Slightly delayed but below is all the Kiwi news and numbers from the first few days of NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball.
Catching up with Ben Johnson, University of Portland Assistant Coach , at Schick Secondary Schools Nationals last month he said he was confident Taki Fahrensohn would make an impact this season.
“Taki is now in his third year on the programme and we are looking forward to him having a big year for us. He’s put on about fifteen pounds of good muscle and can really shoot the ball,” said Johnson.
Well Fahrensohn enjoyed a start for Portland in their opening game scoring 7 points and adding 3 rebounds as the Pilots navigated past Willamette 86-36. He followed that with 10 points and 6 rebounds in the loss to USC (76-65) to emphasise the confidence Coach Johnson has in him.
Also starting was UC Riverside and former Palmy North Boys High centre Callum McRae. He didn’t disappoint filling the stats line with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a bock as the Highlanders won at Nebraska 66-47.
A third starter was Miami’s Sam Waardenburg who came close to a double double as the Canes beat Florida Atlantic 74-60. The former Rangitoto man finished with 9 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal.
Yanni Wetzell made every post a winner in his debut game for San Diego State. Having transferred from Vanderbilt the former Westlake big man posted 8 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block as San Diego defeated Texas Southern 77-42.
Matt Freeman has also had a change of scenery for his final collegiate year. Freeman has moved from Oklahoma to University of California Santa Barbara and he scored 12 points making 3 from 6 from beyond the arc as the Gauchos fell 77-61 to UCLA Bruins.
Izayah Le’afa scored 9 points for Sacramento State Hornets in a one sided win against Simpson (76-27).
Senior guard Jackson Stent had 7 points and 6 rebounds as Houston Baptist fell 80-72 at Tulsa.
Freshman Kruz Perrott-Hunt has scored his first college points as South Dakota Coyotes carried off the Rainbow Classic trophy in Hawaii after recording three straight wins. Perrott-Hunt had two points and 2 rebounds in the third win (85-82 against Florida A&M) and also had the final say of the game getting a deflection on a shot from a Florida player as he attempted to tie the game as time expired.
Another freshman Max de Geest debuted for Long Beach State in their 74-62 defeat of San Diego. The shooting guard played 4 minutes collecting a rebound in that time but was a standout in his second game notching 13 points (7/3 3PG) in 20 minutes as Lon Beach fell to Stanford
Quinn Clinton and St Mary’s College Gaels coaching staff have decided it best he redshirts this year to overcome some injury problems incurred in pre-season. He will therefore defer his sophomore year until 2020-21.
Better news for Angus McWilliam who has been cleared to play for UC Riverside, alongside Callum McRae, following his transfer from TCU.