haster123 is already all over this, but I thought I'd throw it up here in some more detail. Anyway, our favorite Cameroonian Prince is making some serious waves for the Milwaukee Bucks. The Milwaukee press is discovering what we Bruins have known about Mbah a Moute for years: he's a tenacious defender who gives it to anyone, anywhere, anytime. In fact, they're making some telling comparisons:
Who was the last rookie to actually help a team defensively?
Probably Tim Duncan.
For the Bucks, it was a guy named Sidney Moncrief.
Already, this is the class Mbah a Moute is approaching.
Now, I'm not saying the Prince is the next Timmy D. But to be mentioned in the same sentence as a sure-fire Hall-of-Famer is some compliment. Especially for a rookie taken in the second round. And the praise isn't coming from just the local media, but from his seasoned NBA veteran teammates:
"It's not a matter of where you're drafted," Jefferson said. "It's a matter of if you can play basketball. And he can play basketball. Already, he's been asked to guard the best players on the other team. When you're asked to do that, there is no higher compliment you can be paid as an individual."
Richard Jefferson's been around for a while. Played with J-Kidd and Vinsanity. I think the guy knows talent. And Jefferson isn't alone. Their coach is loving what the Prince brings:
"When we picked him we knew he was an NBA-ready defender, but he needed improvement on his offensive game," Skiles said. "Then we saw him work and the energy and the effort he put into it. His offensive game is going to come around. He's making shots and doing a lot of good things."
The most-telling piece of information about the Prince is both his line recently against the Wizards, but that the Bucks trust a second-round pick to take a game-deciding shot:
Against the Wizards, he made eight of 10 for 17 points. The Bucks had the confidence in him to let him try a game-winner in regulation. He took the baseline in overtime. He made the jumper that finished Washington. He had six rebounds. He is becoming a complete player the right way, by leading with defense.
The best part is that other NBA fans are just now discovering how special of a player the Prince is:
Second round pick Luc Mbah a Moute has outplayed first round pick Joe Alexander thus far. Skiles likes Mbah a Moute’s great defense and toughness, which he learned playing in Ben Howland’s system at UCLA for three years.
And this comes from the Bucks' blog here at SBN, Brew Hoop:
Luc Mbah a Moute. It's becoming a broken record, isn't it? Another game, another big performance from the 37th overall pick. Though he missed the potential winner at the fourth quarter buzzer, Luc was again a catalyst and continues to show much more polish on the offensive end than anyone expected with 17 points on a tidy 8/10 shooting, including some big hoops late. And on defense it was the same old story, as he helped contain Antawn Jamison to just 6/19 shooting.
As UCLAbruin920, tasser10, Bruingirl83, and haster123 pointed out, the message to elite recruits everywhere is crystal clear: come to UCLA, play for Ben Howland, learn to play in-your-jersey defense, get drafted to the NBA, become another Bruin NBA success story.