Mbah A Moute Starts Season Well

The 6-6 small forward committed to UCLA, <B>Luc Richard Mbah A Moute</b>, has started off very well in his senior season. We get an update from his high school coach...

Shortly before leaving for the prestigious Iolani Prep Classic tournament in Honolulu, Montverde (Fla.) Academy head coach Kevin Sutton took some time from his busy schedule to update Bruin Report Online on his team and their captain, senior UCLA wing signee Luc Richard Mbah A Moute.

The Eagles have started off their 2004-2005 season 2-2 and are currently ranked number fifteen in the state of Florida by On Friday, December 17, in their first round game in Honolulu, they were to square off against Kailua (Hawaii) Kalaheo High School, with the winner to advance to the Monday quarterfinals, most likely against Louisville (Ky.) Male High School. If the Eagles reach the semifinals their opponent will probably be Los Angeles (Calif.) Fairfax High School and Duke power forward signee Jamal Boykin. The other half of the Iolani Prep Classic bracket includes New York City powerhouses Xaverian High School, with senior Pittsburgh point guard signee Levance Fields, and Rice High School, with elite junior power forward Curtis Kelly and elite junior point guard Edgar Sosa.

So far this season, Luc is averaging 21 points (which leads the team), 10 rebounds (which leads the team), 5 assists (second on the team), 3 steals (third on the team), and 3 blocked shots (second on the team) per game. His shooting percentages are 51% from inside the three-point line (second on the team), 36% from beyond the three-point line (which leads the team), and 80% from the free throw line (which leads the team).

Coach Sutton, who stresses versatility in his system, has used Luc at every position on the floor except center. "Luc's combination of size, strength, athletic ability, high basketball IQ, and work ethic is going to continue to serve him well. I am certain that the staff at UCLA will continue to develop him to reach his potential," said Coach Sutton.

But make no mistake, Luc is being provided a tremendous foundation in basketball fundamentals at the private international boarding school under Coach Sutton, an impressive figure in his own right, whose coaching career of over 19 years has included stints as a long-time assistant under legendary high school head coach Stu Vetter (who with Sutton developed UCLA players Cameron Dollar and Rico Hines at St. John's Prospect Hall) and as an assistant at James Madison University and Old Dominion University. Now in his second season as the head coach at Montverde Academy, where he also serves as the school's Director of College Counseling, Coach Sutton has already had five Eagle players sign to play with Division I programs. His first Eagle squad finished 23-2 and was ranked number 21 in the country by USA Today.

"I place a very high premium on having character over talent," said Coach Sutton, when asked about his coaching philosophy. "I use the game of basketball to grow my student-athletes spiritually, academically, socially, and athletically."

No wonder Coach Sutton was so expansive in discussing Luc's accomplishments off the basketball court. "He is a young man who has tremendous character and has the potential for greatness in his life," Coach Sutton said about the native of Cameroon. "He is an honor roll student, speaks several languages, was appointed a member of our school's Judicial Council by the headmaster, is a member of the Bible Club, and has assisted me in running our lower school basketball enrichment program. So to say that he is well rounded is an understatement."

Coach Sutton is obviously very proud of Luc and will be relying on his leadership throughout the season. "He has a very bright future," concludes the head coach of the Eagles, who clearly is talking about more than just basketball when it comes to this future Bruin.

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