Michael Hundley to play overseas

Noah Cloonan

Former Ashland University men’s basketball player, Michael Hundley will be continuing his basketball career professionally in Australia this year. 

Hundley recently signed a contract with the Eastern Mavericks who are a part of Australia’s Premier League. 

Hundley was a defensive standout at AU for the three seasons that he spent in an Eagle uniform after transferring from The Citadel.

Head coach John Ellenwood praised Hundley for being one of the best defensive players that he has coached.

“He was different,” Ellenwood said. “I was used to having a scoring big man, Mike was not a scoring big man, he was a defensive big man.”

Not only was he a good defensive big man, but he was one of the best not only in the conference but also in the country. 

In his senior season, Hundley recorded 86 blocks which ranked seventh in the country and the 2015-16 season and was an Eagle program record. 

He also blocked 10 shots in a game, setting another AU record.

“Having a guy who could block shots the way he did and alter shots the way he did, instead of scoring points, he prevented points and that was huge,” Ellenwood said.

After graduation Hundley went to Detroit to train and some of his trainers had very good connections overseas, according to Ellenwood. 

Hundley worked on his craft including a special focus on his offensive game and began sending out highlight videos to teams in Australia. 

“It was really hard,” Hundley said about the process of playing overseas, “unless you go to a big time school like a Division I school or you’re really well known then its kinda hard, so me and my brothers did a lot of networking, made a LinkedIn page, looked up a bunch of teams from countries all over; Australia, Spain, Germany, France and we just emailed a bunch of coaches and sent out my video.”

The Eastern Mavericks were one of the teams that received these tapes and they signed Hundley to a contract. 

“If a coach needs him for defense, he’ll do some great things especially overseas,” Ellenwood said.

Ellenwood believes the Mavericks are getting a game changer on the defensive side of the ball and thinks that Hundley will have great success as a shot blocker at the next level.

“He was a big, big reason for our league championship last year because of his defensive intensity,” Ellenwood said.

The Eagles have missed Hundley’s production defensively so far this season and nothing shows that better than looking at the statistics. 

In the 2015-16 season with Hundley, the Eagles gave up 65.4 points per game, while holding opponents to shooting just 40% from the field and 29.7 % from the three-point line. 

So far in the 2016-17 season without Hundley in the lineup the Eagles are giving up 68.7 points per game, and opponents are shooting 42.8% from the field and 33.5 % from the three point line. 

The Eagles also averaged 2.2 more blocked shots per game last season with Hundley in the lineup. 

This is what Ellenwood calls the ‘Michael Hundley Effect’. 

When Hundley was in the game he was such a dominant shot blocker and such a good defender of the paint that it allowed the guards to chase opponents away from the three point line and contest every shot that was taken. 

Now that Hundley is gone, it has required the guards to play tougher defense on their opponents because they have to help down in the lane because Hundley, the rim protector, is no longer there. 

This is just one of the reasons why Ellenwood believes that Hundley has a good chance to become successful at the next level.

The Australian Premier League begins on April 1, and Hundley will leave to join his team in late February. 

“I’m just looking forward to being in a new country, experiencing new things, I’ve heard the people down there are really great, and I’m ready to start my basketball career off so I can just keep moving up higher every year,” Hundley said.