For the week of Dec. 12-18, Mid-Major Madness has selected Chattanooga center Jake Stephens as the Mid-Major Player of the Week with the graduate transfer averaging 28 PPG across two standout performances for the Mocs.
Stephens arrived in Chattanooga, Tenn., this offseason following head coach Dan Earl from the Virginia Military Institute as a two-time All-Southern Conference selection having started 120 games during his four years with the Keydets.
In his first season with the Mocs, Stephens has only stepped up his game averaging a double-double of 22.5 PPG, 10.5 RPG, and 3.3 APG in just 12 appearances so far this year.
Last week in particular, the Bunker Hill, W.V., native kicked things into another gear opening on Thursday with a double-double of 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four blocks while shooting 62% the field to lead Chattanooga to an 82-73 win over Middle Tennessee.
Just days later on Dec. 18, Stephens managed a season-high and just his second 30-point showing of the year putting up 32 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, five blocks and three steals in a tightly contested 83-79 loss to Belmont.
Stephens’ 32 points and 20 rebounds marked a record for Chattanooga as the first 30-point, 20-rebound effort in the program’s history at either the Division I or Division II level.
For his top notch performances, Stephens was awarded the Southern Conference Player of the Week for the fourth time in a row and the fifth time this season. He is only the second player in SoCon history to win the award 10+ times alongside Davidson’s Steph Curry.
After another impressive week…for the FIFTH time this season Jake Stephens is the #SoConMBB player of the week | @GoMocsMBB— Southern Conference (@SoConSports) December 19, 2022
to story on Stephens week of play: https://t.co/I3t5hBbW20 pic.twitter.com/yxwvs12MEr
At 8-4 and with conference play just around the corner, the Mocs currently sit tied for first-place in the SoCon. Led by first-year head coach Dan Earl and his protégé Stephens, they should have a real chance at making Chattanooga back-to-back NCAA Tournament contenders.
Justin Johnson (Texas-Rio Grande Valley) - To mark three consecutive wins for the Vaqueros, Johnson managed 31 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in a win against NAIA affiliated Southwestern Christian and ended the week with 29 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in a victory over Houston Christian.
Max Abmas (Oral Roberts) - With 26 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals over Liberty on Dec. 12, and 23 points and three rebounds against Missouri State on Dec. 16, Abmas led the Golden Eagles to back-to-back victories and the program’s sixth consecutive win.