I’ve been away for a week, and I return to get word (thanks to an email from GrandPa Bear) that Max Zhang apparently has been transformed into Wilt Chamberlain at the World University Games in Belgrade.
Well, probably not. But the Bears’ 7-foot-2 1/4 redshirt sophomore center is standing the World University Games on its ear, averaging an astonishing 15.0 points, 17.3 rebounds and 6.7 blocked shots through three games.
Here’s his game-by-game rundown:
— 15 points, 16 rebounds and eight blocks in a 90-79 loss to Italy on Friday.
— 12 points, 15 rebounds and 10 blocks in a 100-83 loss to Canada on Saturday.
— 18 points, 22 rebounds and two blocks in an 85-79 loss to Australia today.
Yes, that’s three double-doubles and a triple-double against three legit opponents. Who knows what Zhang might do Tuesday when China faces Iran.
Given that Max totaled 20 points, 17 rebounds and 13 blocks in 15 games for the Bears last season, his performance in Belgrade calls into question the level of competition at the World University Games.
Regardless, this has to be regarded as a significant breakthrough for Zhang, who is sure to return to Cal brimming with the confidence that can only come from achievement. Will be intriguing to see how it translates.