The Weber State Wildcats opened their 2013-14 campaign in tenuous fashion, losing their first three to BYU, Colorado State and Utah State before getting in the win column behind a 72-55 trouncing of San Jose State. Weber State would then drop two of their next three, following a 71-point win over St. Katherine with a momentum-busting 23 point loss at UCLA that saw the Wildcats connect on just 22 of 46 from the field. They finished the non-conference slate 5-5.
Big Sky conference play didn’t begin well either for the Wildcats as they suffered a 70-51 defeat at Northern Colorado in the league opener that saw them sink to 17 of 45 shooting from the floor and 4 of 13 from distance. They would rebound nicely to take their next six, ending conference play 14-6 en route to the Big Sky regular season title. Weber State would also finally end its Big Sky tournament drought by winning the conference tournament for the first time in four tries after coming up short in each of the last three championship games. They topped North Dakota State 88-67.
Weber State Wildcats ( 16 seed, West Bracket)
Record: 19-11 (14-6 in Big Sky)
Coach: Randy Rahe
Tournament Berth: Automatic Beth
Big Wins: San Jose State, Southern Utah, Northern Colorado, North Dakota State
Big Loses: BYU, Colorado State, Utah State, UCLA, Idaho State
C – Kyle Tresnak
F – Davion Berry
F– Joel Bolomboy
G – Jordan Richardson
G – Jeremy Senglin
Who’s Hot: Senior F Davion Berry is the nation 42-ranked scorer and had a monster year in dropping 20 or more 17 times, including 7 straight games with over 20. But senior C Kyle Tresnak is en fuego. He posted 27 points on 11 of 15 from the field in the conference championship game and when he gets his 6-10, 240 lbs rolling, he’s hard to “D” up.
Who’s Not: Most of the team. Outside of Berry, Tresnak and freshman G Jeremy Senglin, there’s not much contribution in the way of scoring. Sophomore F Joel Bolomboy and senior G Jordan Richardson average 8.6 and 7.1 points per game, respectively, and neither has hit double-figures in scoring all that much this season. Bolomboy has scored more than nine points just once in his last five games, and Richardson just once in his past six.
Outlook: The Wildcats drew West top seed Arizona to open the tournament. A 16 seed has never defeated a 1 seed. It’s usually an afterthought of a game that serves little more purpose than to see which number one seed can inflict the most damage in its opener. Daunting might be too slight a word to describe the task at hand here, but that’s why they play the games. Miracles can happen. Murray State took Michigan State to overtime in 1990 and lost 75-71. In 1989, Alonzo Mourning and Georgetown escaped with a 50-49 victory over Princeton and Oklahoma topped East Tennessee State 72-71. If the Wildcats have any chance whatsoever at the upset, it’ll take much more than majority of the team has done all season.
Commentary by Rick Sarlat
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