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Rugby’s inside man

Houim finds a home in the post

January 14, 2010
Matt Mullally

It's easy to spot Rugby forward Michael Houim on the basketball court.

Just look under the basket.

That's where the senior sets up shop for the Panthers. "Yeah, I don't roam very far from there,' he quipped.

And that's a good thing, because Rugby relies on No. 41 to provide consistent scoring in the post as well as rebounding.

"He works really hard, especially on the offensive end,' said Rugby coach Mike Santjer. "His athleticism allows him to be an effective (post) player."

Houim is averaging 12 points per game and many of his points don't come easy. He's often getting bumped or pushed around and seldom gets an uncontested shot off.

"You have to go up strong to the basket,' Houim said. "We work on drills in practice to prepare us to take shots with pressure and with contact."

The two-year starter is getting quite comfortable in the post, and while some players shy away from the physical nature of playing inside, Houim thrives on it.

"I like being right there (in the middle) getting after it,' he said.

Houim admits he's not the most fundamentally-sound player, but his hard-nosed style and athleticism make up for it.

In addition to being the Panthers' most consistent scorer, he's also been the team's top rebounder, averaging 10 per game.

Santjer said Houim's leaping ability and good anticipation of where the ball will come off the rim has allowed him to come away with the ball.

While Houim's high energy level provides a much-needed spark to the offense, he admits he still has room for improvement.

"I need to improve my defensive game,' Mike said. "I have to be better at getting back down the court and getting in good position (to make a stop),' he said.

The good news is Houim still has the second half of the season to shore up his defense to complement his already strong offensive game.

 
 

 

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