Brits in College: Week 1 Recap -

Brits in College: Week 1 Recap

Fahro Alihodzic UAB Blazers

College basketball returned last week, and, as always, we are here to bring you the top British performers in NCAA Division 1. Check out how everyone got on in our recap below:

Player of the Week

Fahro Alihodzic | University of Alabama at Birmingham | Senior | Forward
Alihodzic (pictured above), a former England Under-18, has the most impressive start of all Brits in NCAA Division 1, whilst getting it done in the win column as well.

His Blazers have jumped out to a 3-0 start, as he has averaged 10.7 points and 9 rebounds in those games. His best outing, a big win over Rutgers, Alihodzic snapped the 69-69 tie with 2:50 to play and finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds on 5/7 shooting. He also had a 10 and 10 outing vs Troy.

Best of the Rest

Shore Adenekan | Seattle University | Junior | Forward
Shore has had a relatively successful start to his junior year with Seattle, who have split their first two games. In their opening day loss to Washington, Shore had 5 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block in just 15 minutes, before following it up with 4 points and 4 rebounds in 21 minutes in a 75-71 win over CS Fullerton.

Abdi Ahmed | CS Bakersfield | Junior | Forward/Centre
After a year redshirting at CS Bakersfield, Londoner Abdi Ahmed has suited up for the team and got the starting spot in his junior year, and first season on court in NCAA Division 1.

Ahmed has helped the Roadrunners to 2-1 record, having solid performances in two of those games. Against UC Merced, Ahmed had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block on 4/7 shooting in 16 minutes, whilst in a loss to Washington State, put up 12 points, 6 rebounds and 1 steal.

Jesse Chuku | Lehigh | Sophomore | Forward
Jesse Chuku is another former GB U20 who has had a strong start to the season, making up for lost time after being rules ineligible by the NCAA for his freshman season at Lehigh.

Through three games, Chuku is averaging 10.7 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. The sophomore from London, who was 3 of 13 (0-for-8 from 3-point range) in Lehigh’s opener, shot 6 of 9 (4/4 from 3) in his second career game with the Mountain Hawks, a 92-78 win over Rider, where he finished with an impressive line of 18 points and 8 rebounds.

“Coming off the last game, I was like, ‘Wow, that’s not me,’” Chuku said after the game, talking to Lehigh Valley Live. “People were saying ‘Jesse keep your confidence.’ I went in the gym and worked on my form shooting. I feel confident again going about it. I was ready. I feel last game I was a bit one-dimensional. I tried to take it to the hoop a couple more times.”

Allie Fullah | Charleston Southern | Senior | Forward/Centre
The 2-1 Buccanneers starting forward, Allie Fullah, has been solid, averaging 5 points and 6 rebounds per game in just 13.5 minutes, in their opening three games, on 66.7% field goal shooting.

Will Saunders | Charleston Southern | Junior | Forward
Will Saunders has taken to NCAA Division 1 basketball like a duck to water after making the step from JUCO this season.

Averaging 14.5 points and 6 rebounds in Charleston Southern’s first three games, Saunders has improved game on game, culminating in an 18 point, 7 rebound effort off the bench, in an OT loss vs UNCW last week.

The former GB U20 had 9 points in his debut, and followed it up with 11 against Delaware.

Robert Gilchrist | Florida State University | Senior | Forward
After his first season getting acclimated to Division 1 with FSU last season, Gilchrist has hit the floor running in his first two games this year.

The 6’9″ athlete has got the starting spot locked up, putting up 10 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal on 4/5 shooting in the Seminoles’ opening win over Jacksonville, then following it up with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and 1 steal on 5/9 shooting in a win over UCF.

Arguably having more raw talent than any other player to come out of the UK in the last decade, Gilchrist is averaging 27 minutes per game so far this season, after struggling to get minutes last year.

Ben Mockford | St Francis (NY) | Senior | Guard
Aggressive scorer Ben Mockford has helped St Francis jump out to a 2-0 record to start the season, whilst putting up double digits in both outings.

The Terriers upset defending ACC champions Miami in their opening season game, taking them down 66-62 in OT as Mockford finished with 11 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in the starting guard spot. In his second game, Mockford went 4/8 from beyond the arc to finish with 15 points, adding 3 rebounds in just 20 minutes as St Francis beat FAU.

Will Neighbour | UALR | Senior | Forward
Big things are expected from Will Neighbour this season, after being named Preseason Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference.

The 6’10” forward was forced to turn down an invite to the GB Senior Men’s team last year whilst recovering from a shoulder injury that plagued him in the 2012-13 season as well, and has put on weight this summer as he aims to become a bigger force on the court.

Neighbour had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist in 30 minutes in an opening day two point loss to North Florida.

Luke Nelson | UC Irvine | Guard | Freshman
After a heartbreaking loss to Fresno State in their opener, where Nelson had 8 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists,1 steal and 1 block, the Anteaters suffered a second loss to Pacific, where Nelson had 11 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal.

Getting better by the game, the 6’3 guard saved his best for Washington, who UC Irvine upset 86-72 on Thursday night. In 29 minutes, once again in the starting spot, Nelson had 11 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds.

He is averaging 10 points, 1.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game three games in.

Gabe Olaseni | Iowa | Forward | Junior
The Hawkeyes have jumped out to a 3-0 start on the season with Olaseni making some good contributions off the bench.

In their opener, despite struggling from the field (1/8), Olaseni finished with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 5 blocks in just 17 minutes, and then on Thursday reached double digits with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks on 5/10 shooting in 13 minutes as Iowa blew out MD-E Shore.

Tommy Pereira | Rider | Guard | Senior
In the aforementioned loss to Jess Chuku’s Lehigh University, Pereira had a solid performance himself.

In 20 minutes off the bench, the 6’2″ shooting guard went 3/6 from the field for 10 points, along with 2 rebounds and 1 steal.

Ovie Soko | Duquesne | Forward | Senior
The 6’8″ Soko has returned to the court with a vengeance after having to watch from the sidelines last season after transferring from UAB.

In Duquesne’s opening win against Alibene Christian, Soko, who is starting, went an efficient 5/9 from the floor and 7/10 at the line for a 17 point, 13 rebound double double, along with 3 assists and a block.

He followed it up with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in a three point loss to New Hampshire, but struggled from the field, going 4/17.

The GB U20s and Futures player will be looking to make his mark in his senior season before making the jump to the professional ranks.

Alex Young | UC Irvine | Guard | Sophomore
Young is a surprise last minute inclusion into our Brits in college after word via Warwick Cann on Twitter that he is to be included in next summer’s GB U20 squad.

It remains unclear how he has a British passport (please let us know in the comments if you know!), but the 6’1″ point guard will be a huge asset for the U20 squad next year who will also feature the golden ’95s along with the ’94s.

Three games into the season, Young is averaging 15 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, shooting 48.6% from the field whilst teaming up with Luke Nelson in the Anteaters backcourt. He had 20, 6 and 4 in UCI’s opener against Fresno State, 17, 3 and 4 vs Pacific and then 8, 4 and 6 against Washington.

If they get a full strength team, the GB U20s will be looking to make some serious noise next year in their first ever European Championships in Division A.

Thoughts? Anyone missing?


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