The Daily Barometer Athlete of the Week: Ahmad Starks
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 03:11
Ahmad Starks has opened the season for the Beavers as an unstoppable force on the hardwood.
After two games, Starks is averaging 25.5 points, three assists, six rebounds and two steals per game. His stellar start to the year has earned him this week’s Daily Barometer Athlete of the Week honors.
Prior to his 33-point effort against New Mexico State on Sunday night, Starks’ previous career-high was 24 points against Cal last season. It is not too often that a player begins the season averaging more points than their previous career-high.
Starks’ impressive performance against New Mexico State was particularly timely, considering three of the Beavers’ top scorers had off nights. Junior guard Roberto Nelson, junior forward Devon Collier and sophomore forward Eric Moreland combined for 13 points, well below the 50 points the three combined for in the season-opener.
“Some of my jump shots weren’t even working, but I just kept attacking and attacking,” Starks said after the game. “We were down early and I just wanted to do something to give us the lead and we were able to keep it.”
Starks said Monday that this year’s team has been meshing better on defense and on offense than last season, and there is no doubt that his leadership at the point guard position has contributed to that.
“I’m way more vocal than I’ve ever been, probably in my whole basketball career,” Starks said. “That’s helping with getting the guys in order and getting them in spots, and everything’s flowing a little bit better.”
The Beavers nonconference schedule gets a little bit tougher this week as they travel to Madison Square Garden to take part in the 2K Sports Classic. Playing teams like Alabama and No. 7 Kansas over the next few weeks, Starks has high hopes for this year’s squad.
“I want our record to be as close as possible to how it was in preseason last time,” Starks said. “If that happens, [our Ratings Percentage Index] will be better, and it will better prepare us for Pac-12 play and also looking for the NCAA Tournament down the road.”