CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
After a long offseason without hoops, the first month of the college basketball season always feels like a massive flurry of activity. Each of the City 6’s men’s and women’s teams played at least five games over the last few weeks, though most played a couple more, as they all broke an eight-month wait — or in a couple cases, much longer — to get back out against unfriendly competition and write the next chapters of their program’s story.
For the first time, we decided to award monthly awards for the City 6 men and women in 2021-22, honoring the best players from the area’s Division I programs over each section of the season.
Without further ado, our November selections:
Khalif Battle (above) and Taylor Funk were City 6 MBB Players of the Month for November. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Men’s Co-Players of the Month
Khalif Battle (Soph./Temple)
Taylor Funk (R-Sr./Saint Joseph’s)
These two were so hot this month, we couldn’t find a way to pick one over the other. Both are putting up tremendous numbers through six games: Battle, a 6-foot-4 guard, averaged 21.3 points while shooting 53.8% overall and 47.4% (18-38) from the 3-point arc; Funk, a 6-8 forward, averaged 19.2 ppg and 6.5 rpg while shooting 56.7% overall and 54.0% (27-50) from the 3-point arc. They each hit clutch shots, like Funk’s 3-pointer to beat UMES in the Hawks’ season opener (capping off a 22-point evening), or Battle’s own triple and dunk down the stretch to key off a win over Delaware (and a 29-point night). If it weren’t for their respective play, it’s fair to say that neither the Hawks nor the Owls would be sporting 3-3 records.
Jhamir Brickus (Soph./La Salle) — Led La Salle in scoring (11.6/game) and assists (3.0/game)
James Butler (Sr./Drexel) — Averaged 14.3 ppg and 8.8 rpg while shooting 59.6% overall
Jordan Dingle (Soph./Penn) — Led Penn in scoring (19.6 ppg) while shooting .423/.333/.815
Collin Gillespie (Gr./Villanova) — Averaged 15.5 ppg and 4.2 apg on 42.9% 3PT.
Jordan Hall (Soph./Saint Joseph’s) — Daily triple-double threat avg. 12.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 6.3 apg
Justin Moore (Jr./Villanova) — Led Wildcats in scoring (16.3 ppg), also 4.2 apg and 3.3 rpg
Camren Wynter (Sr./Drexel) — Averaged 14.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.5 apg, shooting .507/.300/.800
Tessa Brugler is the City 6 WBB Player of the Month for November. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Women’s Player of the Month
Tessa Brugler (Gr./Drexel)
Brugler wasted no time getting acclimated to her new teammates. The 6-1 Bucknell transfer, playing her final year of college hoops in the City 6, had herself quite a productive month as Drexel got out to a 5-2 start. She’s the team’s leading scorer (13.6 ppg) and rebounder (9.6 rpg), shooting 50.7% from the floor; she’s also gotten the foul line about three times more than any of her teammates (21-of-29, 72.4%), and has only committed 12 turnovers, fewer than her number of blocks (14). A terrific post scorer with a reliable face-up game, Brugler’s got a variety of moves around the bucket and the ability to score with both hands. Per HerHoopStats, Brugler’s Player Efficiency Rating (30.4) puts her in the 96th percentile nationally; her PER*minutes played, “an estimate of the total value created by the player,” is 26th in the country.
Mia Davis (Sr./Temple) — Owls’ leading scorer (15.4 ppg) and rebounder (7.6 rpg), shot 49.4%
Lior Garzon (Soph./Villanova) — Shot 14-of-38 (36.8%) from deep to lead ‘Nova w/ 18.0 ppg
Hannah Nihill (Sr./Drexel) — Averaged 13.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.4 apg, shot 45.2% overall
Jordan Obi (Soph./Penn) — Averaged 16.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg in first month of college action
Kayla Padilla (Jr./Penn) — Only played 4 games, averaged 22.5 ppg, shot 50% (19-38) from 3
Kayla Spruill (Jr./La Salle) — Averaged 15.0 ppg and 10.6 rpg, including a 16-pt, 17-reb effort
Men’s Co-Rookies of the Month
Clark Slajchert (Soph./Penn)
Erik Reynolds II (Fr./Saint Joseph’s)
The men’s rookie of the month was also too close to call, with two guards who jumped right in with productive first months in a college uniform. Slajchert, a 6-0 guard from California whose freshman season was lost due to the COVID virus, showed his scoring prowess with a 25-point outing at Arkansas in his first career start; he’s averaging 9.7 ppg and 1.8 rpg, shooting 41.2% overall and 34.4% from 3-point range. Reynolds started all nine games for St. Joe’s, averaging 9.5 ppg and 1.8 apg while shooting 41.9% overall and 38.5% from 3-point range; he’s got three 13-point outings, which all came in a row against Mt. St. Mary’s, Drexel and Monmouth.
Khalil Brantley (Fr./La Salle) — Scored 17 points against Villanova; avg. 8.4 ppg
Zach Hicks (Fr./Temple) — Avg. 3.4 ppg, hit clutch 3-pointers in win over UMES
Nick Spinoso (Fr./Penn) — Made three starts, averaged 5.3 ppg and 4.3 rpg, shot 54.1%
Women’s Rookie of the Month
Jordan Obi (Soph./Penn): 16.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, .459/.500/.640
“Watch out for Jordan Obi,” one of the Penn men’s coaches texted before the season began, and it didn’t take long to see why. The 6-1 California native is already a two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week recipient after averaging 16.1 ppg and 7.4 rpg in her first seven games, shooting 45.9% overall and 7-of-14 (50.0%) from 3-point range, with 11 blocks and eight steals and assists. That included a 24-point outing against Villanova and a 20-point, 10-rebound effort against UC San Diego for her first double-double against a Division I opponent; she also had a 29-point, 12-rebound effort against D-III King’s College (Pa.).
Talya Brugler (Fr./St. Joe’s) — Averaged 5.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg in seven games (four starts)
Tiarra East (Fr./Temple) — Averaged 5.3 ppg, including a 16-point outing against Bucknell
Aniya Gourdine (Fr./Temple) — Scored 17 against Villanova; averaged 5.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg
Lucy Olsen (Fr./Villanova) — Spring-Ford alum started all 5 games, averaged 7.8 ppg, 2.6 apg
Mackenzie Smith (Fr./St. Joe’s) — Shooter averaged 7.6 ppg, was 7-of-12 (58.3%) from deep