Player of the week: Villanova guard James Bell. The senior from Orlando, Fla., averaged 23.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two wins. He shot 68 percent from the field and 58.8 percent from 3-point range.
Rookie of the week: St. John’s guard Rysheed Jordan. The freshman from Philadelphia averaged 11.5 points, 6.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals in the Red Storm’s two wins.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Jamil Wilson scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in leading Marquette to an 11-point victory against Seton Hall. Wilson made all four of his 3-pointers in the first half, then contributed a key three-point play in an 11-0 second-half run that provided the Golden Eagles with some separation.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“They’re not understanding the opportunity. They have a chance to do something here, and I just have to keep talking to them about it and showing it to them and hopefully I can knock it through their heads.’’ — Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard on the frustration that comes with watching his team let games slip away.
BITS AND PIECES
» Seton Hall’s Feb. 8 loss at Villanova extends the Pirates’ skid in road games against the Wildcats that dates to 1994.
» Former Xavier star David West, who plays for the Indiana Pacers, addressed the Musketeers at their shootaround before Tuesday’s game at Butler. West then showed up for the game accompanied by Pacer teammates Paul George and George Hill.
» St. John’s coach Steve Lavin points to the growth in freshman point guard Jordan as a key to the Red Storm’s recent surge. Jordan is averaging 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in the last seven games, six of which were St. John’s victories. “His comfort level has helped our cause in dramatic fashion,’’ Lavin said.
» Bell is averaging 21 points in Villanova’s last seven games. He’s led the Wildcats in scoring in each of the games.
» Villanova and Creighton remain the only Big East teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in the two major polls. Of the top six leagues in the RPI, no other conference has fewer than four teams either ranked or receiving votes in the two polls.
» Creighton is the only Big East team that has not played an overtime game this season. Butler is the leader in providing fans with free basketball: Five of the Bulldogs’ 24 games have included at least one overtime.