November 28, 2011

Eric Griffin named Big South player of the week

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Eric Griffin of Campbell University has been named Choice Hotels Big South Conference men's basketball player of the week.  He also earned league player of the week honors from collegesportsmadness.com.

A senior forward from Orlando, Fla., Griffin averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and 2 steals over three games as the Camels finished as runner-up in the Dale Howard Classic.

CU won last Monday (Nov. 21) at Chicago State 75-69, then defeated Iowa 77-61 on Wednesday.  No.-25 Creighton dealt Campbell (5-1) its first loss of the season on Friday in Omaha, Neb., despite Griffin's career-high 29-point, 14-rebound performance.

"Eric's honor is certainly well-deserved," said Campbell head coach Robbie Laing, whose team beat a BCS Conference member school for the second time in as many seasons.  "He had a phenomenal week.  Any time you shoot 75 percent from the field over a 3-game stretch against the caliber of competition we faced, it's hard to do better than that.  It's a performance I wish the Campbell fans could have seen in person.  He represented our team and University very well."

A product of Orlando, Fla., Griffin opened the week with a 17-point, 9-rebound, 5-block showing in CU's victory at Chicago State (Nov. 21) as the Camels tied the school (Division I era) record for wins to open the year.

Two days later, Griffin hit 10-of-11 field goals in a 23-point showing during the victory at Iowa.  He tied his career-high with 13 rebounds and blocked a career-best six shots as the Camels defeated a Big Ten member for the first time ever.

On Friday at unbeaten and 25th-ranked Creighton, Griffin posted new career highs with 29 points (9-13 field goals, 8-10 free throws) and 14 rebounds in CU's 104-81 loss.

Through six games the year, the senior forward leads the Big South Conference in scoring (21.2), rebounding (10.0), field goal percentage (.742), blocks (2.83) and defensive rebounds (6.67), while ranking 6th in minutes played (32.0), and 13th in free throw accuracy (.690).

He entered this week's play ranked third in the nation in field goal shooting, 18th in scoring, tied for 27th in blocks and tied for 30th in rebounds.

Notes:  The Camels shot 62.2 percent (28-45) from the field and made more free throws (17-23) than host Iowa attempted (10-12) last Wednesday in CU's 77-61 triumph... In the championship game of the Dale Howard Classic, No.-25 Creighton made its first 13 field goals en route to a 104-81 triumph... Since joining Division I in 1977-78, Campbell had started the season with 4 victories only once (1987-88) before this year's club won its first five… As a team, the Camels lead the Big South Conference and rank 2nd in the country in field goal percentage (.545)... CU's 62.2% shooting percentage at Iowa was its best-ever against a power-conference team… CU is 0-9 all-time against nationally-ranked schools, including last Friday's setback at Creighton and last year's 70-60 season-opening loss at 21st-ranked Virginia Tech… Freshman point guard Trey Freeman leads the Big South Conference and ranks 6th in the nation in free throw percentage (.970, 32-of-33) through six games.  He made his first 29 from the charity stripe before missing one at Iowa on Nov. 23… Junior wing Darren White ranks 3rd among Big South leaders in scoring (18.8), blocks (1.5) and field goal percentage (.530), 9th in rebounding (6.3) and 12th in assists (3.17)… Campbell hosts Liberty Thursday (7:00 p.m.) in its Big South Conference opener...