May 16, 2014 - International Basketball League (IBL)
The southern California sunshine was kind to 6'2" G Andre Murray and the Vancouver Volcanoes, as the team kept their undefeated streak alive, and Murray, an LA native, padded his impressive opening season stats even more.
In the Volcanoes win over Venice Beach Warriors of the WCBL, Murray had 33 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Murray capped off the weekend with 35 points against the Santa Barbara Breakers, helping his team finish 2-0 on the Los Angeles road trip, thus earning him the IBL Player of the Week award presented by Prink Technologies.
Murray, who currently sits atop the IBL's In The Game Watch List, has spearheaded Vancouver's hot start, and as a result leads the league in points, assists, and steals per game. Vancouver Volcanoes assistant coach/GM Byran Hunter added, "Andre has come into the season the most determined I have ever seen him, he was in the best physical and mental shape ever. It is clear that he has something to prove and that is evident in his numbers. Andre has proven to his teammates and peers that he is the best player in the league."
The Volcanoes trip to southern California was actually a homecoming for Murray. "For my teammates I think it was a unique situation, many of them had never been in those parts before, but for me, it was more of a homecoming. I've spent a lot of time about 5 to 10 minutes from our games down there," Murray said.
On the season, Murray is averaging 34.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 8.5 assists in 41.0 minutes. Murray explained what's helped give him his quick start to the season, "I think maturation has a lot to do with it. As you get older, you learn more about yourself as a player. I try to add something different to my game every year, and this season has been no different."
However, Murray was quick to note that his teammates play a large part in his success. "We have a good group of guys that like hanging out with each other on and off the court. We've had great practices all season long, and fortunately we haven't had any injuries, so it's been the same group from the start. I think you can see the result of that out on the court when we play."
Murray and the Volcanoes will be back on their home court this Saturday, when they host one of their rivals from just across the bridge, the Portland Chinooks, at Clark College for a 7pm tip-off where jersey number twenty three will likely continue his 33 points per game average.
IBL week three game recaps
Week three of the IBL season featured a big win by Bellingham and Vancouver extending their unbeaten start to five games.
On May 9, the Bellingham Slam received a combined 52 points from 6'7" F Nick Moore and 6'5" C Blake Poole as they routed the Olympia Reign, 139-106, and evened their record at 2-2. A 14-4 run by Bellingham early in the second half extended the lead to 82-57 and the Slam didn't look back after that. With the Slam bench cleared and Olympia offering little resistance, Bellingham posted 45 points in the fourth quarter. Moore, playing against his former team for the first time, had a game-high 31 points to lead all scorers.
In Portland, the Chinooks received a double-double of 33 points and 15 rebounds from 6'9" F Jared Cunningham as they defeated the Salem Sabres 118-97. The Chinooks used a steady effort, outscoring Salem in every quarter, to earn the 21-point win. 6'6" F Germain Jordan, coming off a Player of the Week nod last week, scored 18 while 6'7" F Joe Burton had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Sabres.
In southern California, the Vancouver Volcanoes pulled off a pair of easy wins last weekend to run their record to a perfect 5-0, first defeating the Venice Beach Warriors 116-99 on May 9, before trouncing the Santa Barbara Breakers 147-103 on May 10. Andre Murray's 35 points led six Volcanoes players in double figures in that game, while 6'4" G Allan Purnell led the Breakers with 18 points.
In-game watch list for week four
The Salem Sabres' Mike Taylor comes in at #8 in this week's in-game watch list.
Photo by Brian Drake
1. 6'2" G Andre Murray (Vancouver Volcanoes)
The 2012 IBL MVP, Murray leads the IBL in points, assists, and steals per game. On the season, Murray is averaging 34.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 8.5 assists in 4 games for Vancouver this season. Murray is still averaging just one turnover so far, and has been an integral piece to Vancouver's 5-0 start.
2. 6'7" C Joe Burton (Salem Sabres)
Burton has put up impressive numbers to start the season for Salem. In two games for the Sabres, Burton leads the league in rebounds per game (14.5), and is third overall in scoring (22.5).
3. 6'5" C Blake Poole (Bellingham Slam)
The 2013 IBL Championship Game MVP is crushing it in the rebounding department. In four games for the Slam, Poole is averaging 16.5 points, 14.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 2.8 steals.
4. 6'6" F Germain Jordan (Portland Chinooks)
Jordan remains a huge part of the Chinooks success, and is averaging 25.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 6.7 assists in three games.. Jordan is a triple-double threat on a nightly basis.
5. 6'9" F Jared Cunningham (Portland Chinooks)
Cunningham got back to his scoring ways over the weekend. Now, in three games Cunningham is averaging 22.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in 36.3 minutes.
6. 6'10'' C Calvin Hampton (Vancouver Volcanoes)
The big man continues to be a force down low for head coach Joe Navarro. In addition to his 1.5 blocks per game, Hampton is averaging 13.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in 29.8 minutes.
7. 6'3'' G Morris Anderson (Bellingham Slam)
In four games, Anderson continues to shoot over 50% from long range, and is averaging 21.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.0 assists.
8. 6'5'' G Mike Taylor (Salem Sabres)
In two games, the former Harlem Globetrotter is averaging 21.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists in 37.5 minutes.
9. 6'6'' F Jermaine Blackburn (Portland Chinooks)
The former Boise State Bronco is averaging an impressive 15.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 36.7 minutes for the Portland Chinooks.
10. 6'9'' C Austin Bragg (Bellingham Slam)
In four games (four starts), Bragg has contributed nicely in the post position for the Slam. The Western Washington alum is averaging 10.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 27.8 minutes.