Montlake Madness is getting ready to ramp up again for the upcoming season. You’ll see some changes, including plenty more from our team of writers. But more on that soon. Check back later this week for the first of a series of recruiting profiles. Might as well get to know the guys we’re going to be obsessing over for the next year, right?
Here’s a look at MBA’s summer vacation dunkation so far. . .
by Craig Yamada – Staff Writer
No, that is not my old IMA locker combination. Those are MBA’s average stat lines after three games in the International Future Challenge in Lille, France. To summarize, MBA has been, for the lack of a better word, dominant in his first three outings this summer with the Great Britain under-23 team.
TANGENT: Yes, this will be the only British bloak I will be cheering on this summer. I still will yell USA, USA, USA when watching “futbol” this summer. Sorry MBA.
OK, back to hoops. To be exact, he is averaging 22.3 points/7.7 Rebounds/2.3 Blocks/2.3 Steals over his three games against France, Belgium and Luxembourg. And what’s even more remarkable, he is shooting over 53% from the field in his last two games. From the articles I have read on Hoopsfix.com, every notable highlight is capped with some kind of emphatic slam by none other than MBA. He is leading his team in scoring and is dominating the glass.
MBA started the tourney with a matchup against France. A controversial call by a ref at the end of the game proved to be the difference in the game as Great Britain fell, 80-79. MBA finished that game with 16 points and six rebounds. The highlights of that game featured MBA beasting two French defenders for a thunderous stuff. He also had a reverse jam and a highlight reel worthy swat off the glass.
Game 2 was against Belgium where MBA looked to rebound after the heartbreaking loss to France. And boy did he respond. He finished with 26 points, 9 rebounds, 7 steals and 2 blocks to lead Great Britain to a 83-68 victory. The GB coach is sending Coach Romar a bag of crumpets to thank him for MBA’s defensive prowess. He also shot 48% (12 for 25) from the field and led all scorers for the second straight game.
And game 3 against Luxembourg was an all-out route as GB cruised 90-61. MBA had another strong performance shooting 61% (11 for 18) from the field netting 25 points and grabbing 8 boards. Highlight of the game was a one handed alley-oop which I can only imagine was as painful to watch as the tea bag against Stanford during the Pac-10 Tourney. There was actually a live feed of the Luxembourg game which can be seen here (poor quality): http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/7785647
Are we really that surprised about these stellar performances? I think not. Abdul Gaddy told Percy Allen this summer about regaining his “swag”. Well, if MBA’s SWAG was a car, that car has been doing 90 in a 25mph zone since his first game against Stanford last year.
Entering into his senior year, MBA finally has gained the confidence needed to succeed at the college level. Now the question remains, can he elevate it to the next? If history has taught us anything, UW players are notorious for slow starts and turning their game up during their late junior year into their senior year. Bobby Jones, Justin Dentmon, and Quincy Pondexter were the best examples of that.
And Q-Pon proved that an offseason with national competition was key to his growth as a player and a leader. Let’s just hope that MBA and Gaddy can follow suit with their international competition this summer. There are already rumblings that he will be playing alongside Ben Gordon and Luol Deng for GB in the 2012 Olympics in London. That could be an interesting team to watch.
MBA’s production is going to be vital for UW to rise back to the Pac 10 conference crown in 2010-11. If Aziz N’Diaye can start garnering more attention in the post, MBA will have plenty of opportunities to dominate at the 4 spot. I for one think that he could have a good chance for Pac 10 first team if all the right chips fall.
Is November here yet?