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Mid-Major Madness Player of the Week: We couldn’t pick just one... so here’s six

Why highlight just one mid-major star when you can highlight several?

FAU’s Alijah Martin, Colorado State’s Isaiah Stevens, Hofstra’s Tyler Thomas, Stetson’s Jalen Blackmon, UT Martin’s Jordan Sears, and Princeton’s Xaivian Lee have all been award MMM Player of the Week.
Graphic by Hannah Butler.

For the week of Nov. 20-26, Mid-Major Madness couldn’t decide on just one Player of the Week to award between so many top-tier performances… so we’ve selected six.

Here’s our six Mid-Major Madness Player of the Week picks and a look at each of their performances from this past week:

Alijah Martin (FAU)

In an effort to rebound from an upset loss to Bryant, 19th-ranked Florida Atlantic visited Kissimmee, Fla., for the annual ESPN Events Invitational. Opening with a 91-86 win over Butler, Martin contributed 13 points and three steals.

To help defeat No. 12 Texas A&M 96-89 and advance to the championship, Martin notched a season-high 25 points, adding seven rebounds in the process.

Rounding out the week, Martin earned Tournament MVP with 17 points, eight rebounds, and four assists as the Owls thrashed Virginia Tech 84-50 to earn the ESPN Events Invitational title.

Isaiah Stevens (Colorado State)

With 20th-ranked Colorado State heading to the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo., this past week, Stevens put on a show to help the Rams secure a major upset and win the title. On Wednesday, the four-time All-Mountain West Conference selection tallied 18 points and eight assists to an 86-74 win over Boston College.

Just a day later, the Rams upset No. 15 Creighton 69-48 in the title game behind 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds from Stevens. The Performance earned him Mountain West Men’s Basketball Player of the Week.

Tyler Thomas (Hofstra)

Traveling to Estero, Fla., for the 2023 Gulf Coast Showcase, Hofstra faced an in-state opponent and started the week with a 102-68 beatdown of Buffalo. While Thomas opened with 21 points and five assists in the win, his tallies drastically increase.

As the Pride defeated Wright State 85-76, Thomas contributed a team-leading 30 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals to advance to the tournament finals.

To send Hofstra home as Gulf Coast Showcase Champs, Thomas became the first player this season with a 40-point performance, beating High Point 97-92 in overtime.

Jalen Blackmon (Stetson)

Opening the week at the Sunshine Slam in Daytona Beach, Fla., Blackmon first led the Hatters to an 85-67 win over Milwaukee with 22 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Blackmon contributed 20 points, four rebounds and three assists to help lead Stetson to a 71-61 win over Central Michigan and earned Sunshine Slam’s MVP.

On Sunday, Stetson traveled to Orlando for a local matchup with UCF. In a tightly contested battle, a late clutch three and a pair of free throws from Blackmon gave the Hatters an 85-82 win. The former ASUN Newcomer of the Year managed 26 points and four rebounds to help down the Knights.

Jordan Sears (UT Martin)

With the Skyhawks welcoming in North Alabama last Wednesday, Sears dropped a career-high 34 points and added seven assists. Despite the Lions forcing double overtime, Sears single handedly managed a 6-0 run in the closing seconds to give UT Martin a 105-103 win.

On Saturday with a visit to Chicago State on the docket, Sears led the Skyhawks with 27 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals in a 94-71 win over the Cougars.

Averaging 22.3 PPG, Sears is currently the 12th highest scorer in the nation. He received OVC Player of the Week honors.

Xaivian Lee (Princeton)

After finding limited minutes as a freshman, Lee has burst onto the scene for the undefeated Tigers as a sophomore and is averaging a team-leading 18.8 PPG.

This past week, Lee pushed Princeton to its fifth and sixth wins respectively, starting with an 76-56 defeat of Old Dominion in which Lee added 19 points, four rebounds, and three assists. For Princeton’s first home game of the season, Lee managed a career-high 30 points and contributed six rebounds and four assists as the Tigers prevailed 80-66 over Northwestern.

After the back-to-back wins, Lee was selected as the Ivy League’s Player of the Week marking the Tigers third consecutive Conference Player of the Week award.