Monday, February 18, 2013
Watford at his best?
By Luke Lapinski
Indiana enters tomorrow's tilt with Michigan State as the No. 1 team in the nation. And with the Spartans sitting comfortably at No. 4, plenty is on the line in this one.
Fortunately for the Hoosiers, they have a number of different players producing at a high level. One such player is Christian Watford. That's not exactly a shock, given the fact that he's been a key contributor since he was a freshman. But this may very well be the best season of his college career so far. He hasn't had many explosive outings in the 2012-13 campaign (his season-high is 23 points, and he's only broken the 20-point barrier three times) and his 13.2 points per game is pretty close to the 12.6 he was pouring in during the 2011-12 season. In fact, he actually averaged more offense (16.0 ppg) during his sophomore year.
What he has shown this season that he hasn't in the past, however, is consistency. As Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports points out, that's been the only real knock on the senior forward's game since before he even landed in college. He's always been a threat to go off on any night but, this time around, IU is able to essentially bank on him for double-digit scoring. In all, he's done it 16 straight times -- a streak that began just after the Hoosiers' Dec. 15 loss to Butler. And, considering all the weapons around him, the fact that Watford can be relied upon for steady offensive numbers -- and roughly 6.8 rebounds -- on a nightly basis makes him a stabilizing force and an extremely valuable asset to a team with title aspirations.