#77 Weber State Wildcats: College Basketball 111 in 111


weber state cheerleading

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Damian Lillard was supposed to help the Weber State Wildcats win the Big Sky Conference last season.  However, a foot injury forced the dynamic point guard to miss the majority of the year causing the Wildcats to finish slightly below expectations.  With Lillard healthy, Weber State should once again be the Big Sky favorite.

Last Season: 3rd, 11-5 in Big Sky, 18-14 overall
Predicted Big Sky Finish: 1st

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Darin Mahoney (Sr)/Kyle Tresnack (So)/James Hajek (Fr)
PF: Byron Fulton (So)/Ryan Van Pelt (Fr)
SF: Kyle Bullinger (Sr)/Frank Otis (Jr)
SG: Scott Bamforth (Jr)/Mike Brown (Fr)/Shai Fields (Fr)
PG: Damian Lillard (Jr)/Jordan Richardson (So)/Gelaun Wheelwright (Fr)

Gone: SG- Lindsey Hughey, C-Trevor Morris, SF-Blake Davis (transfer-Grand Canyon University), SG-B.J. Porter (transfer-Azusa Pacific)

2011-2012 Outlook:
Prior to getting injured last season, Lillard averaged nearly twenty points per game.  He was granted a medical redshirt and should be the Big Sky pre-season Player of the Year.  He will be joined in the backcourt by sharpshooter Scott Bamforth who connected on 48.8% from distance last season.  Jordan Richardson saw an expanded role due to Lillard’s injury and will be the only experienced reserve guard while three freshmen try to work themselves into the rotation.

Returning starters Kyle Bullinger and Darin Mahoney should make up two-thirds of the starting frontcourt.  Bullinger, a Big Sky All-First Team member, is a versatile player who led the team in rebounding last season but can also stroke it from the outside.  Mahoney is an energy player and does the little things to help his team win.

Byron Fulton and Kyle Tresnack figure to compete for the final starting spot.  Fulton is another versatile forward who can play inside or on the perimeter while Tresnack brings his big body (6-10, 250 pounds) to the paint.  SMU transfer Frank Otis is the only other forward with Division One experience.  James Hajek redshirted last season and adds more size inside.

If Lillard can stay healthy, he should help Weber State to the Big Sky Championship.  Northern Colorado and Montana will once again be competitive and as always, it will come down to the conference tournament to see which Big Sky team makes the NCAA Tournament.

damian lillard weber state

Player to Watch: Damian Lillard
Lillard’s importance to the Wildcats cannot be stressed enough.  He has NBA talent and competed in the Adidas Nations Showcase in early August with some of the top players in college hoops like Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones of Baylor.  The 2009 Big Sky MVP already ranks 13th on Weber State’s all-time scoring list and fourth in three-pointers made.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/15 vs. Utah State
11/27, 28 vs. (St. Mary’s Classic)
12/7 at BYU
12/16 at California
12/22 vs. Utah
2/18 vs. TBA (Bracket Busters)

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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