Yesterday was the start of the NCAA season and already we saw some very nice performances from our Belgian representatives.
The UCSB Gauchos tipped off their season with a nice 75-59 win over San Francisco State. Ajay Mitchell got the starting nod and responded with a 10 pts & 10 asts Double-Double, while also adding 4 rebs & 2 stls in a total of 27 minutes played. Unfortunately he did struggle somewhat with his shooting as he only knocked down 3 of his 10 attempts (1 of 5 from behind the arc) and also added 6 turnovers.
The Weber State Wildcats saw their season start with a 69-52 loss on the road against Washington. In his first game with Weber State Belgian guard Steven Verplancken did his thing though and ended up with 12 points on 4/9 FG shooting, including 2/5 from behind the arc as he got the starting nod and played a total of 29 minutes.
The Houston Christian University Huskies (formerly Houston Baptist) tipped-off their season with a 77-66 loss on the road against FIU. Forward Sam Hofman got the starting nod and led the team with his 10 rebounds to go along with 7 pts and 4 asts in his 22 minutes of action.
The Dayton Flyers had no issues in their season home-opener as they defeated Lindenwood with the 73-46 final score. Belgian forward Toumani Camara was again a jack-of-all-trades, ending up with 6 pts, a team-leading 11 rebs, 2 asts, 2 stls and 2 blks in 30 minutes of action as a starter.
The Stetson Hatters got their season started with a nice 74-83 win at Florida State. For the Hatters our two Belgian representatives got into action. Point Guard Stephan Dibongue Swenson got the starting nod and added 8 pts, 3 rebs, 7 asts & 1 stl in 23 minutes of action, while Big Man Aubin Gateretse came off the bench to record 4 pts, 1 reb, 1 stl & 1 blk in 12 minutes of playing time.
In a close game the Kansas City Roos led almost the entire game but eventually gave away their lead in the closing minutes as they fell to Lincoln (MO) with the 56-59 final score. In his first game with the Roos Allen Mukeba immediately showed why they signed him in the first place, finishing with the 13 pts & 12 rebs Double-Double, while also blocking a game-high 3 shots in 33 minutes of action as a starter. His younger brother Logan Mukeba did not get any playing time.
In the NJCAA the action has started at the end of October for most schools. Let’s see how our Belgian youngsters are doing so far:
Daniel Bula (Western Nebraska): In his first game in the USA Bula immediately showed his skills as he helped his team to the lobsided 101-58 win against Adams State Junior Varsity. Bula came off the bench and played a total of 20 minutes in which he scored 14 pts and added 4 rebs, 1 ast, 1 stl & 1 blk.
Tom Mark (Tallahassee): In his first game with the Tallahassee Eagles, Mark got the starting nod and helped them to the win at Florida Manatee-Sarasota with his 13 pts, 8 rebs & 2 blks.
Samuel Swolfs (Otero): In 3 games the freshman guard has helped Otero to a 2-1 record, averaging 3.0 ppg, 2.0 apg & 2.3 spg coming off the bench. He had a season-high 7 pts & 4 stls in the win against Nationwide Academy.
Manu Musemena (Mineral Area): As their starting guard Musemena is having a solid start of the season, helping his team to a 2-1 record so far, while averaging 8.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 1.7 apg & 1.7 spg. He had his best game in the season opening win against Missouri Baptist when he finished with 13 pts & 4 asts.
Tom Di Maria (Santa Fe): In his first season in the States Di Maria had a solid start, recording 7 pts, 5 rebs, 3 asts & 2 stls in 20 minutes of action in the season-opening win against PHS Academy. Unfortunately in the second game of the season, Di Maria only played 5 minutes in which he was unable to score.
Hugo Mattioli (Panola): Mattioli has come off the bench so far, helping his team to a 3-0 record as he’s averaging 6.0 ppg, getting all of his point from behind the arc as he’s currenly 6-17 (35%) on his 3-pt shots.
Reumang Emagna (Cuesta): In the season opening win against West Hills Lemoore, Emagna came off the bench and recorded 2 pts & 5 rebs in 17 minutes of action.
Vic De Wilde (Lamar): In 2 games so far this season De Wilde is averaging 5.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg & 2.5 apg, while playing 21.0 mpg as Lamar currently holds a 0-2 record.
Alan Kikwaki (Dakota Wesleyan): Inserted into the starting line-up in both of their games so far Kikwaki is having a solid start of the season, averaging 14.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg & 1.0 bpg, while playing 33.5 mpg, helping Dakota Wesleyan to a 1-1 record.