Player of the month -- Otto Porter, Georgetown
Porter catapulted into the Wooden Award race in February, as he led Georgetown to a 7-0 month. That included a career-best 33 points at Syracuse and a clutch performance at Connecticut. He averaged 19.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.4 APG and a 145.3 offensive rating during the month. But numbers don’t do Porter’s defense justice. Opponents shot just 37 percent against Georgetown in February with Porter a constant presence.
Defensive player of the month -- Zeke Marshall, Akron
Opponents shoot just 40.8 percent against Akron, fourth lowest in the nation. The Zips are 10th in the nation with 10.3 block percentage. Oh, and they’ve won 19 straight. The 7-footer in the middle was a big reason behind those results, and February showed why. Marshall averaged 7.7 RPG, 3.3 BPG and 1.0 SPG during the month.
Freshman of the month -- Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Smart led the Cowboys to a 7-1 record in February. His month included 25 points in a win at Kansas and career-high 28 in a win over Oklahoma. His 17.4 PPG ranked fifth among Division I freshmen during the month, while he led all freshmen with 3.1 steals per game. Smart’s game seems to rise to the level of his competition; all seven of his 20-point performances this season have come against likely NCAA tournament teams.
Scorer of the Month – Nate Wolters, South Dakota State
(November: C.J. McCollum; December: Doug McDermott; January: Erick Green)
Leading February Scorers Last 5 Years
Wolters led all scorers with 27.6 PPG in February, while shooting 57.7 percent from the field. That included a school-record 53-point performance on February 7 at IPFW. That was the most points in game since Jodie Meeks had 54 in 2009. Wolters also averaged six assists per game during February. He’s the first player to average 27 PPG and 6 APG in February since Earl Boykins and Charles Jones did it in 1998.
Free throw shooter of the month -- Russ Smith, Louisville
Once a potential Wooden Award candidate, Smith shot just 35.2 percent from the field in February. It’s a good thing he made up for it at the line. Smith had a 90.8 free throw percentage during the month, while averaging 8.4 makes per game (tied for most in the nation).
3-point shooter of the month -- Marland Smith, Southeast Missouri State
Seemingly out of nowhere, Smith emerged as one of the nation’s top long-distance shooters. Entering the month he averaged 7.8 PPG with a 33.3 3-point field goal percentage. But in February, he averaged 17.4 PPG and shot 62.0 percent from beyond the arc. That included nine 3s against Eastern Illinois, tying a school record.
Rebounder of the month -- Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee
Tennessee emerged as a tournament contender in February, and Stokes’ rebounding played a key role. He averaged 11.4 RPG during the month, fourth in the nation. The Volunteers have outrebounded opponents in 11 of their past 12 games. Stokes is on track for Tennessee’s highest single-season rebounding average since Steve Hamer in 1995-96.
Distributor of the month -- Vincent Council, Providence
Council finished fifth in the nation with 7.7 APG in February, and his 3.8 assist-to-turnover ratio separated him from the point guard pack. Over the last five games, he’s handed out 37 assists compared to just six turnovers. Providence started 2-7 in Big East play, but has won five of six in February. Council also made Big East history in February, passing Sherman Douglas for the most assists in conference games.