Los Angeles — Max Agbonkpolo had no low season to herald a breakout season. Shortly after the start of summer time, the USC Wing really landed awkwardly and broke his leg. After surgical procedure to insert the screws, the rising junior was out for months.
All he might do was sit in a chair throughout follow and work on dealing with and taking pictures the ball with out placing weight on his toes till it was cleared in August in the midst of the preseason.
“Heartbreaking,” Avon Kupolo defined.
However whether or not it was a whole low season or not, Agbonkpolo nonetheless took the following step within the Malicious program. Juniors common their profession greatest with factors (8.4), rebounds (3.6) and area purpose shoots (47.1%). Within the opening spherical of Pac-12 towards Utah on Wednesday, Avon Kupolo scored 11 within the second half, forward of Utah to complete with 16 factors. This is likely one of the highest 17 factors in my profession earned earlier this season.
“Actually, that’s actually assured for me,” mentioned Avon Kupolo at 6’9. “This 12 months, with the confidence of the gamers and coaches, I’m inspired to play rather well.”
You’ll be able to see confidence in courtroom. In his first two seasons, Agbonkpolo gave the impression to be unhealthy at taking pictures, particularly with three pointers. His quantity within the space hasn’t improved, however Agbonkpolo comfortably steps into his shot and laughs at his 22.7% mark throughout the arc.
On common, solely 7.3 minutes per sport as a freshman and 16.0 minutes as a sophomore, many pupil athletes in in the present day’s video games would have opted for a switch. Nonetheless, Agbonkpolo relied on the teaching workers’s imaginative and prescient for him.
“It’s laborious, however I’m guiding them on my facet, saying,’You’ll get higher, you’ll get higher,’” mentioned Avon Kupolo. “I simply needed to watch for my time. Final 12 months was a very good workforce. Within the 12 months of freshmen we had a terrific workforce. I needed to watch for my time and now I really feel that point. “
Agbonkpolo knew that his position was targeted on his protection. That is the one strategy to get and keep minutes below Andy Enfield, and that’s why Avon Kupolo began 3 times in seven video games, which matches the entire variety of begins within the first two seasons mixed.
“We want his scoring capacity and size, and a defensive rebound,” mentioned USC head coach Andy Enfield. “Even when he isn’t scoring, he impacts his athletic capacity, and if he rebounds, steals, blocks pictures, he wins.”
On condition that Agbon Kupolo spent most of his low season in his chair, it wasn’t a nasty begin for junior small forwards and USCs. The USC will attempt to prolong the 7-0 begin on Saturday on the highway in Washington.
“I like this workforce. This workforce is nice,” Agbonkpolo mentioned. “I believe we’re going to do large issues.”
Washington State USC (7-0, 1-0 Pac-12) (6-1, 1-0)
when: Saturday at 3:00 pm
the place: Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, Wash.
TV / Radio: Pac-12 Community / AM790
No. 20 USC men’s basketball gains as Max Agbonkpolo’s confidence grows – Press Telegram Source link No. 20 USC men’s basketball gains as Max Agbonkpolo’s confidence grows – Press Telegram