New Orleans made a big splash early, with headline-grabbing nonconference wins over N.C. State and Colorado. Sun Belt play has been less than kind, though. A recent three-game losing streak has put the Privateers in a 5-6 hole, far behind streaking Western Kentucky and South Alabama. But they might be on the dark-horse radar once again, thanks to the recent efforts of their superstar guard. Bo McCalebb is our 13th Mid-Majority Baller of the Week.
You're unlikely to find anyone anywhere who had the kind of week McCalebb did, as the 6-0 guard put in his two best performances of his senior campaign so far. In a road loss at Florida Atlantic
last Wednesday, he did everything he could to secure a win -- 33 points on 11-for-19 shooting (as well as 8-for-12 on foul shots), eight rebounds, five assists. But it was when the Privateers returned home on Saturday to play Troy that he turned in his season's masterpiece. In an 82-73 win
, McCalebb had another 33 points -- this time shooting 10-for-14, including five of six from downtown. He drained eight of his nine one-pointers, and contributed five boards, five dimes and four steals. It's mindboggling that just 326 people witnessed the performance (those numbers are always skewed northward, too). But we're sure there were at least a couple NBA scouts at the media table that weren't counted in that number.
He's the leading scorer in the Sun Belt at 23.2 ppg, which puts him at eighth nationally. McCalebb also leads the conference in steals at 2.5 spg (19th nationally). But what the stat sheet doesn't show is his immense loyalty. With the talent he possesses, he could be playing -- starting! -- at an SEC school, and he's had plenty of opportunities to bolt for more televised pastures. The local product has stayed at home in New Orleans despite having played for three different coaches at UNO in the last three years. The previous two abandoned UNO for higher-paying assistant gigs these past two summers, and under Joe Pasternack (another New Orleans native), McCalebb is fashioning a final college season to remember. Congratulations, Bo, you're the MMBOW (that rhymes).
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