What We Learned: Adams St. vs. Weber St.
Updated: Feb 16
(Photo courtesy of Weber State Athletics)
By Colby Peterson
In a surreal scene at the Purple Palace last night, a real game of basketball was played, without fans filling the gym.
The start to the college basketball season began with many more question marks for this Weber State men’s basketball group than answers. But, once the clock struck zeros, Weber State emerged victorious with a comfortable 88-60 victory over the Division II Adams State Grizzlies of Alamosa, Colorado and a few of those questions answered.
What We Learned
1. This Team Wants to Share
When Weber State Weekly interviewed Wildcat Head Coach Randy Rahe a week ago, he noted that the coaching staff emphasized teamwork and unselfishness with the basketball when recruiting all the recent additions to the program. We saw that last night in the play and stat line, with the Wildcats assisting on 14 of 25 made field goals.
Though quite a few of those attempts contributed to the 17 turnovers committed by the Wildcats, that number will go down as the team builds chemistry. As the team grows more comfortable with each other, a sharing mentality will begin to yield serious fruit offensively.
2. Isiah Brown is the Real Deal
In nearly every player interview Weber State Weekly conducted this season, Isiah Brown was touted as the leader of the Wildcats before any games had even been played. Last night, we learned why.
During a few rough offensive stretches, Brown stepped up, leading all scorers with 26 points and shooting 50% from 3-point and field goal range. He also led the charge sharing the ball, chipping in 4 assists to lead all players on the floor.
His turnovers were low, committing just 2 on a night laden with offensive miscues as the team continues the process of building chemistry. The statistic stands out even more as he spent more time on the floor than any other Wildcat (29 minutes), the majority of which with the ball in his hands.
It was clear that Brown is a steady hand at the point guard position and will be the one to step up in crunch time this season. As he learns to facilitate his teammates’ play more, he stands to make the team even better.
3. The Wildcat Team Plays Defense
Last season, the Wildcats were dead last in the conference defending the 3-point line. We saw them get cooked time and again behind the arc, making existing offensive woes that much worse.
Last night, Adams State shot just 19 percent from 3-point land on 21 attempts. While it’s just one game and Adams State is also working out some kinks of their own, the perimeter defense was a welcome change. We will see if the Wildcats will continue the trend as they move into conference play in December and face stiffer Division 1 competition.
4. Rebounding Continues to be an Issue
We saw some things to like last night, but we also saw areas to be concerned. One of those was rebounding.
The Wildcats were 9th in the Big Sky Conference in defensive rebound percentage and 10th in offensive rebound percentage last year. Not being better on the boards cost them a number of winnable games, giving opposing teams extra possessions to sink them. That trend continued last night, in spite of the new faces on the roster.
Adams State crashed the boards with 17 offensive rebounds, besting the Wildcats’ 11. This came as a surprise, as voice of the Wildcats, Steve Klauke, mentioned a number of times during the broadcast, that Weber State was bigger, faster, and stronger than their Division II opponents. Those extra possessions contributed to Adams State taking 16 more shots than the Wildcats.
If Weber State struggled to establish position against a smaller, Division II opponent in Adams State, that may be a point of weakness again this season as conference play begins. Let’s hope it changes and quickly.
5. Tavian Percy will be Out the Rest of the Season
Wildcat fans woke up to some bad news this morning when Weber State Weekly learned that Junior Guard and recent transfer from the University of New Mexico, Tavian Percy, broke a bone in his foot during last night’s game. The injury will effectively end his season as he works to heal and return next year.
The injury might be similar to what Wildcat legend Damian Lillard experienced in 2010, just nine games into the season. During that time, Lillard worked on his handle and free throw shooting, coming back to a stellar Junior season and the eventual 6th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Percy will have time to work on growing before returning next year to continue his college career in a Wildcat uniform.