- National Teams
Welcome to our fourth installment of Brits In College, where we highlight the best performances of British players in NCAA college basketball division one, since last Thursday.
This is the time of the season where teams look to shore up their records with quality non-conference wins.
This week is highlighted by one team’s success in taking down one of the most storied programs in college basketball and a certain player giving the performance of his short career.
Jesse Chuku | Lehigh | Sophomore | Forward
Sometimes the chips just fall into place and the stars align for some players. Against Sacred Heart, on Sunday, Jesse Chuku was having that kind of night. In seven previous games, Chuku was averaging around seven points and six rebounds.
So expecting him to score 26 points and grabbing 15 rebounds would probably have been unreasonable but that’s exactly what the sophomore forward did, leading his team to a victory over Sacred Heart. Both statistics (rebounds and points) were career highs for the Londoner, which just happened to be in front of his mother who flew in from England.
“Jesse has been very impressive at home,” said Lehigh head coach Brett Reed. “He was sensational on the glass, he was sensational making open jump shots. He made some post moves and gave us extra possessions.
“He was everywhere on the floor, including challenging shots and getting deflections. He had a very impressive performance, which was nice to see because I understand his mother flew in all the way from England to come watch him. She has not had a chance to see him often, and with that type of performance, he’s going to send her home happy.”
Shore Adenekan | Seattle University | Junior | Forward
Seattle went 2-1 over the week. Adenekan, a starter, scored 13 points in the loss against Eastern Washington on Friday. He also had four rebounds, a couple of blocks and an assist.
Then, on Monday, he poured in 16 points, five rebounds and five blocks, against UC Davis, making six of his seven shot attempts.
Last night’s game was an anticlimax but his team prevailed against Cal State Northridge. Adenekan contributed six points, six rebounds and a steal.
Jack Crook | Seattle University | Junior | Forward
The only stat worth noting, for Jack Crook, was seven rebounds against Eastern Washington. Though we should note he only played 10 minutes and had two fouls.
Just like his teammate, Adenekan, Crook had his best game against UC Davis scoring 10 points and grabbing 4 rebounds.
He had two points and grabbed seven rebounds in the Cal State Northridge win.
Seattle is now 5-3 on the season.
Fahro Alihodzic | University of Alabama at Birmingham | Senior | Forward
UAB had a huge victory over the weekend when they took down North Carolina. Then North Carolina went on to defeat Michigan State, the No.1 ranked team.
It’s only December but come March this will help UAB secure a spot in the NCAA tournament if they can place anywhere near the top of their conference.
Fahro Alihodzic didn’t score much in the low scoring game, tallying only eight points, but he grabbed 13 rebounds.
The season is still young and UAB are currently 6-2 but we should note that Alihodzic has almost doubled his rebounds per game average from last season. He is currently averaging 8.1.
Chris Caird |Drake | Junior | Forward
Drake won all three of their games so individual statistics probably doesn’t matter to Chris Caird as much as the victories.
His best game was a 16 point, five rebounds and two assists outage against Northern Arizona on Saturday. The night before, he had eight points and 5 rebounds against Fresno State.
Against CSU Bakersfield, on Sunday, he recorded five points, two assists and a rebound.
Ben Lawson | Western Kentucky | Freshman | Forward
The 6’11” Lawson finally got some meaningful playing time when he played 24 minutes against Bowling Green on Monday. He rewarded his coach with 11 points, four rebounds, two blocks and an assist but unfortunately it was a loss.
Ben Mockford | St Francis (NY) | Senior | Guard
Mockford scored a dozen points to go with two rebounds and three assists in their only game of the week, against Stony Brook, which was a two point victory.
Will Neighbour | UALR | Senior | Forward
UALR finished the month of November with an unfortunate 20 point drubbing by Oklahoma. Neighbour scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Friday’s loss.
Nevertheless, the senior forward came back strong, scoring 20 points and grabbing five rebounds in a 14 point victory over Arkansas-Fort Smith.
Luke Nelson | UC Irvine | Guard | Freshman
UC Irvine had a loss and a win over the week. Nelson scored 14 points, grabbed two rebounds and stole the ball once in the victory over Sacramento State on Saturday.
Then in the loss against California, on Monday, he chipped in a dozen points, three assists and three rebounds.
Alex Young | UC Irvine | Guard | Sophomore
Nelson and his team mate Alex Young were both the leading scorers in the victory over Sacramento with Young scoring 12 points and dishing out six assists.
In the loss he had three rebounds, one assist and eight points.
Adam Thoseby | South Dakota | Guard | Sophomore
Former GB U20 Adam Thoseby had his best output of the season, scoring 14 points and adding 8 rebounds in just 16 minutes of action as the Coyotes ran over Graceland University 112-85.
He followed it up with 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block on Monday in a win over Utah Valley, and then 7 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 block in a loss to Air Force on Thursday.
Thoseby is averaging 6.7 points and 3.6 rebounds, in a little under 20 minutes per game so far.
Mike Ocherobia | Western Illinois| Centre| Senior
Saturday saw Ocherobia filled out the stat sheet in a victory over Greenville with ten points, four rebounds, a block, a steal and an assist.
Then on Wednesday the senior centre got all defensive in a victory over Eastern Illinois. He had nine rebounds, five blocks and two steals to go with seven points and an assist.
Gabriel Olaseni | Iowa | Forward | Junior
Saturday was a bad day for Iowa as they lost their first game of the season to Villanova. Olaseni played eighteen minutes scoring two points, five rebounds and blocking three shots.
Iowa rebounded on Tuesday to take down Notre Dame with Olaseni scoring nine points, grabbing five rebounds and blocking a shot in 11 minutes of action.
Will Saunders | Western Illinois| Senior | Centre
Will Saunders had 15 points and five rebounds in a loss to Delaware on Tuesday. The 6’7” forward is currently averaging a dozen points in seven games.
Ovie Soko | Duquesne | Forward | Senior
A week of rest did no favours for Ovie Soko, who after averaging about 19 points and 12 rebounds in his previous two games, proved he was mortal this week.
He had 17 points and five rebounds in a loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday going 11-20 at the free throw line. Then, on Wednesday he had six points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks in a victory over UMBC.
We have seen this before. Players start the season hot, before opposing teams make extra efforts to stop them – Soko will be forced to readjust, which he no doubt will.
Prince Ibeh | Texas | Sophomore | Centre
Prince scored eleven points and blocked five shots in a victory over Texas Arlington on Saturday. The centre also contributed three rebounds and an assist.
Thoughts on the college season so far? How do you think the Brits are faring?
Image Credit: LeHigh Sports