honorees for week of Dec. 10-16, 2012 CONTACT: Pete LaFleur (email@example.com)
Primetime Performers archive (2011-12)
CollegeSports360 National Primetime Pacesetters of the Week (Dec. 10-16, 2012):
• Sam Houston State football junior running back Tim Flanders (FCS)
• Colorado women's basketball senior point guard Chucky Jeffrey
• Butler men's basketball sophomore forward Roosevelt Jones
• Arizona men's basketball senior guard Mark Lyons
• Maryland 184-pound wrestler Jimmy Sheptock
• Texas women's volleyball junior outside hitter Bailey Webster
... plus 22 others comprising the full Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll ...
(scroll down for action photos and athlete capsules for all 28 honorees, with headshots in right sidebar)
College Sports 360's exclusive weekly honor roll has returned, with the first edition for the 2012-13 school year recognizing 28 total student-athletes from sports that were competing during the week of Dec. 10-16, 2012. Six were selected for top honors in this initial edition of the Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll, as the Primetime Pacesetters of the Week: Sam Houston State football junior running back Tim Flanders (Midwest City, Okla.) … Colorado women's basketball senior point guard Chucky Jeffrey (Colorado Springs, Colo.) … Butler men's basketball sophomore forward Roosevelt Jones (O'Fallon, Ill.) … Arizona men's basketball senior guard Mark Lyons (Schenectady, N.Y.) … Maryland 184-pound wrestler Jimmy Sheptock(Northampton, Pa.) … and Texas women's volleyball junior outside hitter Bailey Webster (Baltimore, Md.).
The CollegeSports360.com Primetime Performer awards program goes beyond simply the raw stats or results, instead taking into account the quality of the opposition, contribution to team success and other situational factors (such as all-around play, leadership, clutch efforts, adversity overcome, etc.).
The 22 others comprising the Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll include:
• Two men's ice hockey goaltenders – UMass-Lowell freshman Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce, Mich.) and Bemidji State sophomore Andrew Walsh (Dawson Creek, B.C.).
• Three other women's volleyball players – Texas junior setter Hannah Allison (Siloam Springs, Ark.), Michigan junior outside hitter Lexi Erwin (Spring, Texas) and Oregon senior outside hitter Kat Fischer (Los Altos, Calif.).
• Five other football players (spanning each NCAA division) – Mount Union senior safety Nick Driskill (Wabash, Ind.; D3 national champs) … Valdosta State junior linebacker Jeremy Grable (Alpharetta, Ga.; D2 champs) … North Dakota State senior QB Brock Jensen (North Dakota State; FCS defending champs, go for repeat Jan. 5) … Arizona senior QB Matt Scott (Corona, Calif.) … and Georgia Southern senior safety JJ Wilcox (Cairo, Ga.; FCS runner-up).
• Four other women's basketball players – UCLA senior forward Alyssia Brewer (Tulsa, Okla.) ... Rutgers 5th-year senior Chelsey Lee (Miami, Fla.) … Vanderbilt junior point guard Jasmine Lister (Corona, Calif.) … and Washington State sophomore guard Tia Pressley (Spokane, Wash.).
• Three other men's basketball players – VCU senior point guard Troy Daniels (Roanoke, Va.), Boise State sophomore swingman Anthony Drmic (Victoria, Australia) … and Tennessee junior point guard Trae Golden (Powder Springs, Ga.).
• And five other wrestlers – Missouri 141-pounder Nicholas HUCKE (Pewaukee, Wis.) … Oklahoma State senior 133-pounder Jon Morrison (Orland Park, Ill.) … Oregon State senior 157-pounder RJ Pena (Salem, Ore.) … Edinboro junior 133-pounder AJ Schopp (Tyrone, Pa.) … and Ohio State senior 125-pounder Nikko Trigas (Moraga, Calif.).
Headshots of all 28 honorees are included in the right-sidebar. Action photos and indvidual info./highlights are included below (scroll down; sorted alphabetcially) ...
... Selection for these CollegeSports360 weekly awards is based on any/all of the following "primetime" criteria (i.e. not solely based on raw stats):
• Performed at a high level in a game/event that involves a nationally-ranked team (or, in the case of basketball, involving any team receiving votes in the national polls); or excelled in a game/event that is key to the team's postseason qualification (i.e. late in regular-season) ... typical criteria for track honorees requires participation in a tournament or event involving multiple nationally-ranked teams.
• In general, preference is given based on the quality of the opponent, contribution to team success and situational factors involved in the competitor's accomplishments.
• Exhibited strong leadership and/or involved in clutch performances, such as gamewinning goals, noteworthy comebacks, late scores, momentum-shifting play, all-around performance, team spirit, etc.
• Overcame adversity or extreme circumstances (for the team and/or individual).
• Bonus consideration is given for key performances away from team's home venue and/or against a traditional rival (and for historic performances, on a national level).
PRIMETIME PERFORMERS WEEKLY HONOR ROLL #1 (Division I, plus D2 & D3 football)
(top national honors, for week of Dec. 10-16, 2012 ... courtesy of CollegeSports360.com)
"It's not so much what you do, as it is when you do it."
Hannah ALLISON (Women's Volleyball … Texas … Jr. … S … Siloam Springs, AR … #12)
Alyssia BREWER (Women's Basketball … UCLA … Sr. … F … Tulsa, OK … #32)
Troy DANIELS (Men's Basketball … VCU … Sr. … G … Roanoke, VA … #30)
Nick DRISKILL (Football … Mount Union … Sr. … S … Wabash, IN … #21)
Anthony DRMIC (Men's Basketball … Boise State … So. … G/F … Victoria, AUS … #3)
Lexi ERWIN (Women's Volleyball … Michigan … Jr. … OH … Spring, TX … #11)
Kat FISCHER (Women's Volleyball … Oregon … Sr. … OH … Los Altos, CA … #12)
*Tim FLANDERS (Football … Sm Houston State … Jr. … RB … Midwest City, OK … #20)
Trae GOLDEN (Men's Basketball … Tennessee … Jr. … G … Powder Springs, GA … #11)
Jeremy GRABLE (Football … Valdosta State … Jr. … LB … Alpharetta, GA … #35)
Connor HELLEBUYCK (Men's Ice Hockey… UMass-Lowell … Fr. … G … Commerce, MI … #37)
Nicholas HUCKE (Wrestling … Missouri … Sr. … 141 pounds … Pewaukee, WI)
*Chucky JEFFREY (Women's Basketball … Colorado … Sr. … G … Colorado Springs, CO … #23)
Brock JENSEN (Football … North Dakota State … Sr./Jr. … QB … Waupaca, WI … #16)
*Roosevelt JONES (Men's Basketball … Butler … So. … F … O'Fallon, IL … #21)
Chelsey LEE (Women's Basketball … Rutgers … 5th-Yr.-Sr. … F … Miami, FL … #52)
Jasmine LISTER (Women's Basketball … Vanderbilt … Jr. … G … Corona, CA … #11)
*Mark LYONS (Men's Basketball … Arizona … Sr. … G … Schnectady, NY … #2)
Jon MORRISON (Wrestling … Oklahoma State … Sr./Jr. … 133 pounds … Orland Park, IL)|
RJ PENA (Wrestling … Oregon State … Sr./Jr. … 157 pounds … Salem, OR)
Tia PRESSLEY (Women's Basketball … Washington State … So. … G … Spokane, WA … #5)
AJ SCHOPP (Wrestling … Edinboro … Jr./So. … 133 pounds … Tyrone, PA)
Matt SCOTT (Football … Arizona … Sr. … QB … Corona, CA … #10)
*Jimmy SHEPTOCK (Wrestling … Maryland … Sr./Jr. … 184 pounds … Northhampton, PA)
Nikko TRIGAS (Wrestling … Ohio State … Sr. … 125 pounds … Moraga, CA)
Andrew WALSH (Men's Ice Hockey… Bemidji State … So. … G … Dawson Creek, BC … #30)
*Bailey WEBSTER (Women's Volleyball … Texas … Jr. … OH … Baltimore, MD … #23)
JJ WILCOX (Football … Georgia Southern … Sr. … S … Cairo, GA … #19)
• – Primetime Pacesetters of the Week (top national honors; four men and two women for Dec. 10-16, 2012)
(Women's Volleyball … Texas … Jr. … S
Siloam Springs, AR … #12)
Directed Texas offense that hit .360 spanning the NCAA semifinal and title-match victories (an NCAA tournament record for team hitting pct. in final two matches), delivering program's second NCAA title (first since '88) … in 3-0 NCAA title-match win for the 3rd-seeded Longhorns over (5) Oregon, distributed sets to the assortment of Texas hitters who converted at a sizzling .438 clip (43 kills and only 4 errors, in 89 swings) … team's dominating display in the NCAA final (played in Louisville) included 11 kills and a lone error on 25 attempts in the first set (.400) – followed by a mark above .500 in the tightly-contested set-2 (.515; 19K-2E-33Att), offsetting Oregon's .462 … also led Texas squad that sided out 82% of the time (91% in first set and 85% to close out the title in the third) … totaled 35 assists while adding three digs, five blocks (one solo) and no errors of any kind in the 92-minute title matchup (25-11, 26-24, 25-19), played before 16,448 fans (2nd-largest ever for an NCAA final) … two days earlier, ran Texas offense that outlasted upstart Michigan in 5-set NCAA semifinal (25-11, 21-25, 23-25, 25-12, 15-11) … the team's .316 hitting in that semifinal included a 1-error opening set (.469; 16-1-32) and another set with only one error, in the pivotal 4th (11-1-22; .455) … totaled 53 assists, three kills, 11 digs and six block assists in the semifinal battle that covered 2:19 … played all 115 sets during 2012 season (29-4 team record), averaging 10.31 assists per sets while directing offense that hit .325 for the season – best in the nation by a significant margin (BYU was second, at .311) … earned all-Big 12 honorable mentions as a sophomore in 2011 (9.9 assists/set) … limited to 21 matches played as a freshman, due to injury … has played with various U.S. youth national teams, since 2007 … prep All-American while starring for Siloam Springs High School and the Ozarks Juniors club program … graduated from high school early and enrolled at Texas in the 2010 spring semester … her sister Sarah was a senior middle blocker at Oklahoma Baptist University in 2012.
(Women's Basketball … UCLA … 5th-Yr.-Sr. … F
Tulsa, OK … #32)
Led 14th-ranked Bruins to pair of quality wins across the country, in tournament action at St. John's – as UCLA beat Saint Mary's (76-62) before outlasting the host Red Storm in a 53-52 overtime thriller … posted her third and fourth consecutive double-double games … made 4-of-7 field goals and 4-of-5 free throws for 12 points in win over Gaels, adding 10 rebounds plus an assist, block and steal … followed with 14 points and 15 rebounds in battle vs. St. John's team that was receiving votes in the national polls (many of the veteran StJ players were part of the squad that upset UConn a year ago) … eight of her rebounds vs. the Red Storm came on the offensive end, helping UCLA total 15 second-chance points (compared to only five for StJ) … also had two assists and two more blocks in the win over the tournament hosts … averaging 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds, in nine games played this season (all starts; as of 12/21) … played three seasons at Tennessee (6.9 ppt, 4.6 rpg; 87 GP/20 stats) before sitting out 2011-12 due to transfer rules … named SEC 6th Woman of the Year in 2009-10 (also MVP of the SEC Tournment) … member of the 2008 U.S. Under-18 National Team .. a prep All-American at Sapulpa High School.
(Men's Basketball … VCU … Sr. … G … Roanoke, VA … #30)
Led four Rams in double-figures scoring with 16 points, much of them coming on 3-point baskets (4), as VCU topped visiting Alabama 73-54 in key early-season matchup between teams receiving votes in the national polls … shot 6-of-13 overall from the floor, adding six rebounds and an assist … the game marked the return of former VCU head coach Anthony Grant (now leading the Crimson Tide) … averaging 11.4 points while starting each of the first 12 games this season for 9-3 squad (as of 12/21) … set VCU record with 94 three-point baskets as a junior in 2011-12 (shot 38%, 94-of-247) … product of William Fleming High School.
(Football … Mount Union Sr. … S … Wabash, IN #21)
All-America leader for Raider defense that continued its season-long trend of dominating play to set up the Mount Union offense – during 28-10 Division III championship-game victory over 3rd-ranked St. Thomas (Minn.), at the Amos Alonso Stagg Bowl, in Salem, Va. … the victory delivered the Mount Union football program its 11th NCAA title … affected the St. Thomas rushing and passing games, with 11 total tackles (six solo, one for loss) and a pair of pass breakups … key component in Mount Union defense that limited St. Thomas to 35 yards in the second half and 194 total (270 below its season avg. of 464 yards per game) … the top-ranked Raiders boasted the nation's leading defense in 2012, allowing only 180.6 yards per game (41 fewer than the #2 team on that list) … helped limit St. Thomas to 2.2 yards per rush and 3.3 per pass play … both teams entered the title game 14-0 and were meeting for the first time … totaled 101 tackles during his 2012 All-America season, with 14.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and a pair of blocked kicks … named the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-American of the Year (3.77 cumulative GPA, as exercise science major) and one of 15 players from all level of college football to receive a Scholar Athlete Award (and corresponding $18,000 postgraduate scholarship) from the National Football Foundation … also earned the dual honors of All-America and Academic All-America during his junior season … product of Southwood High School.
(Men's Basketball … Boise State … So. … G/F
Victoria, Australia … #3)
Poured in career-high 34 points while leading Broncos to 89-70 win over LSU team that was receiving votes in the national polls … connected on 12-of-18 shots, including 6-of-10 from 3-point range (also had three rebounds, a block and a steal) … his 19 first-half points helped Boise take 43-30 lead into the intermission … capped his big night with emphatic dunk (pictured) over 7-foot-3 center Andrew Del Piero … the 34 points represented the second-most by a Mountain West Conference player this season, behind a 35-point game by teammate Derrick Marks (vs. Creighton) – with Marks and Drmic becoming the second pair of Boise State teammates ever to top 30 points i the same season … averaging 15.3 points and 4.6 rebounds while starting all 10 games so far this season (as of 12/21; team 8-2), connecting on 43% of his threes (25-of-58) … was Broncos leading scorer in 2011-12 with 12.0 ppg (3rd-highest scoring avg. ever by a Boise freshman) while setting program freshman record for 3-pointers in a season (57), en route to earning all-Mountain West honorable mention … product of the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Under-19 National Team, and the Australian Boomers club team.
(Women's Volleyball … Michigan … Jr. … OH
Spring, TX … #11)
Capped her stellar season with 26-kill effort (eight more than any player from either team), as Michigan’s upset run came up a little short in NCAA semifinal vs. 3rd-seeded Texas (25-11, 21-25, 23-25, 25-12-1511; played in Louisville) … also had a pair of aces, eight digs and a block assist vs. the 'Horns … two of her kills came among Michigan's final three points in the second set, then had her team's final two kills to close out set-3 (for a 2-1 lead) … earlier had helped Wolverines knock off 10th-seeded Louisville and 2-seed Stanford during the 2012 NCAAs … finished second in the nation with 614 kills (4.23/set; hit .288, plus 356 digs (2.46), 71 blocks, team-high 35 aces and 689 total points … repeated as an AVCA honorable mention All-American and NCAA Championship all-tournament selection (also twice all-Big Ten, including first team in 2012) … prep All-American while playing Woodlands College Park High School … also product of the Texas Tornadoes and Woodland Starts club programs … her mother Karen played basketball at William & Mary.
(Women's Volleyball Oregon … Sr. … OH
Los Altos, CA … #12)
Classic student-athlete success story who boldly wished for an NCAA championship when she began her career at Oregon in 2009 and nearly carried her team to the 2012 title – after rising to the big-stage challenge as team's hitting leader during NCAA semifinal upset of top-ranked Penn State and NCAA final loss to 3rd-seeded Texas (both played in Louisville) … praised by coach Jim Moore for leading Oregon's rise among the nation's elite during her career, driven by a work ethic that overcame those who had questioned if she had the height (5-10) or ability to perform at a high level in the Pac-10/12 … repeated as a CoSIDA first team Academic All-American in 2012, with a 4.01 cumulative GPA as an accounting major … her offensive performances vs. PSU (16 kills, on .220 hitting) and Texas (13 kills, .375) helped offset a subpar final week of the season from teammate and AVCA national player of the year Alaina Bergsma (who had only nine kills on .000 hitting in the final, after hitting only .176 with 16 kills vs. PSU) … the final win of Oregon's historic 30-5 season (in front of nearly 14,000 fans) saw the 5th-seeded Ducks rally to upset Penn State in the NCAAs for the second straight season (21-25, 30-28, 25-22, 25-19) … her .220 hitting in the semifinal was 50 points above the team avg. (.170) and represented part of her 37th career double double (adding 12 digs) … had a couple key late kills in the tense second set vs. PSU, first for 22-18 lead and later on kill that fought off a set point (for 27-27) … served on point that ended that marathon second set (30-28, on Liz Brenner kill) … had four kills in Oregon's final six points during third set vs. PSU (back-to-back kills after being down 19-20, followed by kills for leads of 23-21 and 24-22) … turned in another big match in final vs. Texas, totaling 13 kills (plus 8 digs) on .375 while rest of Oregon team hit only .156 … started 125 of team's 126 matches in her career while playing in nearly every set (452 of 455) … totaled 335 kills (2.77/set; .253) and 301 digs (2.49) during 2012, with 32 aces … finished career ranked in Oregon top-10 for points (5th; 1,440), digs (6th; 1,187), aces (8th; 114) and kills (10th; 1,235) … she and Bergsma (3rd team; 3.61, business) were the only 2012 Academic All-Americans (of 18 total) who played for teams among the NCAA semifinal field (Oregon was the only program with multiple 2012 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans) … member of the 2009 Pac-10 All-Freshman Team … product of Homestead High School (where she graduated with a 4.0) … trained as a prep with both the Vision and City Beach volleyball clubs.
(Football … Sam Houston State … Jr. … RB
Midwest City, OK … #20)
All-America workhorse in Bearkats triple option attack, rushing 34 times for 237 yards (avg. 6.8; long of 49) in SHSU's wild 45-42 upset at 2nd-seeded Eastern Washington during FCS semifinal (EWU rallied from 35-0 halftime deficit to set up tense finish) … played lead role in Sam Houston's 503 yards of total offense – and they ended up needing all of it, as Eastern Washington amassed 523 en route to slicing into the big deficit … with the lead cut to 45-42, he converted on a 3rd-and-3 play from the EWU 21 to clinch the victory (much as he did a year earlier, in the 2011 semifinal 31-28 win over Montana State) … part of Sam Houston's nearly 300 rushing yards during the first half … will join his teammates in FCS title game on Jan. 5 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas, vs. top seed North Dakota State (a rematch of the 2011 season finale, which was won by NDSU) … earlier helped unseeded Sam Houston upset 3-seed Montana State in 34-16 quarterfinal … part of SHSU team (11-3) that will end up playing 11 of its 15 games this season away from home and bounced back from 1-2 start, while also adjusting to new offensive coordinator … rams 17th in nation with 113.5 rushing yards per game … entered 2012 season already owning 18 Sam Houston records … also was an All-American in 2011 and finished 7th in voting for Walter Payton Award (109.6 rushing ypg) … 2010 Southland Conference freshman of the year (set SHSU record for rushing yards by a freshman, with 948) … started career at Kansas State (2009) but did not play for KSU … product of Midwest City High School.
(Men's Basketball … Tennessee … Jr. … G
Powder Springs, GA … #11)
Made 19 of his season-high 25 points in the second half, as the Vols upset visiting #23 Wichita State, 69-60 … hit 6-of-11 shots from the floor and 13-16 from the line, adding five assists and a pair of rebounds from his point guard spot … his inspired and aggressive play led the way in Tennessee handing the Shockers their first loss of the season (9-1) … made several key baskets and free throws down the stretch to help close out the win … leads team in scoring (13.2 ppg, through 10 games, as of 12/21) while also pacing the squad with 49 assists and only 17 turnovers (2.9 assist/turnover margin) … earned 2012 preseason all-SEC honors (2nd team) … considered by some a the SEC's most improved player during 2011-12 season (started 33 of 34 games while leading team with 13.6 ppt and 4.5 assists/gm) … appeared in 31 games as 2010-11 backup point guard … product of McEachern High School and the Atlanta Celtics AAU team.
(Football … Valdosta State … Jr. … LB … Alpharetta, GA … #35)
Made four tackles while breaking up a pass and forcing a momentum-shifting fumble, as one of the defensive leaders in Valdosta State's 35-7 win over Winston-Salem State in the Division II national title game (at Braly Stadium in Florence, Ala.) … the title matchup featured a showdown between two of the four #1 seeds … Valdosta held a 21-7 lead in the third quarter but Winston-Salem was knocking on the door as Kameron Smith ran a draw up the middle – but Grable hit the quarterback inches before the goal line and then stripped the ball on Smith's second effort … the Blazers recovered in the end zone for the pivotal turnover and then marched on a 17-play drive that drained 7:30 off the clock for an insurmountable 25-7 lead … product of Milton High School.
(Men's Ice Hockey… UMass-Lowell … Fr. … G
Commerce, MI … #37)
Stopped all 30 shots he faced in 5-0 win at Harvard, which had been receiving votes in the national polls (18th) … also helped thwart all five Crimson power-play chances … also posted a shutout in previous game, making 25 saves during 2-0 win over Northeastern … has stopped 85 of 87 shots over the past four games (.977) while owning a .939 season save pct. and 1.68 goals-against avg. … was selected in 5th round of the 2012 NHL Draft (by the Winnipeg Jets) … played previously with the NAHL's Odessa Jackalopes and Walled Lake Northern High School.
(Wrestling … Missouri … Sr. … 141 pounds … Pewaukee, WI)
Overcame shocking early-season slump (opened season ranked 14th in nation) with huge win over Cornell's Mike Nevinger (ranked #10), helping the 7th-ranked Tigers post 22-12 win over (8) Cornell … that match was part of the historic Grapple in the Garden, the first college wrestling event held at Madison Square Garden in the facility's 133-year history (thousands of fans filled the MSG lower bowl to see 14 DI teams compete in 12 dual meets, with an assortment of wrestling greats and UFC/WWE celebrities interviewed on the floor to enhance the unprecedented atmosphere) … sealed his 9-7 win over Nevinger with 3rd-period reversal, extending Missouri's lead to 10-0 with several elite Cornell wrestlers due up in the next few rounds … emerged as Missouri's 141-pound starter in 2011-12 season, after wrestling mostly at 149 in 2010-11 and at both weights in 2009-10 (took redshirt year i 2008-09) … earned prep All-America honors while wresting for Arrowhead High School.
(Women's Basketball … Colorado … Sr. … G
Colorado Springs, CO … #23)
Veteran floor leader whose season-best 22 points (plus seven rebounds, four assists and a steal) led Buffs to 70-66 upset of visiting #8 Louisville – CU's first win over a top-10 opponent in 10 years … made 6-of-11 field goals (2-of-5 on 3s) and shot 8-of-10 from the line in upset of the Cardinals, with four of her rebounds coming on the offensive end … averaged 18 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists during week that also included 83-63 win at Denver (she shot 46% from the floor during the week, plus 80% on free throws) … posted her 22nd career double-double in the win at DU (14 points and 11 rebounds, also five assists and two steals) … the pair of wins lifted CU into the top-25 for the first time since 2008 while making the Buffs one of eight remaining unbeaten teams (now have improved to 10-0) … 2nd-leading scorer on Buffs (12.3 ppg) while leading team in rebounds (8.2), assists (39) and steals (21) … has proven to be one of the nation's more versatile and dynamic backcourt players during her career … earned all-Pac 12 honors in 2011-12 (also member of Pac-12 All-Defensive Team; 15.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 3.8 apg, 2.3 spg) … also led team in assists (4.3) and steals (2.5) as a sophomore, following impressive debut in 209-10 (9.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.3 apg, 2.0 spg) … product of Sierra High School while also playing for Boulder Rockies club team … played eight years of youth football … given name is Janeesa but goes by nickname of "Chucky" … cousin of former CU football player Phil Jackson.
(Football … North Dakota State … Sr./Jr. … QB
Waupaca, WI … #16)
Led the FCS defending champs and top-seeded Bison back into the title game, edging past 5-seed Georgia Southern in NCAA semifinal matchup (23-20) … delivered the decisive play in waning moments of draining battle, scoring from 5-yards out on 4th-and-3 QB keeper with 2:44 remaining, for the final margin … that play came after three timeouts and intense debates among the coaching staff for determining the play call) … rushed five times for 45 yards on the late-game, 59-yard drive (including pair of early 1st-down plays, for 23 and 10 yards) … completed 9-of-19 passes for 76 yards, adding 75 rushing yards (minus 17 loss on sacks) … will join his teammates in title-game rematch vs. Sam Houston State, on Jan. 5 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas … has started all 14 games this season (13-1) while completing nearly 62% of his pass for 2,216 yards (158.3/gm) and 17 TDs, adding 490 rushing yards (before socks) with nine TDs … owns 31-5 record as a starter over the past three seasons … had a passing TD and rushing score in title game vs. SHSU that capped 2011 season … set school records in 2011 for consecutive completions (17) and pass attempts without an interception (142) … utilized redshirt season in 2009 … product of Waupaca High School.
(Men's Basketball … Butler … So. … F … O'Fallon, IL … #21)
Viewed by many as the best player on the court (for either team), turning in a strong all-around performance as the Bulldogs upset previously unbeaten and top-ranked Indiana, 88-86 in overtime, in neutral-site tournament action at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis … finished with 16 points (6-of-10 FG shooting, 4-of-6 free throws), plus game-highs of 12 rebounds and seven assists (with only a pair of turnovers), adding a pair of blocked shots in 29 minutes of action (fouled out late in regulation) … has started all 11 games for 9-2 team that has cracked the national rankings … averaging 8.5 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, plus team-leading averages in assists (3-3) and steals (1.2) … started 31 games and appeared in 36 as a freshman, leading the team in rebounding … product of O'Fallon High School.
(Women's Basketball … Rutgers … 5th-Yr.-Sr. … F
Miami, FL … #52)
Veteran post player who has returned from should surgery (which held her out for the 2011-12 season) to play key role this season, most recently during defensive battle vs. her hometown school Miami (RU beat the #21 Hurricanes, 42-34) … with points at a premium, played tough defense down low while snagging a season-high 11 rebounds in win over the 'Canes (also had four points and a block) … helped limit Miami to 19.1 field-goal shooting (9-of-47), well below their season avg. of shooting 42.1% from the floor (Miami made only one basket in the first 13 minutes and entered halftime having hit on only 4-of-22, or 14%) … days earlier, poured in a season-high 21 points in 63-49 win over Southern (also had five rebounds and a pair of steals shot 8-of-12 from the floor and 5-of-5 at the line) … has started all 11 games this season (8-3 team record, as of 12/21), averaging 8.2 points and 4.7 rebounds, with eight blocks … has appeared in 104 career games, with 70 starts … only RU player to start in all 33 games during 2010-11 season (8.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg), after averaging 7.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2009-10 (33 GP/25 HS) … prep All-American while starring for Miramar Parkway Academy and the Essence AAU team.
(Women's Basketball … Vanderbilt … Jr. … G
Corona, CA … #11)
Nearly posted a double-double in game that could provide a big boost to Vanderbilt's NCAA tournament resume, scoring 16 points and adding nine assists in 76-63 upset of #12 Oklahoma … made both of her three-point shots and all four free throws in win over Sooners, adding six minutes while playing 39-plus minutes … has started all 12 games this season (9-3 record, as of 12/21) while averaging 11.6 points per game, with team-best 66 assists (5.5) and 85.3% free-throw shooting (29-of-34) … second team all-SEC player as a sophomore in 2011-12 (led league with 5.3 assists per game and 83.7% FT shooting; 2nd on team with 12.5 ppc) … one of two Vanderbilt players to appear in every game during 2010-11 season, while earning spot on SEC All-Freshman Team and averaging team-best 11.8 points per game … product of Santiago High School … twin sister Cinnamon is a freshman on the Boise State basketball team.
Arizona … Sr. … G Schnectady, NY … #2)
Made a contested layup with seven seconds left to play, capping #8 Arizona's final-minute rally for 65-64 win over visiting #5 Florida (the Wildcats erased a 6-point deficit in the final minute) … his 14 points in the top-10 showdown (the first at the McKale Center since 2004) included shooting 5-of-8 from the floor, with a pair of 3-pointers (also had three rebounds, two assists and a steal) … the win gave Arizona (8-0, now 10-0 thru 12/22) its best start since opening 1998-99 with eight straight victories … Florida entered the game ranked 2nd in the nation for scoring defense (allowing only 48.3 ppg) but the 'Cats overcame shifting defenses and an 11-point second-half deficit to rally for the win (with 17 points above the Gators' defensive average) … has started first 10 games of the season (as of 12/22) while averaging team-best 13.3 ppg (on squad scoring at an avg. clip of 78.2) … also has 31 assists (3.1) and has converted 87% of his free throws (32-of-37) … graduate from Xavier in the summer of 2012 before opting to spend his final season of eligibility at Arizona … scored 1,194 points in his three-year career at Xavier (98 GP/66 starts), helping Musketeers go 73-29 in that span with three NCAA Tournament appearances … led Xavier in 2011-12 with 58 three-point baskets (2nd on team with 15.1 ppg, 2.8 apg and 1.3 spy) … third team all-Atlantic 10 in 2010-11 (13.6 ppg, 3.1 apt) … product of Brewster Academy.
(Wrestling … Oklahoma State … Sr./Jr. …
133 pounds … Orland Park, IL)
Rose to the challenge on big-stage atmosphere during the Grapple in the Garden, posting 5-0 win over the nation's 17th-ranked wrestler at the 133-pound weight class (Cornell's Nick Arujua) during the first college wrestling event held at Madison Square Garden in the facility's 133-year history (thousands of fans filled the MSG lower bowl to see 14 DI teams compete in 12 dual meets, with an assortment of wrestling greats and UFC/WWE celebrities interviewed on the floor to enhance the unprecedented atmosphere) … entered the week ranked 7th nationally at his weight class, with his win over Arujua sparking the Cowboys to a 21-16 win over the #8 Big Red … had takedowns of Arujua in the 1st and 3rd periods, adding an escape in the 2nd … also shut out Tennessee-Chattanooga's Marvin Lopez earlier in the day, 13-0 (41-9 team win) … qualified for the NCAAs ech of the past two seasons … had redshirt year in 2009-10 … prep All-American while competed for Carl Sandburg High School … was ranked #1 in the nation (119) entering his senior season of high school … won 2007 junior freestyle national championship.
(Wrestling … Oregon State … Sr./Jr. … 157 pounds … Salem, OR)
Won the 157-pound weight class at the annual Reno Tournament of Champions, going 4-0 capped by an 11-6 win over 11th-ranked Andy McCulley of Wyoming … earlier pinned West Virginia's Ryan Luster (2:01), posted 7-0 decision over Stanford's Garrett Schaner and pinned Cal Poly's Kyle Chene in the semifinals (1:55) … entered week ranked 9th in the nation … won Pac-12 title (157) in 2011-12 before advancing to NCAAs (where he went 2-2) … led NCAA in pins during 2011-12 … took redshirt season in 2010-11, after wrestling at 149 as a freshman … was ranked nation's top recruit at 152 pounds (#5 overall), while wrestling at Sprague High School … ended prep career on 147-match winning streak.
(Basketball … Washington State … So. … Guard … Spokane, WA)
Impacted the game in numerous ways and was in the vicinity of a rare triple-double, as Cougars upset visiting #19 Ohio State, 62-55 … her final stat line included eight points (4-of-6 shooting), seven rebounds (two of them offensive, seven assists and three steals in 28 busy minutes of action … also helped forced 21 OSU turnovers (leading to 16 WSU points) and played part in perimeter defense that limited the visitors to 1-of-17 shooting from three-point range … as of 12/21, had started all 10 games this season while ranking second on team in scoring (11.4 ppt) and steals (23), adding 4.2 rebounds per game and a team-best 36 assists … product of Gonzaga Prep … father Bruce Presley played football at Rutgers.
(Wrestling … Edinboro … Jr./So. … 133 pounds … Tyrone, PA)
Nation's 4th-ranked wrestler at 133 pounds who registered pivotal major decision vs. fellow top-10 wrestler Levi Melee, winning 10-2 to spark the 20th-ranked Fighting Scots to 22-15 upset of visiting #10 Northwestern … opened with takedown of Mele (ranked as high as 9th) in the second minute of the match, later adding three near-fall points late in the opening period for a 5-0 lead … added a second-period escape and a takedown in the third, with riding time yielding the 10-2 final … also pinned Clarion's Joe Waltko during the tri-meet (1:11) … moved to 11-0 for the season and 50-6 in his career, with 25 career pins … earned EWL and PSAC freshman-of-the0year honors in 2011-12 while reaching the round-of-12 at the NCAAs (went 39-6 overall for the season, at 149) … had redshirt season in 2010-11 … product of Tyrone Area High School.
(Football … Arizona … Sr. … QB … Corona, CA … #10)
Led "wild" comeback to open the college bowl season in memorable fashion, as Arizona won the Gildan New Mexico Bowl (49-48 vs. Nevada) – despite trailing 21-0 after five minutes of play and ultimately needing a pair of touchdowns in the final 46 seconds to snatch the victory … his 382 passing yards included three touchdown passes, all of them in the fourth quarter: a 63-yd play to Austin Hill in the opening moments of the 4th (still down 35-45 after the PAT); a 2-yd play to Hill with 0:46 remaining (42-48 after PAT) and then another 2-yd pass to Tyler Slavin (with 0:19 left; shortly after a recovered onside kick) … connected on five passes for 34 yards during the second-to-last drive – then completed three straight on the decisive sequence (28 yds to Garic Wharton, 21 to Hill and the 2-yd score to Slavin) … completed 28 of his 47 pass attempts, also rushing 21 times on six carries (including a 1-yd keeper early in the 2nd quarter) … was emergency option in 2011 (redshirt season), after stepping into 2010 starter role following injury to Nick Foles … started three games in 2009, after playing sparingly in '08 … product of Centennial High School.
(Wrestling … Maryland … Sr./Jr. … 184 pounds
Won both of his 184-pound matches on the big stage during the Grapple at the Garden – highlighted by 6-4 overtime battle with 6th-ranked Josh Ihnen to spark the 18th-ranked Terps to 18-17 win over (14) Nebraska … the Terps were part of the first college wrestling event ever held at Madison Square Garden in the facility's 133-year history (thousands of fans filled the MSG lower bowl to see 14 DI teams compete in 12 dual meets, with an assortment of wrestling greats and UFC/WWE celebrities interviewed on the floor to enhance the unprecedented atmosphere) … win over Ihnen cut Nebraska's lead to 17-12 and was followed by Maryland wins at 197 and heavyweight, yielding the narrow winning margin (18-17) … overcame early takedown by posting pair of 2nd-period takedowns vs. Ihnen, making it 4-4 – then won the match late in overtime, after completing a shot to the leg, lifting Ihnen and throwing him to end the dramatic top-10 showdown (Sheptock was ranked #10) … improved to 6-1 for the season when facing a nationally-ranked opponent … earlier in the day, posted Maryland's only win in matchup vs. #4 Ohio State (9-3 vs. Kenny Courts) … stands 17-1 for the season, with his only loss coming to the nation's top-ranked wrestler … won 2012 ACC title (at 174 pounds) and advanced to the NCAAs … had redshirt season in 2009-10 … product of Northampton High School.
(Wrestling … Ohio State … Sr. … 125 pounds … Moraga, CA)
Beat pair of top-20 opponents amidst unique atmosphere during Grapple at the Garden – the first college wrestling event ever held at Madison Square Garden in the facility's 133-year history (thousands of fans filled the MSG lower bowl to see 14 DI teams compete in 12 dual meets, with an assortment of wrestling greats and UFC/WWE celebrities interviewed on the floor to enhance the unprecedented atmosphere) … used pair of takedowns and a 2-point near fall for 6-0 lead on #13 Shane Gentry, adding points on a stalling call and on riding time for 8-1 final in their 125-pound match – opening a blowout performance from the #4 Buckeyes, 34-3 over #18 Maryland … also delivered opening win in team's 38-3 win over Hofstra, after tense 1-0 matchup with #19 Steve Bonnano (won on escape with 1:20 left in the 3rd period) … entered week ranked 14th in the nation … qualified for the NCAAs in 2008, 2009 and 2010, earning All-America honors with 8th-place finish in 2010 … did not compete for OSU the past two seasons, while pursuing spot on U.S. Olympic Team (as Greco-Roman specialist) … competed at 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials (121 pounds) … was a junior-level gold medalist at the 2007 and 2008 Pan Am Games (won 'both the Greco-Roman and freestyle titles in '08, held in Ecuador)… 2009 collegiate champion (132 pounds) in Greco-Roman, at the University National Championships (club sport, non-NCAA) … product of Campolino High School.
(Men's Ice Hockey… Bemidji State … So. … G
Dawson Creek, BC … #30)
Turned aside 57 of the 59 shots he faced (.966) during big weekend vs. #10 Denver, as the Beavers picked up three valuable points in the WCHA standings (1-1, 5-1) … allowed only one even-strength goal during the 125 total minutes of action vs. the Pioneers … helped stop 10-of-11 power plays during the series, with two of those man-up chances coming on 5-minute (unreliable) major penalties … owns a 2.17 season goals-against average and .929 save pct., while starting 10 of Bemidji's 16 games this season … appeared in 11 games as a freshman in 2011-12 (2.37; .915) … played previously for Dawson Creek (NAHL), along with the BCHL's Prince George, Langley, and Salmon Arm teams.
(Women's Volleyball … Texas … Sr./Jr. … OH …
Baltimore, MD … #23)
Hit at a .369 clip spanning the final two matches of the season (32 kills and only five errors, on 73 swings) as key part of Texas offense that hit .360 during the NCAA semifinals and final (an NCAA tournament record) – as the 3rd-seeded Lnghorns won the program's second NCAA title (first since '88) on the season's final week, in Louisville … AVCA first team All-American who elevated her game in NCAA final vs. 5th-seeded Oregon (25-11, 26-24, 25-19), hitting an even .500 with 14 kills an only one error on 26 attempts … delivered three late kills as part of comeback in pivotal second set (down 21-23), with tying pointl for 23-23 and then the final two kills that delivered the set (26-24) … added four block assists (part of Horns' 15-1 blocking edge) and a couple digs in the NCAA title match that was viewed by 16,448 fans (2nd-largest crowd ever for an NCAA final) … earlier hit 18 kills (.298) to help Texas outlast upstart Michigan in NCAA semifinal (25-1 2,21-25, 23-25, 25-12, 15-11) … her back-to-back kills pushed the Texas lead to 11-8 in the 15-point final set … her 2012 All-America season included 435 kills (3.85 per set) on .354 hitting, with 89 blocks (23 solo) for squad that went 29-4 … also collected first team All-America honors in 2011 (Big 12 player of the year; 307K/2.90; .340) – after missing entire 2010 season due to preseason knee injury … member of the 2009 Big 12 all-newcomer team … nation's top-rated recruit who graduated early and enrolled at Texas in the 2009 spring semester … member of 2008 U.S Junior National Team … product of St. Paul's High School team and several club programs: Wild Blue, Time Out for Sports, and TCA … her father Elton (Tulane basketball) and mother Cedrine (volleyball at Xavier Univ., La.) both were college athletes, as was her sister Brooks with the Alabama volleyball team ('06-'09).
(Football … Georgia Southern … Sr. … S/RB … Cairo, GA … #19)
Veteran leader on defensive side of the ball who also took his first offensive snap of the season during FCS semifinal at top seed and defending champ North Dakota State (NDSU used a late touchdown to edge the Eagles, 23-20) … took an option pitch (pictured) and scored from 4-yards out to open the scoring with 6:23 remaining in the first half (only the fourth rushing TD allowed by the Bison all season) … also made four tackles in that NCAA semifinal game … appeared in all 14 games this season (13 starts) while serving as kickoff returner and team's second-leading tackler (88, plus a pair of interceptions and three pass breakups) … served as slotback and wide receiver earlier in his Georgia Southern career (set school record in 2010 with 25.1 yards per catch, on 22 for 551) … product of Cairo High School.