Du’Vaughn Maxwell looks at his self-described slump as a professional.
“You’ve got to stay active, stay in the gym, stay at it. This is the toughest slump I’ve been in in my two years as a pro, but it’s part of the game,” said the Island Storm power forward. “I’m not playing well for my team. I haven’t been able to get into any type of rhythm, but I’ve been a great leader and a great teammate so that goes a long way.”
A slump for Maxwell is over 15 points per game and over five rebounds per game. Those aren’t bad numbers he takes into Thursday’s matchup with the Niagara River Lions in Charlottetown.
Tip off for the National Basketball League of Canada game is 7 p.m. at Eastlink Centre.
Maxwell arrived in the NBL through the NCAA Division I Hampton Pirates, then a stint in Mexico last season before landing with the Storm this year.
He’s started six of seven games and is averaging 35.4 minutes and almost two blocks per, so his head coach Tim Kendrick has confidence in the Petersburg, Va., native.
“We are very pleased with Du’Vaughn, both on and off the court. He s a very solid player at both ends of the floor and is one of our leaders” said Kendrick.
It’s the first meeting between Niagara and the Storm this season. Both teams are 4-3. Niagara is second in the Central Division, while the Storm is third in the Atlantic Division.
For Maxwell, playing an unknown team boils down to watching film and focusing on what his team does well.
Also unknown to Maxwell this year was dealing with a new league and team, but he said he’s adjusted relative well although there is still much work to do.
“The easiest was defence. I hang my hat on that. (The hardest adjustment) was a new style of play, new league, new coach, new teammates, everything is new here. I’m new here,” Maxwell said with a laugh.
Marvell Waithe leads the River Lions with 17.1 points per game, while Omar Strong is second at 14.1 points per game including third in the league in three-point shooting percentage (55.8). Samuel Muldrow is fifth overall in rebounding with 9.4 boards per game.
Franklin Session and Andre Stringer pace the Storm at 18.7 and 17.6 points per game, respectively.
Kendrick said the team is healthy and everyone is in for Thursday.
A look at the Island Storm and Niagara River Lions this season.
Record - Niagara: 4-3 (2nd in Central Division); Island Storm - 4-3 (3rd in Atlantic Division).
Points Per Game - Niagara: 104.3 (6th overall); Island Storm: 99.9 (9th overall).
Points Allowed Per Game - Niagara: 101.0 (2rd overall); Island Storm: 102.1 (4th overall).
Shooting Percentage - Niagara: 45.8 (2nd overall); Island Storm: 43.2 (8th overall).
Three-Point Percentage - Niagara: 37.2 (3rd overall); Island Storm: 32.3 (6th overall).
Free Throw Percentage - Niagara: 74.2 (4th); Island Storm: 65.5 (9th overall).
Total Rebounds Per Game - Niagara: 48.9 (3rd overall); Island Storm - 43.9 (8th overall).