It has been an eventful week of basketball for the Salt Lake Community College Bruins, who played two games over the weekend along with a hard-fought contest on Tuesday. The weekend was business as usual for SLCC. They started it off by defeating Eastern Wyoming College 65–49 and followed it up by trampling the Utah All Stars 128-92.
Tuesday, however, was a much different story. The Bruins started off their game against College of Southern Idaho hot, just like they have in all their other outings this season. In the first half they were able to lead by as much as 16 points. CSI responded by scoring a flurry of buckets that dwindled SLCC’s lead down to 7 as they went into the half with a score of 43 – 36.
CSI was able to carry that momentum into the second half where they put up 54 points, the most points the Bruins have given up in a half all season. Despite Sophomore Sam Hoffman shooting a perfect 5–5 from beyond the arch the Bruins weren’t able to hold on to their lead as they were handed their first loss of the season. The final score was 90-82.
Amidst the highs and lows of this week of SLCC basketball, there have been two Bruins who have stood out. These players are consistently making winning plays and stuffing the stat sheets while they’re at it. Here are the two players that stood out the most for the Bruins over the past week.
1. Jay Allen-Tovar
Jay is a strong 6’9” forward who scores well in the paint but isn’t afraid to stretch out to the three-point line or to face up and knock down mid-range jumpers. What really makes him special is his leaping ability. It’s not rare to see him swat a ball into the stands on one end of the floor and then see him stuff home an emphatic dunk on the other. He’s capable of making these momentum shifting plays anytime he’s on the floor.
He had a great scoring night against the All-Stars. He tallied 14 points on 6–7 shooting and followed it up with another efficient outing. He put up 15 points on 6-11 shooting against College of Southern Idaho later in the week.
Allen-Tovar is currently averaging 10.6 points-per-game along with 6.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks to go with it. Expect those numbers to rise throughout the course of the season. He seems to have found his groove offensively over the last few games. As their competition begins to ramp up, so will his minutes. The Bruins rely on him to be their anchor on defense, and a go to guy when they need a bucket. For some players, that can be a lot to ask for. However, with his high motor, it seems like he’s up for the challenge.
2. James Lee
Lee is a player that has been highlighted in our articles before. The more you watch him, the more impressed you become with his game. The 6’3” guard brings an explosiveness to his game that just can’t be ignored. He does a great job of running the fast breaks. This is a must for a team that forces as many turnovers as the Bruins do. Lee is also an outstanding finisher at the rim. He has a great feel for the game. He always seems to know when it’s time to make a bucket and when to make a play for one of his teammates.
Lee really shined this week, putting up 16 points and 7 assists against the All–Stars. He also had 17 points and 5 assists against CSI. These numbers go right along with his season average. He currently leads SLCC in both 16 points and 4.7 assists a game. Despite being a poor 3-point shooter thus far, shooting a pedestrian 23 percent from deep this season, he is still shooting an outstanding 55 percent from the field. For a volume scorer like Lee, this is no easy feat and we can only expect it to continue to rise as his three-point shooting improves.
These two players possess eye–popping talent that will undoubtedly help lead SLCC to more wins. In Coach Taylor’s system, any player can be a star on any given night. Keep an eye out to see which Bruins will shine next!
Featured image courtesy SLCC Basketball