a 14-point deficit to snap their 13-game Conference USA road losing streak. This is the first C-USA Freshman of the Week honor for De Nicolao.
C-USA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
N14: Egor Koulechov, Rice
N21: Dominic Artis, UTEP
N28: JaCorey Williams, Middle Tennessee
D5: Marcus Evans, Rice
D12: Jon Elmore, Marshall
D19: JaCorey Williams, Middle Tennessee
D26: Stevie Browning, Marshall
J2: Reggie Upshaw Jr., Middle Tennessee
J9: Ryan Taylor, Marshall
C-USA FRESHMEN OF THE WEEK
N14: DaQuan Bracey, Louisiana Tech
N21: Byron Frohnen, UTSA
N28: Jailyn Ingram, Florida Atlantic
D5: Najee Garvin, Charlotte
D12: Deon Barrett, UTEP
D19: A.J. Lawson, North Texas
D26: Byron Frohnen, UTSA
Jalen Harris, Louisiana Tech
J2: Quentin Jackson Jr., Charlotte
J9: Giovanni De Nicolao, UTSA
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2016-17 C-USA Men's Basketball Fact Book
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