Centre of Excellence college update

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Catch up on how our Centre of Excellence athletes are faring at colleges around the USA.

Deng Adel: Adel has returned from an MCL injury for the Louisville Cardinals, playing eight games now in the season. Coming off the bench for a majority of those matches, he is averaging 2.9 points and 1.8 rebounds but it is his hard-nosed defence that makes him a valuable asset to the team.

 Abiola Akintola: After starting the season 5-2, the University of Denver Pioneers have slipped to 9-8 with a 1-3 record in their Conference. Akintola has yet to receive a proper run on the court, hopefully something that will be rectified soon for the freshman forward.

George Blagojevic: For the 6-11 University of Hartford Hawks, Blagojevic is leading the club in blocks (18 total) and field goals made while averaging the second most points per game (11.9). His 48% field goal shooting is helped along by a 43% mark from the three-point line.

Xavier Cooks: Cooks is having an impressive freshman season for the Winthrop Eagles, improving on his average rebounds, free throw percentage and scoring by 5.4 to 12.9 a game. The Eagles have a 7-1 record at home but are only 10-6 overall.

Josh Derksen: Derksen made his return from an ankle sprain on December 12 for Bellarmine University and is averaging 5.8 points as he settles into the side. His best performance came in a victory over Shaw University when he collected nine points and two assists.

Anthony Drmic: Already recording five games this year in which he has been the high scorer for the Boise State Broncos, Drmic is recording 13.8 points a game. He isn’t afraid of the long ball, hitting 38% from the three-point line and has started all 15 matches he has played in so far this season.

Nicholas Duncan: Alongside Drmic at Boise State, Duncan has also been a starter in every game. In addition to 11.6 points per game, his defence is proving critical in the Broncos’ ten-game winning streak, with 10 blocks and 15 steals placing him second for both those categories in the team.

Felix von Hofe: Exploding at the offensive end for the Eastern Washington University Eagles as a junior, von Hofe has increased his career point average from four a game to 17.1 this season. He is shooting at 49% from the field and 46% from distance. His season-high 28 points came on December 20 when he hit eight three-pointers to help him win the Big Sky Player of the Week award.

Isaac Humphries: Nursing a foot injury and coming off the bench for the University of Kentucky, Humphries has now hit the court eight times for a return of 2.5 points and two rebounds a game. His talents extend far beyond basketball though, as evidenced in a recent piece by the Courier-Journal.


Jordan Hunter: Competing in 13 games off the bench for Saint Mary’s College, Hunter is gaining experience as a freshman this season. A career highlight against CSU Bakersfield saw him finish with seven points while connecting on a monster alley-oop from team mate Jack Biebel.

Jackson Hussey: As a 191cm guard, Hussey has started nine of 17 games to average 9.2 points at 55% shooting. His 18 total offensive rebounds are impressive for a player in his position but it is his average of 3.7 assists and a steal for every turnover that makes him an integral part of the University of Pikeville Bears.

Tanner Krebs: Signed as a freshman for Saint Mary’s, Krebs will be desperate to hit the court alongside fellow Australians Emmett Naar, Dane Pineau, Kyle Clark, Jordan Hunter and Jock Landale this season after not receiving any minutes so far.

Jack McVeigh: Although his minutes have not diminished for the 10-8 Nebraska Cornhuskers, McVeigh’s shooting percentage has dropped after he knocked down 4-4 from long range in his debut. He rung in the New Year with a 16-point game though, hitting 6-8 from the field and grabbing six rebounds against Indiana.

Gerard Martin: The Grand Canyon University Antelopes are flying this season, winning their past eight games to move to 15-2. Martin is proving his all-round game off the bench with 4.8 points, 3.1 boards and 2.5 assists per contest.

Emmett Naar: Narr continues to lead Saint Mary’s with 13.4 points a game while shooting a ridiculous 54% from the field and 56% (32-57) from beyond the arc. Those numbers are backed up by 6.4 assists (second for the club) and a team-best 23 total steals. With a 14-2 record, the Gaels are unbeaten at home.

Dane Pineau: The final of the four male Centre of Excellence representatives playing for Saint Mary’s, Pineau is owning the boards with 8.3 a contest including 3.2 offensive rebounds which is double the amount of any of his team mates. Add to that 11.3 points and 25 total blocks (17 more than any team mate) and Pineau is proving himself as a dominant big man.

Ben Simmons: Louisiana State University have had a couple of slip-ups this year, including a three game losing streak that has placed them at 10-6 but it is through no fault of Simmons who is averaging a double-double of 20.6 points and 13.1 rebounds. Turnovers and fouls have been issues for him in a couple of games, such as a January 9 match against Florida in which he committed eight mistakes and five fouls but he balanced that with a ridiculous 28 points (out of 62) and 17 boards.

Cade Towers: Towers missed his first game for the Georgia South-Western State University Hurricanes on January 9 but has started 13 of their 15 games so far. His numbers have been hurt by a 24% shooting effort from the field but his 206cm frame provides an imposing presence under the rim for the Hurricanes.

Louise Brown: A key part of the Washington State University Cougars’ defensive structure, Brown sits first for blocks and second for steals while adding 5.5 points and more than an offensive rebound per game.

Stephanie Collins: As one of the three Australian women playing for the Southern Methodist University Mustangs, Collins has started every match as part of a powerful front court with Alicia Froling. With 8.8 points and a club best 2.5 blocks a contest, she has earned her role within the team while her passing is also an underrated aspect of her game.

Alicia Froling: Starting 14 of SMU’s 15 games, Froling has been a star with 12.1 points and 10.7 rebounds this season. She has 20 more offensive boards than any team mate at an average of 4.1 while she is also collecting more than a block a game.

Keely Froling: After a season-ending injury last year, Froling has returned to the court for five games this season. The sophomore started one of those matches and is averaging six points at 60% shooting as she settles back into the line-up alongside her sister and fellow Australia, Collins.

Carly Turner: Despite playing just 13 minutes a game, Turner is one of St. Mary’s leading shot blockers while adding 5.6 points a game at 44% shooting. Her shooting stroke is evident from her 89% effort from the free-throw line.

Nicole Seekamp: Seekamp is making the most of her final year with the University of South Dakota Coyotes, recently named as the Summit League December Athlete of the Month. Through that month, she averaged 16 points, six rebounds and an impressive 4.4 steals while on December 8, Seekamp recorded a double-double of 15 points and 11 assists.


Demi Skinner: The Chipola Athletics are having a stellar season, unbeaten on the road with a 15-3 record. Skinner is scoring 7.6 points, hitting a respectable 34% from the three-point line and pulling down 1.5 offensive boards a game.

Alanna Smith: A 22-point effort for Stanford University against Dayton on November 28 was a season-high for Smith as she nailed six three-pointers. Coming off the bench, she is averaging seven points a game and shooting at 51%.

Kristy Wallace: Following a 15-game winning streak to begin the season, Baylor University currently sit at 17-1 and 12-0 at home. Wallace has been one of the stars of the season, starting 12 of those games with an average of 7.8 points while her 19 made three-pointers help stretch the opposition defence. At the other end of the floor, she has collected 27 steals (third for the club).