March Madness, meet Max Abmas.
The 6-1, 165-pound second-year goalie Oral Roberts helped lead the Golden Eagles from 15 seeds to a incredible upheaval in the state of Ohio, 2 seeds in the first round of the 2021 NCAA tournament. He scored 29 points on 10 of 24 shots (including 5 of 10 from 3-point field), caught five rebounds and distributed three assists in the 75-72 overtime win.
At first glance, Abmas may seem like a player who showed up at the perfect time and on the biggest stage. But he was consistently dominant throughout his two years at Oral Roberts, and his Friday play was just the latest such.
Here’s everything you need to know about Abmas, who helped Oral Roberts grant at least one more contest in the NCAA tournament:
Abmas last name is pronounced ‘ACE-miss’
You might be tempted to pronounce Abmas’ name like “AB-mas”, but it is actually pronounced “ACE-miss” – not a bad name, considering its propensity for close-ups.
Abmas leads all Division I players in points per game
Abmas’ 29-point explosion on Friday was great, but it wasn’t the first time he has scored in batches. Entering the NCAA tournament, Abmas led all Division I players with 24.4 points per game. Luka Garza of Iowa, 2021 Sporting News Player of the Year, is averaging 23.7. Abmas also placed third nationally in pre-tournament points total with 609, behind only Cameron Thomas (611) and Garza (687) of LSU.
He’s also hit several 3-pointers in at least 21 games, including at least four in 13 games.
Abmas has played well against big opponents before
Don’t let the Golden Eagles’ Summit League competition fool you into thinking Abmas compiled his stats against shoddy competition: He also had big games against NCAA Missouri tournament teams (18 points) , Wichita State (29), Oklahoma State (36) and Oklahoma (20). All of these games resulted in losses.
How did Abmas get to Oral Roberts?
According to Rivals.com, Abmas received only four scholarship offers: Air Force, Army, Navy and, of course, Oral Roberts. The Dallas, Texas Jesuit High School product ended up going with the private Christian university in Oklahoma, where he majors in biomedical chemistry.