American University’s Bright Future

A look at American University's two freshman Mark Gasperini and Sa'eed Nelson

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Parcells once said you are what your record says you are. From the outside looking in, you might think that’s true but there are times a team’s record is misleading. That’s certainly the case in Tenleytown as American University’s record stands at 0-4 but it isn’t your typical winless team.

American has close losses against Big Ten power Maryland and UConn-killer, Wagner. In the Maryland game, the Eagles led by four with 7:34 left in the 62-56 loss to the Terps. Against Wagner, the Eagles led by as much as 8 points before the Seahawks experience took over in route to a 73-65 victory. Sandwiched between those two losses were setbacks at Texas A&M and Akron.

But, despite American’s record, there’s plenty excitement over Mark Gasperini and Sa’eed Nelson. The pair of freshman have led the Eagles in scoring in 2 out of the first 4 games and have played well above their age.

Gasperini is a big man who can step out and hit the jumper when need be. There was a stretch in the Wagner game where he hit a rolling hook to the baseline, a rolling hook in the lane and then finished with back to back three pointers. The 6’ 9” Gasperini will be a match up problem all season as he’s gotten off to a great start averaging 11.5 points (40% from the 3-point line) and 5 rebounds per game.

Freshman Sa’eed Nelson is a speedy point guard who can cause defenses with his ability to drive by his defender. He has also been somewhat of an iron man playing 37 and 40 minutes in his last two game. Nelson has scored double digits in 3 out of his first 4 games of his college career highlighted by a 24-point performance against Wagner. In the second half of the Wagner game, Nelson scored 11 straight points for the Eagles.

Every school in every conference wants to have a top-notch point guard and a versatile big man. Not only does American University have both but they have them as freshman. So with all respect to Bill Parcells, you aren’t always what your record says you are when your future is bright.

About Marcus Washington 149 Articles
Born and raised in the DMV, Marcus Washington is a former high school basketball coach and currently a member of the USBWA and FWAA.

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