USC point guard Devon Downey has been named the SEC player of the week. The 5-9 senior out of Chester averaged 31.5 points, three rebounds, and two steals in Gamecock wins over then #1 ranked Kentucky and Georgia last week.
Downey is leading the SEC in scoring this season and has been a big reason why USC is hanging around the NCAA tournament bubble despite losing two of its starters earlier this season. Through seven league games Downey is averaging 31.6 points per game. No SEC player has averaged more than 30 points per game over a season since Pistol Pete Maravich in 1970 (40 points per game). A guy named Shaquille O’Neal averaged 27.8 in 1991.
A hat tip to Seth Emerson for pulling up those numbers.
Another amazing stat is that this is the first time Downey has one SEC player of the week honors this season. Perhaps the win over Kentucky will finally get people to pay attention to just how good Downey is. He is running into a lot of the same issues Clemson running back C.J. Spiller did during football season. Like Downey, Spiller was the best player on the field every game he played but no one paid attention to him because he played on an average team.
We’ll see if Downey can stay on this torrid pace, but he has certainly been nothing short of spectacular this season. If the Gamecocks can keep winning he will get more and more recognition.