During the last two seasons we were used to seeing Kalani Purcell put together ‘Stats Stuffing’ performances for Brigham Young University Cougars.
Purcell has of course now moved into the professional ranks playing for Melbourne Boomers in the Australian WNBL but it looks as if the Cougars have found another Kiwi forward to fill the void left by the Tall Ferns forward.
Shalae Salmon, the sophomore out of Porirua, posted astonishing numbers in the Cougars 75-67 overtime win against Southern Utah last weekend.
A 17 rebounds haul would be a good performance on any day but to supplement that effort with 12 points, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks was quite staggering – probably, based on statistics alone, one of the best ever performances by a New Zealand college player.
Salmon was something of a bit-part player last year, in her first year at BYU, averaging just a couple of points and rebounds per game.
However BYU head coach Jeff Judkins has entrusted Salmon with the starting centre berth and she has responded in style. A week earlier she recorded 10 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in a pre season game against Colorado Mesa.
If that wasn’t enough, in BYU’s 80-72 loss to Washington today Salmon again snared a bucket full of rebounds – 15 in total – plus 8 points and another 3 blocks.
Three games – two double-doubles – 10.0 points per game – 14.3 rebounds per game – 2.0 steals per game– 2.7 blocks per game.
Watch this space!