New Point Guard Says He Believes He Fits In

Comments from Malcolm Canada and his junior college coach are featured in this Auburn basketball recruiting report.

Austin, Tex.--Malcolm Canada says it didn't take him long to figure out that he and Auburn would be a good fit.

The newest member of Coach Tony Barbee's basketball team, he will be starting classes at Auburn on Monday and is expected to compete for the starting point guard job as a junior for the 2013-14 season.

At six-foot-three, 215 pounds, the Texan will have two seasons of eligibility for the Tigers after playing the past two seasons at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. He earned third team junior college All-America honors as a sophomore while playing for the Panthers.

He was planning to attend Tulane, but that college wanted him to take an extra math class prior to enrolling at the school in New Orleans. He notes he didn't have time to get that done this summer so he began to look at other options.

"When things didn't work out with Tulane my coach (Troy Muilenberg) told me there was an opportunity for me to visit Auburn," Canada says. "When I visited there on Tuesday I realized that I didn't need to look anywhere else."

With just one point guard on the roster for the upcoming season, the Tigers were looking for another player at that position to go along with incoming freshman Tajh Shamsid-Deen.

"On my visit to Auburn I really liked all of the coaches there," he says. "It is a good opportunity. I played some with Tajh and he is a really good player and a good guy. I think we will be able to work well together and I am going to enjoy playing with him."

Muilenberg says the Tigers are adding a player who should be able to help Barbee's team.

"First of all he's a great kid," the Ellsworth Community College coach says. "He does so many things for a team. He handles the ball very well, especially for such a big guard. He will surprise people with that.

"His passing skills are fantastic," the coach says. "He also improved his jump shot while he was here. That is probably the area he improved the most."

Muilenberg notes that one of Canada's friends played for Ellsworth and that is what prompted the Texan to play for the Division II juco program in Iowa Falls. Factoring into the decision was the improvement his friend made offensively while playing for Muilenberg and his staff.

"That is probably a major reason why he came here," the coach says. "He had a chance to go to (juco) Division I programs, but he wanted to work on his jump shot and liked what we had done with his friend."

The coach notes that his point guard handled himself very well against the top competition Ellsworth played, including an Indian Hills team that featured eight Division I signees. "Indian Hills likes to pressure full-court and Malcolm did a fantastic job in the two games against those guys," Muilenberg says.

The coach notes that the point guard likes to push the tempo and thrives in that style of game. Canada agrees that he likes to play fast while attacking the hoop to setting up scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. "I enjoy taking the ball inside," he says. "I also like to shoot mid-range and I like to take the floaters."

Prior to playing juco ball, Canada says he was a three-year starter at Akins High in Austin, Tex., where he averaged 19.6 points per game as a senior.

As a juco sophomore he averaged 20.2 points, 5.2 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals for Ellsworth Community College. He averaged 12.5 points, 5.94 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.45 steals as a freshman.

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