College Basketball Players of Week
For week that ended on December 15, 2003
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Francisco Garcia, Louisville - Forward
Matched a career scoring high with 24 points in an 80-71
victory over Seton Hall… totaled 21 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a
career-high four steals in the Cardinals' 73-65 win over top-ranked Florida in
the Billy Minardi Classic… honored as the Most Outstanding Player of the Billy
Minardi Classic and named Conference USA Player of the Week.
Gerald Fitch, Kentucky - Guard
Scored 25 points in the Wildcats’ 79-74 win over Michigan
State in front of a world-record basketball crowd of 78,129… made 7-of-11 from
the field while connecting on 4-of-6 three-pointers… scored the final three points
of the game from the foul line… named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week.
Ryan Gomes, Providence Forward/Center
Scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Friars'
70-51 upset win over Illinois at the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden…recorded
his second double-double of the season and the 22nd of his career…led the Friars
to their first win over a ranked team since February 2001…named BIG EAST Men's
Basketball Co-Player of the Week.
Salim Stoudamire, Arizona - Guard
Contributed to wins over two nationally ranked teams in
Texas and Marquette by averaging 22 points, three rebounds and 1.5 assists… scored
27 points, including a career-high seven 3-pointers, to lead Arizona’s 85-75 comeback
victory against the Golden Eagles…added 17 points and four boards in the 91-83
win over the Longhorns.
Lawrence Roberts, Mississippi State - Forward
Scored 21 points, pulled down 11 boards and dished four
assists in Mississippi State’s 82-70 win over Xavier leading the Bulldogs to a
perfect 7-0 record…shot 8 for 12 from the field… the SEC Newcomer of the Year
candidate recorded his fifth double-double of the season and eclipsed the 1,000-point
milestone for his career.
WOODEN CANDIDATE PROFILE: Francisco Garcia
Though it is not uncommon to see tears flowing on the
court after upsetting the best team in the nation, the players for the Louisville
Cardinals had another reason to be emotional. Leading scorer Francisco Garcia
led the Cardinals to victory over No. 1 Florida last Saturday, playing only four
days after his brother’s tragic death. The Wooden Award candidate received news
last Tuesday that his brother, Hector Lopez, had been shot and killed in Bronx,
NY but decided to play the next day against Seton Hall and matched a career scoring
high of 24 points. Garcia returned home for the memorial service and to visit
his family in New York after the game and then returned to play top-ranked Florida
on Saturday in the Billy Minardi Classic in which he was named Most Outstanding
Player. The sophomore forward was Conference USA’s Preseason Player of the Year
and is the main reason for Louisville’s success this year.
WOODEN GAME OF THE WEEK: Gonzaga vs. Stanford
Riding high from their dramatic 87-80 upset of highly
ranked Missouri last week, Gonzaga travels to Oakland, California to face Stanford
in the first-round of the 2003 Pete Newell Challenge. The seventh-annual doubleheader
features four teams that qualified for last year’s NCAA Tournament and promises
to be a hard battle for supremacy of the Bay Area. Leading perennial Cinderella
team Gonzaga are Wooden Award candidates Blake Stepp and Cory Violette. Stanford
will try and stop the duo without fellow Wooden Award candidate, Josh Childress,
who has not played yet this season due to a stress reaction in his left foot.
Gonzaga boasts a 7-1 record while Stanford is still unbeaten at 5-0 as both teams
fight to move into the top ten of the national college polls. The Cardinal beat
the Zags last year to win the Newell Challenge showdown, 84-71. Childress led
all scorers in that game with 18 points while Violette had 14 and Stepp added
WOODEN WATCH ASKS THE PLAYERS: Which celebrity would
you most like to date?
Bracey Wright, Indiana: Paris Hilton
Amit Tamir, California: Anna Kournikova
Marucs Moore, Washington St.: Vida Guerra
Josh Childress, Stanford; Torin Francis, Notre Dame; and
Channing Frye, Arizona: Halle Barry
Chris Thomas, Notre Dame and Romain Sato, Xavier: Jennifer
Kevin Bookout, Oklahoma: Christina Aguilera
Gerry McNamara, Syracuse: Jessica Alba or Tyra Banks
J.J. Redick, Duke: Kiera Knightley
Ray Felton & Rashad McCants, North Carolina: Mya
Ryan Gomes, Providence; Dee Brown, Illinois; Darius Rice,
Miami; Hakim Warrick, Syracuse; and Keith Langford, Kansas: Ashanti
Lawrence Roberts, Miss. St.; Andre Barrett, Seton Hall;
and Wayne Simien, Kansas: Beyonce Knowles