OSU coach continues to see improvement in Kosta Koufos
BY Mike Popovich
REPOSITORY SPORTS WRITER
PUTTING ONE UP Ohio State's Kosta Koufos shoots over Indiana's D.J. White during Sunday's game in Columbus. OSU Head Coach Thad Matta says he continues to see improvement in Koufos' game.
AP TERRY GILLIAM
The big guy is making some big strides.
Head Coach Thad Matta certainly likes the improvement he is seeing in Kosta Koufos' low post game. Ohio State's 7-foot center from GlenOak High School is coming off an 18-point, 9-rebound outing in Sunday's loss to Indiana. One of Koufos' eight baskets came on a spin move around a defender along the baseline.
"Dating back to the second half of the Tennessee game (Jan. 19), I thought he started making some big strides," Matta said. "I've been very pleased with the progress he's making."
Koufos leads Big Ten freshmen in rebounding (6.7 per game), blocked shots (45), offensive rebounds (62) and defensive rebounds (98).
"He got a couple of rebounds Sunday that were out of his area," Matta said. "He tipped them, kept them alive and snatched them."
Reach Repository sports writer Mike Popovich at (330) 580-8341 or e-mail: [email protected]
Rubio named FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year
(Koufos came in 4th place)
MUNICH (Young Men's Player of the Year) - The votes are in and Spain and DKV Joventut star Ricky RUBIO has been named the FIBA Europe Young Men's Player of the Year.
Rubio won handily in a vote of both fans and an expert panel of basketball journalists, players and coaches. Milos Teodosic of Serbia and Olympiacos finished second while Marco Belinelli of Italy and the NBA's Golden State Warriors won a close battle for third with fellow Italian Danilo Gallinari and Konstantinos Koufos of Greece
Rubio led Spain to a fifth place finish at the Under-18 European Championship Men in August, where he averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists per contest while shooting nearly 50% from behind the three-point line.
He has been playing a bigger part for club side DKV Joventut as well, averaging 12.5 points per contest, second only to last year's Young Men's Player of the Year Rudy Fernandez, while dishing out 3.5 assists per game.
"It's been clear in the last few seasons that Ricard Rubio is one of the most exciting young players in Europe or any part of the world for that matter." Said FIBA Europe President George Vassilakopoulos.
"His exploits for both country and club make him a very deserving winner."
"I still remember his performance at the Under-16 European Championship Men two years ago (51 points, 24 rebounds and 12 assists)," commented FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin. "I think we all knew then and there that we were watching someone special."
The second place finisher Teodosic also had an impressive year leading Serbia to gold at the Under-20 European Championship Men and playing a significant role in the senior team's efforts at EuroBasket 2007 in Spain.
Young Men Poy
1. Ricky Rubio, Spain
2. Milos Teodosic, Serbia
3. Marco Belinelli, Italy
4. Konstantinos Koufos, Greece
5. Danilo Gallinari, Italy
6. Milan Macvan, Serbia
7 Nicolas Batum, France
8. Alexey Shved, Russia
9. Vladimir Dasic, Montenegro
10. Mladen Jeremic, Serbia