When Australia’s Andrew Bogut was drafted by perennial losers the
Milwaukee Bucks as the NBA’s No. 1 draft pick; few pundits considered
the Bucks as play-off material, whatever the expectations being placed
on the raw 20-year-old from Melbourne.

But with Bogut
more than paying his way in their opening two games of the season, the Bucks are on fire and
suddenly looking anything but easybeats with two road wins. And as much as anyone, Bogut
is a key contributor to the Bucks’ flying start.

He played a big part in his rookie debut to help the Bucks
come from behind in their unlikely extra-time win against Philadelphia.
And then stepped up a day later, as the Bucks beat the much more
fancied New Jersey Nets.

The physically imposing Bogut, recruited as a centre but now playing as a
power-forward, fell just one rebound shy of an opening double double
(10 points scored and 9 rebounds) in his debut before achieving that
mark for the first time in his NBA career with 10 points and an
impressive 17 rebounds in New Jersey.

Bogut’s early season form is attracting
a lot of media for Australia’s newest sporting superstar and his coach is singing his
praises for his intelligence and cool head under pressure.

The US media is
also taking a shine to his new role as Stan McNeal writing for SportingNews.com
believes the Bucks’ unlikely wins look to have them ready to surprise
the doubters over the longer haul. He
also sees Bogut’s physicality as a real weapon for a rookie starting out against
the NBA’s hardened pros.

the Bucks traded for Jamaal Magliore last week, the only reason Bogut is in the
starting lineup is because Joe Smith is out. One thing I’ve noticed about Bogut
is his presence. He’s big and strong and looks like he belongs on an NBA court.
So many rookies seem to look kind of tiny out there in the early parts of their
NBA careers. Bogut takes up space and so far, he’s filling up columns in the

Chris Ballard in his Inside
the NBA column agrees and cites as his first nominee for “early reasons
to be positive”: “Andrew Bogut playing like a veteran in two Bucks

And Barbara Barker
writing for Newsday observes that
although Bogut should have a soft spot for New York after his last visit there
saw him anointed as the No. 1 pick, he’s glad he ended up well away from “the
bright lights of the big city,” and sees Milwaukee as the perfect place to start
his NBA career.

“I have a lot
to work on,” Bogut said. “I’m not going to be a big scorer on this team. I’m just going to try to do the things to
help them win. I’m just trying to get comfortable with the NBA. After a couple
of years, I’ll try to make a bigger statement.”

Given his
first two games – it should be some statement!