In a week when news has emerged that Kruz Perrot Hunt (South Dakota) and Anzac Rissetto (North Carolina Charlotte) have committed to Division I colleges next season many of the current crop of Div 1 players have seen action this week. To be more accurate eleven of the sixteen Kiwis playing in top flight of college basketball have hit the pine in the last couple of days.
Starting centre Jack Salt was only required for 19 minutes by Virginia University as the Cavaliers breezed past Towson 73-42. The Tall Blacks big man contributed 3 points, 3 rebounds and a block for the Cavs, ranked 5th in the NCAA Division I pre-season polls.
Ranked (25th) in the preseason for the first time since 2011, the Washington Huskies overcame a sluggish start to beat Western Kentucky 73-55. Another player to have worn the Tall Blacks singlet in recent times, Sam Timmins, came up with 6 rebounds and 4 points for the Huskies.
Placed five spots above Washington are Texas Christian University. Yuat Alok scored 11 points in his first outing for the Horned Frogs as they edged past CSU Bakersfield 66-61. In front of almost 7,000 fans the former Rangitoto College big man also added 6 rebounds and a block in a solid 25 minutes of action.
Point guard Isaac Letoa played 8 minutes for Dartmouth Big Green as they rampaged past Newbury College 114-39. The Tall Blacks guard produced 4 assists in that time as well as a couple of rebounds.
Tobias Cameron scored his first basket in Wildcats colours as Abilene Christian thumped Arlington Baptist 107-54. Cameron also snared 5 rebounds.
Brother Flynn played 7 minutes for De Paul Blue Demons making one of two shots and adding 4 rebounds.
Another debutant scorer was Manawatu big man Callum McRae who ended with 4 points and 6 rebounds in his first outing for University of California Riverside beaten 72-59 by Oregon State.
Also playing their first game were Dan Fotu and Quinn Clinton – both came off the bench in the closing minutes for St Mary’s College California Gaels in the 87-65 win against McNeese State. Both managed to convert their only three-point attempt inside the last two minutes of the game – Clinton’s effort came courtesy of a Fotu assist.
A Cantabrian like Clinton, Jackson Stent also connected from long range as Houston Baptist fell 90-60 to Arizona. Stent finished with one from three triples but fouled out in 16 minutes.
In his third outing of the season for the University of Portland Taki Fahrenson scored his first points for the Pirates in a high scoring 111-103 victory against Multnomah.