We're not worried about Dayton's Brian Roberts getting recognition anymore, so we're going to go deeper than his dominant 31-point performance in an upset win over Pitt. Much deeper. Peyton Stovall, star guard for the Ball State Cardinals, is our eighth Mid-Majority Baller of the Week.
On New Year's Eve against IPFW, the 6-1 senior exploded for a career-high 37 points and nine rebounds in a 69-62
win, the first BSU victory of the season. Stovall shot 10-for-16 from the floor, and his many drives to the hoop resulted in 17 free throws, 14 of which he converted. He also did all those "guard things," adding five steals and four assists against only two turnovers. According to the NBA Efficiency Model, a catch-basket stat that attempts to add up all the good stats and subtract all the negative ones (turnovers, etc.), Stovall turned in a 44. That was the best single-game performance in mid-majordom last week by nine points (and the second-highest in Division I, one behind N.C. State's J.J. Hickson's 45
Stovall's career at Ball State has been eventful, to say the least. He's on his third head coach, and sustained two season-ending injuries and surgeries, and personal and team adversity has always kept his production far below his potential. He was Ball State's third option last year, scoring 8.8 ppg as the primary point guard. But he's made the most of his senior campaign, becoming one of the real hidden stars of the MAC. He opened the season with a surprising 13-and-12 double-double against Butler, and dropped 22 against Evansville in a one-point loss. Despite the tough start, Stovall has averaged 14.3 ppg and has shot a sterling 46.5 percent from 3.
We were witnesses to the performance in Muncie on Monday, which clinched the Cardinals' first win in the Billy Taylor era after 11 straight losses and a turbulent summer
. We can attest to the fact that Stovall personally held off the visiting Mastodons himself, driving for layups and hitting deep 3's as IPFW made its furious late charge from a 15-point halftime deficit. Stovall is a real all-around threat -- he loves to drive and draw contact, he's an excellent passer in traffic, and can seemingly run from end to end in an eye-blink. It's a shame he's not on a better team, but he's our Mid-Majority Baller of the Week anyway.
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