Looking to repeat as Big Sky Conference champions, the Weber State men’s basketball team will have to rely on their young players this season to step up. One of the players the Wildcats will be looking to is reigning Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year Jeremy Senglin.
“I’m a sophomore, which is kind of young, but I can’t act like that because we lost a lot of seniors and got a lot of young guys,” Senglin said about his role on the team. “So I gotta be one of those guys who leads. Leadership and keeping the team together.”
Senglin, the fifth Wildcat ever to win the Freshman of the Year award, started in every game for Weber State last year. He was the first true freshman to start in the season opener for the Wildcats since Bruce Collins and Mark Mattos started in the 1976-77 season opener against BYU.
Averaging 10.9 points per game, Senglin led Big Sky freshman in scoring and was third on the team behind Kyle Tresnak (11.5) and Davion Berry (19.2). A lot of his scoring came from long range, as he led the team in three-point shots made (62) and three-point field goal percentage (.405).
Senglin also pulled down 68 rebounds, while recording 68 assists and 22 steals. WSU head coach Randy Rahe said that this season, he is going to be expecting even more from Senglin.
“Jeremy had a good freshman year, but we’re going to move him to the point guard position this year, and he’s one of those kids now that we’re going to expect more out of him,” Rahe said. “He’s going to have to step up, he’s going to have to do a little more of everything. He’s got to be a distributor, he’s got to be a scorer, he’s got to be a defender, and we need him to be that stat stuffer kind of guy that Berry was for us. Get to the free throw line, make the shots, assists, defend, rebound and I think with a year of experience that he got last year, I think he’s gonna really step into that role and be a lot more productive than he was last year.”
In the Wildcats first exhibition game of the year against St. Katherine, Senglin scored 14 points while shooting 1-6 from the field but 12-14 from the free-throw line. Senglin also pulled down two rebounds, while tying for the team-high with four assists and two steals.
“He’s ready for (the regular season). He’s excited for it,” Rahe said. “He’s a great kid. Lives in the gym, works his butt off, wants to be great, and so his work ethic is really good and he is competitive. He wants to try and win everything he does. I’m looking forward to see what kind of season he can have.”
Looking forward to this season, Senglin feels good about the team’s chances, but says that there is still some work that needs to be done.
“I see a lot of progression, we’re getting better. A lot better,” Senglin said. “We need to cut out some turnovers but that just comes as a young team. I mean nobody comes in and makes perfect plays at first, so we’re getting used to that.”
The Wildcats have one more exhibition game on Saturday against Western State, before they start their season on the road at Utah State on Nov. 14. Weber State will hold it’s home opener on Nov. 17 against Presentation College.