Really? Two games into the season and someone is already giving out awards?
That would be unfair and irresponsible for anyone to make the case for any player to win an award at this point in the season. But it's never too early to starting creating a resume.
Washington State's Faisal Aden (193-G-89) (pronounced Phase-el Aid-in) through two regular season games, is averaging a team high 22 points to go along with four-and-a-half rebounds in 30 minutes of play per game. He also leads the team in steals with six.
The 6'4' transfer from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla. has been the scoring leader in both of the team's first two games against Southern University and last night when the Cougars hosted Idaho and won 88-71 to improve their record to 2-0.
As a freshman at HCC, the native of Somalia, averaged 20 points, three-and-a-half rebounds, and just over two assists and steals a game. He entered his sophomore season as a preseason All-American and saw statistical improvement across the board.
Now at Washington State, his numbers have not dropped off.
From afar. people might notice these early numbers and say he's a benefactor of preseason Wooden award candidate Klay Thompson's presence but if you watch the games as I have, I can honestly say that's not the case.
Aden, has more shot attempts than Thompson and a better field goal percentage including being more efficient from three point territory with both having equal shot attempts. While Thompson has grown into a player who shoots better when he receives the ball and is able to set his feet, Aden has shown the capability to create off the dribble and pull up and knock down a jump shot from anywhere on the court.
In an exhibition game against Lewis-Clark State back on November 5, Aden poured in a team high 22 points in just 19 minutes coming off the bench.
Due to an injured left wrist for point guard Reggie Moore, which has him labeled as day-to-day, Aden has found himself in the starting lineup the first two games.
When Moore comes back, it will be interesting to see how head coach Ken Bone adjusts his lineup. Will Aden stay in the starting lineup which would most likely mean taking the place of Marcus Capers? Or leave Capers in who despite his offensive deficiencies, is a terrific defender and currently team leader in rebounds averaging just under ten a game.
Aden gives the Cougars something they lacked last year. Another pure scorer to help relieve Thompson of trying to carry the team offensively. The Cougars have not had a duo of scoring threats in a long time if ever.
Even during their back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2007 and 2008, Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver only averaged 14 and 12 points respectively. But much of that could be attributed to the team's style of play back then when scoring wasn't exactly No. 1 on their priority list.
It's easy to scoff and look at the Cougar opponents and try and diminish Aden's early performances, but I just want to throw his name out there and put it on your radar.
Aden and the Cougars travel to Seattle next week for their annual Cougar Hardwood Classic where they will host Portland at Key Arena on Tuesday, November 23 at 7:30 PM
Keravnos Strovolou (Division A) signed 31-year old Somalian ex-international forward Mohamed Abukar (208-85, college: San Diego State, agency: Two Points). He is a dual citizen owning also American passport. Abukar played last season at Sigal Prishtina in Kosovan SuperLeague. He managed to play in three leagues last year. In 22 SuperLeague games he had 13 [read more]
Keravnos Strovolou (Division A) signed 31-year old Somalian ex-international forward Mohamed Abukar (208-85, college: San Diego State, agency: Two Points). He is a dual citizen owning also American passport. Abukar played last season at Sigal Prishtina in Kosovan SuperLeague. He managed to play in three leagues last year. In 22 SuperLeague games he had 13.4ppg, 3.8rpg and 2.2apg. Abukar helped them to win the league title and the cup. A very impressive season as he was named to Eurobasket.com All-Kosovo League 2nd Team and to the All-Star Game. Abukar also played 6 games in FIBA Europe Cup where he recorded very remarkable stats: 16.0ppg, 5.2rpg and 1.5apg. And finally he contributed to 15 games in Balkan League where he was fifth best scorer with high stats: 17.7ppg and averaged 4.5rpg, 1.9apg and 1.0spg. Abukar contributed to his team winning the Balkan League championship. Quite impressive season as he was voted Eurobasket.com All-Balkan League Player of the Year, Import Player of the Year and Forward of the Year. The previous (14-15) season he played at Shinshu (BJ League) in Japan. In 45 games he got high stats: 17.5ppg, 4.9rpg and 2.6apg. A very spectacular season in his career as he was named to Asia-Basket.com All-Japanese BJ League Honorable Mention. In 2008 (a year after he left the college) Abukar was drafted by Austin Toros (D-League) in second round (17th overall). He attended San Diego State until 2007 and it will be his tenth season in pro basketball. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Abukar was voted Eurobasket.com All-Swiss LNA Player of the Year back in 2012. He was a member of Somalian Senior National Team in 2013. Abukar is quite experienced player. He has played in seven different countries on three different continents (Europe, Asia and of course North America). Abukar has played previously professionally in Belgium (Spirou Charleroi), Bulgaria (Lukoil Academic Sofia), Holland (ABC Amsterdam), Italy (AV Cantu), FYR Macedonia (Rabotnicki), D-League (Idaho Stampede and Austin Spurs) and Switzerland (Lugano Tigers). He could be described:
A quick and agile forward, with good fundametals, who can score well from inside and ouitside the paint. Has a good shooting range, runs very well the court for a player of his size.
Sigal Prishtina (SuperLeague) tabbed 30-year old Somalian ex-international forward Mohamed Abukar (208-85, college: San Diego State, agency: Two Points). He has a double citizenship as he also holds American passport. Abukar played most recently at Shinshu Brave Warriors Nagano in Japanese BJ League. In 45 games he averaged impressive 17.5ppg, 4.9rpg and 2.6apg last season. He can count that year as a very successful as was selected to Asia-Basket.com All-Japanese BJ League Honorable Ment... [read more]
Sigal Prishtina (SuperLeague) tabbed 30-year old Somalian ex-international forward Mohamed Abukar (208-85, college: San Diego State, agency: Two Points). He has a double citizenship as he also holds American passport. Abukar played most recently at Shinshu Brave Warriors Nagano in Japanese BJ League. In 45 games he averaged impressive 17.5ppg, 4.9rpg and 2.6apg last season. He can count that year as a very successful as was selected to Asia-Basket.com All-Japanese BJ League Honorable Mention. The most of previous (2013-14) season he spent at Lugano Tigers (LNA) in Swiss league. In 15 games he had very remarkable stats: 17.9ppg, 3.3rpg and 2.3apg in 2013-14 season. He helped them to win the league title. He can count that season as a very successful as was selected to Eurobasket.com All-Swiss LNA 3rd Team. Abukar also played at Spirou Charleroi (Scooore League) in Belgium that season. In 11 games he had 11.6ppg and 5.2rpg in 2013-14 season. He also played 8 games in Eurocup where he had 12.3ppg and 3.1rpg in 2013-14 season. The most of previous (12-13) season Abukar spent at Rabotnicki (Prva Liga) in FYR Macedonian league. In 18 games he had high stats: 18.3ppg, 5.7rpg and 1.7apg in 2012-13 season. The other team he played shortly was Lukoil Academic Sofia (NBL) in Bulgarian league. The team played in three different competitions (!!!) that year, and Abukar had a chance to explore basketball on different levels. In 7 NBL games he had 14.3ppg, 3.6rpg and 1.9apg in 2012-13 season. He also played 1 game in Euroleague where he recorded 5 points and 2 rebounds in 2012-13 season. Abukar also played 6 games in Eurocup where he had 13.8ppg, 2.5rpg and 1.0apg in 2012-13 season. In 2008 (a year after he left the college) Abukar was drafted by Austin Toros (D-League) in second round (17th overall). The former San Diego State staris in his ninth season in pro basketball. Among other achievements he received Eurobasket.com All-Macedonian League Import Player of the Year award in 2013. Abukar was a member of Somalian Senior National Team two years ago. He has played also professionally in Holland (ABC Amsterdam), Italy (AV Cantu) and D-League (Idaho Stampede and Austin Spurs).
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