Jordan McRae earns SEC player of week honors for first time

Tennessee guard Jordan McRae (52) blocks the shot of Citadel guard Ashton Moore (12) during their game Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.
(Photo by Wade Payne, Special to the News Sentinel)

Photo by Wade Payne, © 2013 The Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee guard Jordan McRae (52) blocks the shot of Citadel guard Ashton Moore (12) during their game Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (Photo by Wade Payne, Special to the News Sentinel)

Jordan McRae received the first weekly SEC award of his career on Monday. The senior shooting guard was named conference player of the week after he averaged 22.5 points, three rebounds, two and a half blocks and two assists in UT’s wins against The Citadel and Tennessee State.

McRae has led the Vols (3-1) in scoring every game this season. He scored 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting against The Citadel on Nov. 18. He then scored 25 against Tennessee State on 9-of-13 shooting on Nov 22. He made 5-of-9 3-pointers in those two games and blocked five shots.

McRae, UT’s leading scorer last season, is currently second in the SEC in scoring (21.5 points per game). He ranks fifth in assist/turnover ration (2.4), sixth in 3-point shooting percentage (.450) and 10th in blocked shots per game (1.5).

McRae is 85 points shy of reaching the 1,000-point mark for his career, an accomplishment 4 Vols have made previously.

Kentucky guard/forward James Young was also honored Monday. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound guard/forward received the freshman of the week award after he scored 26 points in a win aginst UT-Arlington.

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Comments » 4

johndavid writes:

When he was going to be freshman I took a ball to R. Top league to have Hopson sign. After outplaying Hopson 1 on 1 and showing better skills already than the already ALL SEC Hopson I chose to have Jordan sign the ball instead. ( I once traded an autographed Dooley UT football for a Fulmer one- & I liked Dooley at the time and still do as a person)

We should have gotten more out of McRae sooner. I think there still is a little more talent there that Martin is not using. Martin had him on the bench(with poor ballplayers on the floor) and afraid to shoot or go to the hole for 1 year and a half. It was Only after we were getting blown out a few games and on a losing streak( Memphis was one) that McRae used the freedom of being in a blowout to demonstrate
what he could do. He will go down as one of the great players at UT, I'm glad he finally is getting a chance to show it.

THIS TIME LAST YEAR HE WAS STILL NOT A STARTER!(playing behind MCbee!)
LOOK IT UP I know its hard to BELIEVE!

Plasticman85 writes:

With the new rule changes, McRae should be taking the ball to the goal almost every possession . Our offense needs to run through him instead of Stokes and Maymon. McRae is unstoppable going to the goal without being fouled.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Plasticman85:

With the new rule changes, McRae should be taking the ball to the goal almost every possession . Our offense needs to run through him instead of Stokes and Maymon. McRae is unstoppable going to the goal without being fouled.

You may be right. It is clear that McRae is all but unstoppable when he goes to the hoop. He has also learned to pull up for the mid-range jumper, something he rarely did before this season. If he goes on to learn how to dump the ball consistently to the posts when defenders rotate to stop his drives, he could be in line to become a very rich young man in the next few years.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to johndavid:

When he was going to be freshman I took a ball to R. Top league to have Hopson sign. After outplaying Hopson 1 on 1 and showing better skills already than the already ALL SEC Hopson I chose to have Jordan sign the ball instead. ( I once traded an autographed Dooley UT football for a Fulmer one- & I liked Dooley at the time and still do as a person)

We should have gotten more out of McRae sooner. I think there still is a little more talent there that Martin is not using. Martin had him on the bench(with poor ballplayers on the floor) and afraid to shoot or go to the hole for 1 year and a half. It was Only after we were getting blown out a few games and on a losing streak( Memphis was one) that McRae used the freedom of being in a blowout to demonstrate
what he could do. He will go down as one of the great players at UT, I'm glad he finally is getting a chance to show it.

THIS TIME LAST YEAR HE WAS STILL NOT A STARTER!(playing behind MCbee!)
LOOK IT UP I know its hard to BELIEVE!

McRae's problem was never a lack of talent, it was a lack of maturity. He is an emotional guy, but emotion is a two-edged sword in an athlete. As he has grown up in the program, he has learned to harness his emotions. We only see him on the court, but we don't know what kind of demeanor he had in practice or in the locker room. As he demonstrates increasingly now, he is capable of playing good defense, but he may well have given off a vibe to the effect that he didn't CARE enough about defense to play it well. If you are old enough, you might remember that Don DeVoe kept Dale Ellis on the bench until he learned to care about--and perform on--defense consistently. His last two years, he was at least as valuable to the team on defense as he was on offense, and his defensive prowess probably had as much to do with his long, successful NBA career as his sweet 3-point stroke. McRae can be a similar type of player, but I'm not sure he was READY to be that kind of player any earlier than he was.

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