By Rowan Shiell
College basketball is now in full flow and as the dust settles and jitters are lost, we give you a look back over the week as to how the British players performed.
Andrew Lawrence was absent from CofC’s close loss to Auburn, last Friday, because he was asleep in the changing rooms. The senior guard was unfortunately ill. He recovered on Sunday to score 22 points (17 in the second half) against Boston College for a quality win. He also dished out 2 assist, picked up a steal and a block as his team placed seventh in the College of Charleston Classic tournament. Cofc went 1-2 in the tournament and are now 2-2 overall.
Next up is nationally ranked Baylor with a matchup, for Lawrence, against Pierre Jackson, one of the quickest point guards in the NCAA. Cofc will be without their second leading scorer Trent Wiedeman who suffered a sprained ankle against Auburn so Lawrence will have to have another great game, as the leading scorer, if Cofc is expected to win.
Fahro Alihodzic | University Alabama at Birmingham | Junior | Center
Last week we overlooked Alihodzic, originally from Bosnia, who played for Great Britain U-20 in 2010 and hails from Leicester. He previously played at Fordham but transferred to UAB. This is his first season playing for UAB, after sitting out the mandatory year for transferring, and he scored 16 points in the season opener to help the Blazers defeat Young Harris. He followed that up with 6 points and 4 rebounds against nationally ranked (No.15) Creighton.
On Sunday he scored 16 points and grabbed 5 rebounds for a 19 point victory over Navy. On Tuesday he scored 10 points to go with 4 rebounds and 4 steals in a 6 point victory over Prairie View A & M.
Fraser’s team has yet to win a game in four tries but he is averaging a double double for the season (11.5 points and 10.3 rebounds) so he can’t be accused of not trying. Maine lost to Brown by two points then on Wednesday they played Seton Hall (featuring Manchester’s Aaron Geramipoor) and lost by 17. Fraser had a glue guy type of stat line, in the first game, with 10 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 block shots.
Against Seton hall he scored 13 and grabbed 8 rebounds. He also had a block and a steal.
Providence is currently down to seven players as injuries have depleted their roster. Lee Goldsbrough has made the most of extended minutes though his contribution to the team is more than his stat line of 2.4 points and almost 4 rebounds a game. Providence went 1-1 over the week, with a 2 point loss to Penn State, last Friday, and a win, over UNC Ashville, on Sunday in the Puerto Rico Tip off Tournament.
Loyola Marymount is 2-2 for the season and Ashley Hamilton has scored in double figures all four games. He scored 10 points and had 7 rebounds, on Saturday, to beat Cal State Bakersfield by three points.
He secured 15 points to go with 4 rebounds against Oral Roberts but LMU lost by nine last night. It should be noted that Hamilton is shooting 42% on three pointers, so far for the season, an improvement on last season where he shot 37%.
Will Neighbour | Arkansas Little Rock | Junior | Forward
Neighbour scored a total of 10 points in the only two losses this season. On Monday he scored 17 points and pulled down 6 rebounds in a win against Milwaukee then followed that up with 15 points and 7 rebounds in another win, against Jacksonville, to give his team a 3-2 record. Clearly this team will go as far as Neighbour takes them.
Up next is a big match up against undefeated Southern Methodist University, coached by the legendary Larry Brown, on Saturday. If Neighbour needs any advice he should contact Ashley Hamilton, as he scored 16 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in a losing effort against SMU on season opening weekend.
Keith Rendleman | North Carolina-Wilmington | Senior | Forward
Last week’s player of the week was just as solid but his team went winless in two games. He contributed 17 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks in a loss to Ohio, last Friday, and followed that up with 14 points and 7 rebounds in another loss to Purdue.
Ross Wilson | Rice | Freshman | Forward
Tough week for Wilson, who earned himself a starting spot as a freshman, as his team went winless over the week. Going up against Temple and Georgia tech is a challenge for any mid major team but it was brutal for the Owls. Wilson scored 4 points in an 11 point loss to Temple, on Saturday, and then went scoreless in a defensive game against Georgia Tech last night. Rice (1-3) only made 22% of their field goal attempts as they lost by a score of 54-36. The game broke open early in the second half when Rice went scoreless for seven minutes.
No Worries for Wilson though as this is the time of the season where freshmen are meant to learn on the fly. To be fair he made 100% of his field goals against Temple. Shame he only took two shots.
Teddy Okereafor | VCU | Sophomore | Guard | @teddyok5
Teddy had 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals in just 12 minutes in a 78-65 win over #19 ranked Memphis on Thursday. The Saturday before he also had 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in 20 minutes in a win over Winthrop.
Things get tougher as he faces Duke (#5) on Friday night.
Thoughts on how the Brits are getting on so far? Anyone else who deserves a mention? Let us know in the comments!