#122 Weber State Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Weber State Wildcats

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #122
Conference Rank: #1 Big Sky

Weber State Team Page#122 Weber State Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Weber State Basketball Tickets

Back in 2012 and 2013, Weber State was so close to reaching the NCAA Tournament, but fell short. Finally, the Wildcats reached the NCAA Tournament in 2014. Their 14-6 record was enough to win the regular season title in a very balanced Big Sky. But, of course, they had to win in the conference tournament too and that was where this team was falling short. This time around Coach Randy Rahe avoided an upset against Northern Colorado in their first tournament game and dominated North Dakota in the final. The result was a trip to San Diego to play #1 seed Arizona. The Wildcats, of Weber State, hung in there with Arizona and gave them a very good contest. Now the goal is to do it again, but without some key pieces to last year’s successful team.

2013-14 Record: 19-12, 14-6
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Randy Rahe
Coach Record: 169-86 at Weber State, 169-86 overall

Who’s Out:
The senior trio of Davion Berry, Kyle Tresnak and Jordan Richardson will be missed. Those three did so much for the program and won 74 games in the last three years alone. Berry led the way with 19.2 points and 3.9 assists and he knocked down 38.9 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. Few in the nation played as smart and aggressive as Berry. Tresnak was the interior scorer, averaging 11.5 points and 4.7 rebounds. Richardson added 7.1 points per game and spearheaded the defensive effort. Byron Fulton was the only other senior on the roster, but Royce Williams and Josh Fuller have transferred.

Who’s In:
Coach Rahe adds two junior college transfers and five freshmen to his suddenly young team. Jaylen Johnson-Coston is a 6-6 forward who should slide right into the starting small forward spot. Johnson-Coston may not score too much right away, but he can get to the basket and will always be tough on the glass. Chris Golden should add a shooter off of the bench. Certainly there are some others on the team who can shoot the ball, but Golden may just be the best pure shooter in Ogden. Freshmen Ryan Van Pelt and Zach Braxton will add depth to the frontcourt. Braxton, another great rebounder, is the player to watch. He has the talent to play a relatively big role right away. Of freshmen guards Hayden Hunter, Jeremiah Jefferson and Ryan Richardson, it is Jefferson who is ready to contribute. The quick combo guard steps into a team that could use a player who can run the point. But he may be more effective off of the ball eventually.

Who to Watch:
It is a good group of newcomers, but not good enough to replace the departed seniors…at least not yet. So why is this team favored to win the conference again? It is because of Joel Bolomboy, Jeremy Senglin, Richaud Gittens and Kyndahl Hill. Bolomboy, a 6-9 junior, will get a shot at the NBA if he keeps improving. He is an absolute beast on the glass and is turning into a pretty consistent interior scorer. Weber State ranked first in the Big Sky in rebounding in 2013-2014, and they will again in 2014-2015. Jeremy Senglin, the reigning College Sports Madness Big Sky Freshman of the Year, averaged 10.9 points and 2.2 assists. The difference for Senglin this time around will be the fact that he likely will be asked to run the show more often. If he can keep knocking down three-pointers while efficiently running the point, Senglin will be in for a monster year. Fellow sophomore Richard Gittens will join Senglin in the backcourt. Gittens came in off of the bench most of last season and averaged 6.9 points per game. He was mostly overshadowed by the talent around him, but Gittens is brimming with potential if he looks for his shot more often. Hill, yet another sophomore, showed flashes as a freshman. The 6-7 forward started a couple games and was the main big man off of the bench. He will need to learn to stay out of foul trouble though before he can see too many more minutes. Another returning player is 6-10 center James Hajek. He was very limited last year in part due to yet another knee injury. He is a solid rebounder and, more importantly, a big body who can eat up space.

Final Projection:
Weber State has been the class of the Big Sky for a couple of years now. That appears to be over. This could be a very interesting conference race with five or six teams seriously contending for the top spot. But Weber State has more talent and eventually that wins out, especially with Coach Rahe putting all of the pieces together. With just one senior on the roster and two of the three juniors just joining the team this year, the future is extremely bright for the Wildcats.  

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Jeremy Senglin, Sophomore, Guard, 10.9 points per game
Richaud Gittens, Sophomore, Guard, 6.9 points per game
Jaylen Johnson-Coston, Junior, Forward, DNP last season
Kyndahl Hill, Sophomore, Forward, 4.6 points per game
Joel Bolomboy, Junior, Forward, 8.7 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.7 (113th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.5 (76, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.5 (26, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.7 (125, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.2 (83, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.2 (19, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.1 (38, 1)
Rebound Margin: 3.3 (71, 1)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (130, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (181, 8)


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