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NCAA countdown: No. 55 Weber State
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On August 28, 2013 @ 8:04 am In NCAA,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
The first word: Despite losing All-American and eventual NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, Weber State quietly had a record-setting 2012-13 — finishing 30-7 overall record, the most wins in Big Sky Conference history, after falling to East Carolina in the title game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Even though history was made, the Wildcats missed the NCAA tournament as league foe Montana ran through conference play — going 19-1 to win the regular season before clipping Weber State 67-64 for the Big Sky tournament championship.
The Wildcats’ absence from the NCAA tournament surely will be a driving force for the team during the 2013-14 season, as coach Randy Rahe hopes to lift a team that has gone 32-4 in conference action for the past two years to a memorable run in the Big Dance. Weber State returns three starters, including do-everything player Davion Berry.
Coach’s corner: “Usually you go 18-2, and you’re winning a championship. Not last year. You have to be good enough to beat everybody. I think we are this year. I try to worry about the intangibles. Are we tough enough? Do we have enough leadership? If so, we can be pretty good. Without that, we’ll get our ass kicked.” — Rahe, in his eighth season with the Wildcats.
2012-13 in review: 30-7 overall, 18-2 Big Sky (second place), lost in CIT championship.
Tournament projection: No. 13 seed. Potential second-round upset. Sweet 16 is a stretch.
Path to the dance: Winning the Big Sky auto bid. Everything still goes through Montana, which lost its top players, Mathias Ward and Will Cherry. Still, the Grizzlies bring back a big catalyst in Kareem Jamar and should serve as the primary roadblock for Weber State, in the regular season and the ever-so-important conference tournament when any team can get hot and an auto bid to the tourney is on the line. North Dakota and Northern Colorado are also teams to watch.
Star watch: Berry (15.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.8 apg) is one of, if not the best players in the Big Sky. His versatility is a big reason Weber … [For more on College basketball countdown: No. 55 Weber State, click here.]
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