College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, December 16, 2010 Keep your eyes glued to the Big Ten this season, because it's absolutely loaded.
Not only does the conference boast #2 Ohio State, #12 Illinois and #14 Michigan State, but 9-1 Purdue is ranked #19 and 10-1 Minnesota checks in at #21.
Then there's Northwestern, creeping up on all of the well-known names. In 2008-09, the Wildcats went 17-14. Last season, 20-14, and this year, they're off and running with a 7-0 start, after dismissing American U. Thursday, 78-62.
As usual, leading the charge for the Wildcats was junior forward John Shurna, who upped his scoring average to 23.7 per game after going for 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Shurna, 6'8", 215 lbs., comfortable both on the wing and in the paint, canned 3-of-6 outside the arc and was 6-of-8 inside. He also made 7 of his 8 free throws. He's shooting an exceptional 64.3% from the field, which includes 62.2% from three-point land. Shurna leads the Big Ten in scoring, followed - from a distance - by Purdue's E'Twaun Moore, at 20.6.
Shurna's been held under 20 points just once this season, when he played 27 minutes and scored 17 in a 71-45 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
In Thursday's win, Shurna also contributed 4 boards, 2 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocked shots.