With the regular season wrapping up for both men and women’s basketball, both teams are hoping to carry their momentum into the WAC tournament. Key plays from big-time players will be needed to have a fighting chance of winning the WAC and getting the tournament bid that both programs are striving for. Here is a quick look at some of the players who have been shining and making a big impact so far:
Akolda Manyang continues to have a giant presence on the court. In the conference, Manyang ranks sixth in points scored, third in total rebounds, second in field goal percentage and first in blocks. Manyang is essential to UVU because opposing teams have to work around both his offense and defense. It doesn’t seem like anyone is going to get an easy shot over him without it being batted into the stands.
Xavier transfer Brandon Randolph has played a significant part in the Wolverine’s success this season. Averaging 4.8 assists a game and ranking third in the conference, offensive flow and consistency tend to be directly affected by Randolph’s play. It isn’t a surprise that passing seems to come easy to the Wolverines for most of the game with Randolph averaging 32.7 minutes played a game — putting him second in the conference.
Conner Toolson has been successful both offensively and defensively this season. He ranks ninth in the conference in scoring, and destroys teams from downtown because he ranks sixth in three-pointers made;he also knocks them down 38 percent of the time, putting him at ninth in the conference. Toolson frustrates opponents by snatching 1.6 steals a game, ranking second in steals overall in the WAC.
Taylor Christensen continues challenge opposing offenses by leading the WAC with 2.7 steals a game, and the senior’s effort out on the court is helping keep UVU in close games. Not only does she provide great offensive effort but Christensen also ranks sixth in the WAC in total scoring with 15.5 points a game. With this being her final season as a Wolverine, she looks to keep the intensity at an all time high to stay competitive until the very end.
Mariah Seals has also contributed heavily on the court. She averages 4.4 assists a game and ranks second in dishing out dimes in the conference. She’s also deadly from outside, hitting 39 percent of her three pointers and sitting at fourth place in WAC 3 point field goal percentage. Seals grinds games out and tends to keep herself on the court for long periods of time. Averaging 35.8 minutes a game has allowed Seals to lead her team as long as she needs. Her leadership will be instrumental in helping the Wolverines as they set their sights on the WAC tournament.