Excitement, athleticism and improvement were the words surrounding the 2018-19 men’s basketball media day as the Wildcats prepared for another season on the hardwood.
Coaches and players gathered at the Dee Events Center on Sept. 24 to discuss the upcoming basketball season just six weeks away from tip-off.
A core of veteran players, who have played some solid basketball for the Wildcats, will anchor the team. Weber State University added six freshman, bringing athleticism and depth.
“It’s one of the best classes we have had as far as recruiting,” head coach Randy Rahe said. “A lot of those freshmen are going to play and be a big part.”
Rahe mentioned the athleticism of the team and adjustments made to the team’s system on the court.
“We’re going to play as fast as we can possibly play on makes and misses, push the tempo hard,” Rahe said. “Defensively, we want to pick up full court, get in the passing lanes, we want to pressure you, force you into more turnovers.”
Ultimately, Rahe has a lot of excitement going into camp and the season.
“I’m excited, I’m very excited. I’m always excited though,” Rahe said. “I do really like this team, from what I’ve seen so far in the summer and when we first got together this fall.”
Veterans on this year’s team include senior Zach Braxton, senior Brekkott Chapman and Junior Jerrick Harding, who have all played quality NCAA minutes. Last season, Harding averaged 22 points a game and dropped 46 during one contest.
“I’m excited about the new guys we have coming in,” Harding said. “I feel like we are really close, I’m just excited to get going.”
Chapman, who is coming off an unusual healthy off-season, mentioned summer workouts with fellow teammate, junior Cody John.
“I’ve worked with him quite a bit this summer,” Chapman said. “He has put in the work to get back to where he was.”
Having a healthy Chapman and John throughout this year will boost the team’s depth.
Braxton, who is a seasoned player for Rahe, looks to hold down the middle at center.
“I’m really excited where I’m at, and where the team is at,” Braxton said. “We put in a lot of work this summer together, and it’s going to be a special year.”
Harding sees a bright future for the Wildcat basketball team.
“We definitely want to get to the NCAA Tournament,” Harding said. “That’s the big goal. We have the team to do it, and I feel like we have a good chance.”
The Wildcats tip-off the season with an exhibition game against Chadron State at the Dee Events Center at 7 p.m. on Nov. 1