Canadians In NCAA: Melvin Ejim Big Double-Double, Khem Birch Brings Consistency
Programs across the NCAA are reaping the benefits from strong Canadian contributions. With one school tying its best start in history (Iowa State), there is another program that needs a consistent effort from their star centre on the rise this season.
@NorthPoleHoops continues coverage of Canadians in NCAA.
Melvin Ejim (Toronto, ON) is having his best season as a Iowa State Cyclone. The senior wing is experiencing career highs in almost every major statistical category. But what really speaks volumes about Ejim’s play, and most importantly his leadership, is his team’s impressive start. With last nights 83-60 win over Akron, Iowa State has now tied their best start (10-0) in school history. Ejim had a great overall game as he scored 21 points (7-9 FG, 3-3 3PT, 4-4 FT) grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out 4 assists, blocked 2 shots and had one steal. Ejim has now posted back-to-back double doubles (14 PTS, 11 AST against George Mason) for the first time this season.
Consistency has been the key for UNLV’s Khem Birch (Montreal, QC). Birch was able to post 11 points (3-5 FG, 5-6 FT), 8 rebounds, 1 assists, 3 blocks and 1 steal in UNLV’s 82-66 win over Mississippi State. The talented big man has now scored double digits in 4 of his last 5 contests and after a rough 3-4 start, the Running Rebels have won 5 consecutive games.
Duane Notice (Toronto, ON) is steadily improving. After scoring career-high 11 points his last time out, Notice posted a new person record Tuesday, scoring 13 points (5-10 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2-4 FT) adding 2 rebounds and 1 assist. Notice also recorded a career-high 33 minutes of playing time. South Carolina lost 80-54 last night to Boise State. NPH has tracked Notice his entire high school career, where his work ethic and mental toughness was evident. Expect notice to continue impacting South Carolina in a positive way.
Another Toronto guard that is steadily earning minutes and having a defensive impact is Malcolm Duvivier. In Oregon State’s last four games there has been an increase in Duviver’s minutes. This freshman played his most minutes to date with 17 in yesterday’s 58-54 win over George Mason. He played signature Duvivier defense and kept pressure on George Mason guards in their half court sets. Duvivier registered six points on 2-2 from deep.
In high school, Notice and Duvivier combined to create a star guard duo at St Mikes that was tough to stop. Here is a fatback NPH photo.