Sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons has praised the play of shooting guard Marcus Stout after the American led his team back into title contention.
Stout has exploded into life in recent weeks with game winning performances against Leicester Riders and MK Lions to move Sharks into fourth in the BBL Championship.
Stout, from Detroit, also showed his fiery side during the Riders match last Friday at the EIS when he had to be physically restrained by team-mates after his backcourt partner, Steve Dagostino, was on the receiving end of an unsportsmanlike foul.
Lyons, who trains alongside the 24-year-old every day, was less surprised at Stout’s outburst: “I see Marcus get into it in training. It wasn’t a shock to me to see him in there. He’s a quiet guy but he can look after himself.”
A night later at Milton Keynes Stout was playing the role of closer rather than enforcer as he calmly made two free throws to give the One Health sponsored-Sharks a narrow 92-91 victory.
Lyons said that while his final second heroics garnered the headlines, Stout was particularly effective in the first half when the Sharks offence was stuttering: “We started off slow but Marcus did a good job of making some tough plays to keep the scoreboard moving. At the end of games he’s one of the players that we want to get the ball to and when you do that you have to be confident that they’ll make their free throws. He did that at Milton Keynes to see us through.”
Another to please Lyons was Ryan Patton. The three-point specialist hasn’t been scoring with his usual ease, but made five triples at the Lions to end with 17 points.