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January 26, 2009

Awards: Delaney key for surging Virginia Tech

After a shaky start, Virginia Tech suddenly finds itself in the middle of the ACC race.

The Hokies lost four of six non-conference games from Nov. 21-Dec. 9, but have built momentum in the ACC in the past week.

Sophomore guard Malcolm Delaney led the way in Wednesday's win over Wake Forest and Sunday's overtime win over Miami to earn Rivals.com national player of the week honors.

Delaney had 21 points and eight rebounds in a 78-71 victory over previously undefeated Wake. He added a career-high 29 points in the Hokies' second road win of the week, an 88-83 victory over the Hurricanes.

The two wins put Virginia Tech (14-5 overall, 4-1 in the ACC) a game behind ACC leader Duke in the conference title race.

Also considered:

Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin had 27 points and 18 rebounds in a win over Nebraska and added 20 points and 17 rebounds in a victory over Baylor to strengthen his bid for national player of the year honors.

Swingman Gerald Henderson helped strengthen Duke's bid for No. 1 with 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals in a win over N.C. State. He added 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the 85-44 rout of Maryland.

Illinois guard Demetri McCamey scored 13 points and dished out seven assists in a win over Ohio State and added 25 points and seven assists in the Illini's first win in six meetings over Wisconsin.

Penn State forward Jamelle Cornley got his third double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds in a victory over Michigan. He added 24 points and six rebounds in a win over Iowa.

Guard Calvin Haynes helped Oregon State to a rare Pac-10 road winning streak with 21 points and seven rebounds in an upset of California and 25 points and three rebounds in an upset of Stanford.

Kentucky guard Jodie Meeks continued to beat up on the SEC with 31 points in a win over Auburn and 27 points in a victory at Alabama.

Seton Hall guard Jeremy Hazell scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds in Sunday's upset of Georgetown. He had 30 points and four rebounds in a loss to Providence earlier in the week.

Pittsburgh forward DeJuan Blair had double-doubles in games against Syracuse and at West Virginia. Blair had 20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks against the Orange and 16 points and 11 rebounds against the Mountaineers.

NON-BIG SIX PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Ahmad Nivins, St. Joseph's

Nivins has St. Joe's in the thick of the Atlantic 10 race after recording his four and fifth consecutive double-doubles.

Nivins scored 34 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a 99-98 win over Duquesne for a 4-0 start in conference play. He added 20 points and 17 rebounds in a non-conference win over Penn on Saturday.

For the week, Nivins was 19-for-25 from the field.

Also considered:

Guard Travis Holmes helped VMI to an 8-1 start in Big South play with 23 points and seven assists in a win over Radford and 20 points and 11 assists in a win over High Point.

VCU is tied for the Colonial Athletic Association lead after two road wins. Guard Eric Maynor had 26 points and six assists in a win over Georgia State and 28 points and six assists in a victory over George Mason.

Northeastern kept pace with VCU in the CAA with two wins. Swingman Matt Janning had 20 points in a victory over George Mason and 24 points in a win over Old Dominion.

UNLV guard Wink Adams scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds in a 76-70 win at BYU and added 14 points and two rebounds in a triumph over Utah.

North Dakota State guard Ben Woodside topped 20 points for the fifth game in a row with 30 points in a win over South Dakota State on Friday. He also scored 28 points in a win over Utah Valley on Tuesday.

FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Isaiah Thomas, Washington

The Huskies claimed first place in the Pac-10 thanks to contributions from Thomas in the sweep of the league's Los Angeles schools.

Thomas, no relation to the former NBA star, scored 17 points in the victory over USC and 24 points in the win over UCLA.

Also considered:

Guard Shelvin Mack helped Butler solidify its lead in the Horizon League with 11 points and five rebounds against Wisconsin-Green Bay and 14 points and four rebounds in a win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Bulldogs are 9-0 in the conference.

USF guard Augustus Gilchrist scored 16 points and added 11 rebounds in a win over DePaul on Tuesday. He had 18 points and seven rebounds in a loss to Villanova.

Fresno State forward Paul George had 16 points and five rebounds in a win over Louisiana Tech and 20 points and six assists in a loss at San Jose State.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.



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