Andrew Koob (@AndrewKoob)
With 2013 and the non-conference schedule closing, the CoBL staff has been keeping tabs on who should take home the final Player and Rookie of the Month awards for the passing year. Both individual and team performances during the month of December were taken into account for the award. Here are CoBL’s Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month for the final month of 2013:
Player of the Month–Dalton Pepper, Sr., Temple
While the Owls only played four games during December, taking a 2-2 record in that stretch, it would have been much worse without Pepper stepping up. In wins against St. Joe’s and LIU Brooklyn, as well as one-point losses to both Texas and Texas Southern, the Owls have come to rely heavily on the senior’s production. Pepper ended December with an average of 19 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 56.6 percent from the field and 48.1 percent from beyond the arc.
His finest performance of the month came against LIU Brooklyn, when the Owls scored in triple digits and the senior recorded a double-double with a game-high 26 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
Pepper, paired with the emergence of sophomore guard Quinton DeCosey, has been able to keep the Owls afloat with a .500 record heading into the new year with only nine scholarship players. That task became taller on the first day of 2014, with the news that forward Daniel Dingle will most likely miss the rest of the season with a torn meniscus and an AAC-opening loss to Rutgers.
With Temple trying to find a new identity in the post-Khalif Wyatt era, Pepper has been able to step up and post numbers well beyond his averages in prior years. In two years at West Virginia and his first donning the cherry and white last year, the senior never averaged more than four points or two rebounds per game. Through 11 games, Pepper is posting career-highs in points (17.4), rebounds (5.9), minutes (35.7), shooting percentage (49.7 percent) and three-point shooting percentage (42.4 percent), among many other statistics.
Bryce Scott, Soph., Lafayette (20.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg)
-35 point performance against St. Francis (N.Y.) gave his scoring average a big boost.
D.J. Newbill, Jr., Penn State (17.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg)
-Scored in double-digits every game this season.
Jerrell Wright, Jr., La Salle (15.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
-Shot 62.2 percent from the field for the month.
Will Cummings, Jr., Temple (17.0 ppg, 5.3 apg)
-Scored 23 points and added six assists in the win against LIU Brooklyn
Rookie of the Month- Josh Hart, Villanova
The Wildcat freshman has been extremely efficient throughout the month and has helped Villanova continue on a successful path with a 5-1 record in the month of December. For the month, Hart averaged 11 points and 3.8 rebounds, but did so off of 67.6 percent shooting from the field and 57.1 percent from beyond the arc.
In the final four games of the month, including the loss to Syracuse and a Big East-opening win on New Year’s Eve over Butler, Hart scored in double-digits while shooting above 50 percent from the field in each contest. In his best game of the month, an 88-67 win over Rider, the freshman scored 19 points and grabbed five boards while shooting 7-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range.
Nick Lindner, Lafayette (16.3 ppg, 4.3 apg)
DeAndre Bembry, St. Joe’s (11.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
Tim Kempton, Lehigh (14.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg)
CoBL Monthly Awards November 2013:
James Bell (Villanova)
Tim Kempton (Lehigh)