Sow impressing

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:43 AM ET

Pape Sow seems to be saving his best for last.

The Raptors rookie forward/centre, who made the second start of his career last night, had another nice outing as he finished with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting. He also had seven rebounds and three steals in a season-high 26 minutes.

"He's showing he can be a player in this league," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said of Sow. "Defensively, he can guard some twos and threes and fours. He's active and he rebounds."

The native of Senegal, who has been stashed on the injured list most of the season, also looked good Friday against the New Jersey Nets when he was 4-for-5 with nine points in 22 minutes.

When asked to name the best part of Sow's game, Mitchell said, "Just his energy and activity.

"He goes after every loose ball. He trying to defend everybody on every play. He's hungry. Pape wants to prove to people that he can play. All he wants is an opportunity. He works every day."

Sow showed good hustle last night, stealing the ball from Antoine Walker at one point and then scoring on the ensuing possession.

"Pape's coming along well," Raptors swingman Jalen Rose said. "He has been thrown into the fire, from being a player that hasn't been used to a player who's starting. That's going to be an adjustment period for him and the rest of the team. It's not going to be good sometimes. But the last couple of games, he has been bringing energy, playing hard and playing well. He's picking up concepts and he's improving. That's the most important thing about being a young player."

TRIANO WINS

The Raptors presented the Coach Mac Award to Canadian assistant coach Jay Triano last night.

Named after the late John B. McLendon, the Coach Mac Award is presented to the individual from the Raptors or the Canadian basketball community who, through exemplary character and effort, has made a major contribution to the sport of basketball.


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