CANMORE, Alta. — Last season, they won a total of three games, with their third win not coming until March 2nd, which was the regular season finale.
This season, they were picked to finish last in the MEAC in the conference preseason poll. Based on how they’ve played over their first four games, it’s safe to say that the North Carolina A&T Aggies have used all of that as motivation to prove people wrong.
As the month of November moves along, the Aggies sit at 3-1 after the first ten days of the season. They’ve already matched last season’s win total in the span of a week and a half. North Carolina A&T has been one of the bigger surprises so far this season, and they show no signs of slowing down.
A big reason for their quick turnaround has been the play of junior forward Femi Olujobi, who is in his first year with the program after transferring from the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.
He opened his career with the Aggies by scoring 34 points and pulling down 10 rebounds, and he has scored at least 20 points in all four games this season. This past week was no different, as he led the Aggies to a pair of wins to push their record to 3-1.
For his efforts over the past seven days, a stretch that saw him post a career-high 37 points and record his second double-double of the year, North Carolina A&T forward Femi Olujobi has been named the College Court Report Player of the Week for November 13 – 19, 2017!
After earning a split over the opening weekend of the 2017-18 season, Olujobi and the rest of the Aggies returned home for a date with the nation’s top scoring offense from a season ago.
North Carolina A&T welcomed The Citadel Bulldogs to town on Wednesday night in non-conference play. Last season, the Bulldogs averaged more than 89 points per game on offense, and had topped 90 points in both of their previous games.
On Wednesday, the Aggies stepped up their game on both ends of the floor. They held the Bulldogs to just 73 points, and rolled to the 19-point victory on their home floor, 92-73.
Olujobi was at the forefront of the attack on both ends of the floor. The native of Long Island, NY recorded a game-high 29 points to go along with nine rebounds in the win. He was also extremely effective from the floor, going 13-for-15 (86.7%) on the day. Olujobi played 37 minutes, which was also a season-high at the time.
After a brief stop on their home floor, the Aggies went back on the road for one game. They took on the Jacksonville Dolphins on Saturday, and while the game needed an extra five minutes of play to decide a winner, the Aggies made sure they returned home with yet another win.
Olujobi recorded 37 points, on 13-of-22 (59.1%) shooting from the field, and 18 rebounds to help the Aggies knock off the Dolphins in overtime, 90-82. He had a look at the end of regulation to give the Aggies the win, but his jumper was off the mark, and the game was off to extra time.
In overtime, Olujobi recorded three of North Carolina A&T’s 12 points to help them pull away for their first road win of the season.
For the season, the 6’8” Olujobi is averaging an even 30.0 points per game, while also pulling down 10.3 rebounds per contest. He is shooting 64.3% from the field, and 25.0% from three point range.
While it’s still early in the season, the play of Olujobi has been a pleasant surprise, and has been critical in the sudden turnaround for the Aggies. He is a big body in the paint, and opponents are having a tough time moving him away from the basket on both ends of the floor. He has shown flashes of being able to stretch the floor and hit shots from long range, which only adds another element to his repertoire.
It’s a shame that the national media haven’t given him the praise he deserves for his strong start to the season. Few players in the country have meant more to their team this early in the season than Olujobi with the Aggies.
For his efforts this past week, a stretch of two games that saw North Carolina A&T improve their record to 3-1, Aggies’ forward Femi Olujobi has been named the College Court Report Player of the Week for November 13 – 19, 2017!
– T. Bennett
Nov. 10 – 12, 2017: Geno Crandall, North Dakota Fighting Hawks
**College Court Report Player of the Week recipients are selected from teams in the following conferences:
America East, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon League, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Southern, Southland, Summit League, SWAC, Sun Belt, West Coast, and WAC