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Hustle Belt MAC Men's Basketball Player's of the Week: Week 11

Looking back on Week 11, there were several standout performances, but one duo of players were so good they're splitting our East POTW award this week, while a big man from out West takes home the West POTW this week.

Will Sullivan (foreground) and Will Felder (background) defend a pair of CMU players in a game last week.
Will Sullivan (foreground) and Will Felder (background) defend a pair of CMU players in a game last week.
Miami University Athletic Comminications

East: Will Felder & Will Sullivan, Miami senior forward, junior guard

LW: Javon McCrea, Buffalo senior forward

The easy pick this week would be either Javon McCrea or Demetrius Treadwell, the weekly stat-hounds of the MAC. Both had huge individual performances this week, and in Treadwell's case, his team notched a pair of solid wins over Western foes in a bounce back from an embarrassing loss to Toledo. But if we're really going off of players who have had the biggest impact on their teams, it'd be disingenuous to not give it to the Miami RedHawks' Wills. That's right, we have co-MAC East POTW this week.

In a win over CMU, Felder and Sullivan went off. Felder, the big elder Will, dominated in the post, notching 22 and 13, and Sullivan added 20 and four dimes en route to the 'Hawks 86-60 win over CMU. It was a spectacular dual effort that suddenly thrust Miami into the MAC East hunt.

Pts Reb Ast
2013 - Will Felder 15.1 7.2 0.9

Pts Reb Ast
2013 - Will Sullivan 8.7 2.4 1.2

Pts Reb Ast
2013 - Willie Moore 9.0 2.9 2.0

Then on Saturday, the dynamic duo did it again—this time with some help from the third Will, guard Willie Moore—in a crucial road victory over Bowling Green. Felder's numbers were down, as he dealt with foul trouble, but he still managed 12 and two, while Sullivan had another hot night from the field, scoring 16 on 63 percent from the field, and also notching a pair of dimes. Moore, the Oregon transfer, was somewhat silent in the 'Hawks win over CMU, but added in 16, five boards, three dimes and a pair of steals, earning him an honorary mention this week.

All told the duo of Felder and Sullivan accounted for 45 percent of Miami's offense this past week. Mix in Moore and that number shoots to 61 percent. These three are the reason why the RedHawks are sitting at 4-2 in the conference, with two of the best losses in conference play. With games against Toledo and EMU this week, the three Wills couldn't have hit a hot streak at a better time.

West: Shayne Whittington, Western Michigan senior center

LW: J.D. Weatherspoon, Toledo junior forward

I think it's clear by now that this is the year of the big in the MAC. It seems every week one (or two) of our POTW honors are going to a center or forward for dominating play in the post. This week is no different. Shayne Whittington was considered the third best player in the conference by our panel of experts, which is lofty considering that was over Treadell. While he hasn't quite lived up to those expectations, lately he's found his groove again and is in the hunt for consideration as one of the best players in the MAC, and turning some heads at the next level.

My problem with Whittington's game is that it seems there are too many times where he takes an evening off on the glass, especially in a conference dominated by undersized bigs. The true center (6-11, 245) has topped double-digits rebounds in just half of his games this season, and is averaging less than nine a game. But against Ball State on Sunday he showed up big time in the paint.

Pts Reb Ast
2013 - Shayne Whittington 14.3 8.7 1.0

There's never been any doubt about his offensive post presence. Whittington is rivaled by only McCrea in terms of inside game in the MAC. He put up 18 against  Kent State, then 21 against the Cardinals (despite hitting just 33 percent of his shots on the day), almost all from inside the key. He's an unstoppable force. But Sunday, agains't the MAC;s top-rebounder, Majok Majok (10.2 per-game) and one of the most fearless bigs in the conference, Whittington dominated the glass. He pulled down 15 in 9-point win, and added a pair of blocked shots, three assists and three steals to his stat line. He was a force, and has been more often than note this season. Whittington can use more games like Sunday's if he wants to keep his 4-2 (MAC) Broncos in the hunt for yet another MAC West title.