THE Albury-Wodonga Bandits are hopeful of having a replacement player for injured import Momo Ntumba signed by early next week.
Lamar Mallory, a 201-centimetre, 98-kilogram forward from NCAA Division II school Glenville State College, is understood to be the Border club’s preferred option.
Albury-Wodonga is waiting on Mallory’s visa application to be processed, with the club wanting to have a replacement here well before next weekend’s home clash with the Geelong Supercats.
Ntumba — a member of the fabled 2012 SEABL championship team — sought, and was granted, an immediate release from the Bandits this week after suffering through extensive knee soreness the past month.
Mallory averaged 18.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in his senior year for the Pioneers while shooting a phenomenal 68.1 per cent from the field.
He was also named Mountain East conference player of the week after scoring 25 points in the school’s win over Fairmont State.
If Mallory signs with the Bandits, he would give the Border outfit a vastly different look than what the hulking Ntumba provided.
Long and athletic, Mallory would add a dimension of speed and excitement to a line-up that has struggled at times in defensive transition.
“He’s a dynamic player and can do more than just one thing, so he’s hard to guard,” Glenville State coach Stephen Dye told Clarksburg, West Virginia television station 12-WBOY earlier this year.
“His level, his athleticism and his motor is one of a kind.”
Albury-Wodonga has also taken a look at 203-centimetre forward Bruce Reed, who attended the same college as — but did not play with — Bandits import guard Deuce Briscoe.
Reed averaged 18.2 points and 6.1 boards per game for the University of Pikeville and scored a season-high 37 points against Georgetown College, which co-incidentally, was Bandits’ legend Allen McCowan’s alma mater.
Next weekend’s game against the Supercats will also serve as this year’s Allen McCowan Tribute Game and will be Bandits captain Michael Watson’s 100th appearance for the club.