Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's Weber State on FRIDAY night

*** Make sure that Friday night registers in la cabeza because season tickets may list the game for Saturday.

The Weber State Wildcats come to Walt McPherson Court on Friday night for a BracketBuster matchup. Led by Randy Rahe, a former Stew Morrill coaching protege, this is another team where the whole performs greater than the sum of its parts, especially now that star backcourter Damian Lillard -- a former Oakland area basketballer -- is out for the season with a foot injury. Prior to Lillard's mid-December ailment, he was averaging 19.7 points per game and easily the most creative of the Wildcat guards.

Still, WSU is on a five game conference winning streak, a stretch of foes that included Montana and Northern Colorado, the top two squads in their league. The Wildcats reside is third place in the Big Sky with an 8-4 conference record, 14-9 overall and 4-7 with away games.

Weber employs similarities to the style utilized by Utah State -- not a lot of flash but screens and cuts and more screens, solid outside-shooting -- and it's most apparent outcome are the shooting percentages of Wildcats. The lowest among the starters is at 44% and even the young reserves off the bench aim, fire and connect on a solid basis.

Comparative games

Sat, Nov 13 @ Utah State 65 - 77 (L)

Sat, Dec 04 Seattle 65 - 61 (W)

Wed, Dec 29 @ Montana State 72 - 75 (L)

Sat, Feb 05 Montana State 78 - 58 (W)

The Weber State Starting Five

* 6-foot-9 Trevor Morris SR - 10.2 ppg. (shooting 56%), 4.3 rpg., 20 blocked shots in 23 games

* 6-foot-8 Darrin Mahoney JR - 4.4 ppg. (shooting 49%), 4.8 rpg.

* 6-foot-6 Kyle Bullinger JR - 10.1.ppg. (shooting 46% overall, 42% in treys), one half of his shot attempts have been from behind the line, 6.3 rpg.

* 6-foot-3 Scott Bamforth SO - 12.4 ppg. (shooting 50% overall and 54% from long distance), 107 of his 169 shots have been treys, 63/40 assist-to-turnover ratio

* 6-foot-2 Lindsey Hughey SR - 12.4 ppg. (shooting 44% overall, 40% from three), 5.0 rpg., a team-leading 26 steals, 67/61 assist-to-turnover ratio

Bullinger was just named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week after averaging 17.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, and five assists in wins over Northern Arizona and Eastern Washington.

Off The Bench

* 6-foot-7 Byron Fulton FR - 8.0 ppg. (shooting 49% and 53% respectively), 3.3 rpg.

* 6-foot-1 Jordan Richardson FR - 5.0 ppg. (shooting 33% and 48% respectively), one half of his shots have been threes, 39/24 assist-to-turnover ratio, out of West High in Tracy so count on family and friends to be in attendance

* 6-foot-10 Kyle Tresnak FR - 3.7 ppg. (shooting 49%), 2.4 rpg.

*** It's a very youthful bench with all three freshman contributing significantly.

*** As a team, WSU is shooting 47% while allowing just 41% of opponents shots to be successful -- plus a remarkable 46% to 39% on three-point attempts.

*** The overall scoring by halves has the Wildcats winning both segments -- 777 to 737 in the initial 20 minutes and then 897 to 813 in round two.

The Wildcat Roster (by position and alphabetized)

James Hajek C 6-10 250 Fr
Trevor Morris C 6-9 240 Sr.
Kyle Tresnak C 6-10 250 Fr.

Kyle Bullinger F 6-6 215 Jr.
Blake Davis F 6-5 210 Fr.
Byron Fulton F 6-7 220 Fr.
Darin Mahoney F 6-8 225 Jr.
Frank Otis F 6-6 230 Jr. (redshirting)

Scott Bamforth G/F 6-2 190 So.
Lindsey Hughey G 6-3 200 Sr.
Damian Lillard G 6-2 185 Jr. (injured)
B.J. Porter F/G 6-3 190 So.
Jordan Richardson G 6-1 180 Fr.

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