BEST of the WEEK | March 8, 2004
Awards based on games from Monday through Sunday
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: David Hawkins, Temple
With the unbeaten season of Atlantic 10 regular-season champion Saint Joseph's, senior guard David Hawkins has been overshadowed despite his super season. Last week, he surpassed 2,000 career points while enjoying a pair of impressive performances.
Hawkins scored 41 points, including 17 of the Owls' 19 points in the second overtime in a 98-92 victory over Massachusetts. He followed up with 31 points in a nail-biter, a 70-69 loss to Xavier.
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Washington
The Huskies sent a message to the NCAA Tournament selection committee by handing Stanford its first loss of the season on Saturday night, 75-62. Coach Lorenzo Romar's team has really turned it around after opening 0-5 in Pac-10 play.
I feel that Washington has done enough to make it to the Big Dance. The Huskies opened the week with a 76-58 blowout over California.
COACH OF THE WEEK: Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets snapped Duke's 41-game home winning streak, sending the Cameron Crazies home with a 76-68 defeat Wednesday. That also gave Georgia Tech its first win in 16 tries against the Dukies.
With a hard-fought 63-60 win over a hungry Florida State squad Saturday,
Hewitt's team moved to 22-8 (9-7 in the ACC, the toughest conference in America). Hewitt should merit consideration for national coach of the year.
SHOCK OF THE WEEK: Stony Brook over Boston University
Conference tournament play often brings stunning results. Think about this one in the America East: The Terriers were 17-1 in league play and 23-4 overall during the regular season. They entered with a 12-game winning streak and were 23-1 in their prior 24 games. Stony Brook was 5-13 in regular-season conference play and 9-19 overall entering the game.
The game was at Boston University, but coach Nick Macharchuk's team scored a big-time stunner, winning 62-58.
DIAPER DANDY OF THE WEEK: Chris Taft, Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is the top seed in the Big East tournament, and one of the keys to Pitt's success has been the inside presence of freshman forward Chris Taft, the diaper dandy from New York City. Do you think St. John's could have used a player like him?
Taft had a monster game in an easy win at Providence. He hit 10-of-11 shots from the field, scoring 24 points. Later in the week, he scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a win over Villanova. His performance was important, since Julius Page and Carl Krauser combined to shoot 1-of-17 from the field.
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit in the 1970s before providing color commentary for ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979 (he's been an analyst for ESPN ever since). Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.