#ZoneBuster living up to the standard

Alex North’s versatility allows him to make an impact in every game even if he isn’t scoring at his normal rate of 15 points per game. After breaking his career high for rebounds in his last game against Northeastern State pulling down 20 points, he now averages 9.6 per game.

Jake Wingo, [email protected], is sophomore mass media major

Coaches in any sport will always covet versatility, junior forward Alex North is the definition of versatility.

At 6 feet 6 inches tall, his natural position is a small forward but with a lack of size on this year’s roster, he has played power forward and center all year. Most other teams start centers that are 6 feet 10 inches or taller, which is an obvious mismatch for North on both ends of the floor.

On the defensive end he is forced to cover players that typically have much more height and length but he credits the team’s strength and conditioning coach with his ability to make up for that discrepancy.

“Our weight coach has done a great job at making our whole team stronger,” said North. “I think that’s definitely part of it, but I just try to play hard and go after every rebound.”

After sitting out last season due to a head and knee injury. North has returned with a vengeance, he has nearly tripled his career averages of 5.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game before this season and has become one of the team’s best passers as well. While playing the most minutes on the team he’s second in scoring, first in rebounding and second in assists.

That versatility allows him to make an impact in every game even if he isn’t scoring at his normal rate of 15 points per game. After breaking his career high for rebounds in his last game against Northeastern State pulling down 20 points, he now averages 9.6 per game. 

“I just try to outwork them,” said North. “When rebounding, I try to get better position by using my quickness.”

To add to his near double-double average he’s also making his teammates better. His 3.3 assists per game are good enough for second on the team. That ranking would be impressive for a small forward but is far more impressive now that he is playing center on a regular basis.

North has turned his injury into a positive, rather than letting it hold him back.

“I was honestly just happy to be back playing after sitting out last year,” said North. “I mostly worked on my face-up game once I was cleared for activity but I also did a lot of shooting and ball handling.”

That work has been evident as he’s shooting an outstanding 50.6 percent from the field so far this season. Any time a player is shooting near 40 percent from behind the arc they are considered a great shooter. North is more than that to the point that he is shooting a mind-boggling 46 percent. To put in perspective, that would be good enough for fifth best in the NBA.

That three-point shooting ability has been much needed in order to space the floor for the team’s leading scorer junior guard Kyle Wiggins and due to the lack of inside scoring for the Ichabods.

With the Bods off to a solid 14-3 start for the year, North has big aspirations for this year’s squad.

“Conference champions is a very achievable goal and getting a good seed going into regionals is important,” said North. “From there, making a late season run at a national championship is next on the list.”

The sharpshooter looks to live up to his Twitter bio “#ZoneBuster” this Thursday on the road when the team takes on the University of Nebraska-Kearney.