by Zachary Knecht
Featured Image: Photo by Robert Casey of Weber State Athletics
It has been anything but smooth sailing for the 2-7 Weber State Wildcats as they see themselves on a four-game skid coming into their game against the St. Martin Saints. Despite everything, ESPN has the Wildcats with a 99% chance to win against the Division II opponent.
The Saints have performed well this season, but, unfortunately for them, the talent gap between Division I and Division II teams is likely too great for them to overcome. So, the Wildcats need to use this game to set their course right if they want to salvage their season.
WSU has been outperformed in seemingly every statistical category this season, so there is a lot they need to address in this matchup to get on the right track.
Their main focus should be spreading the floor. As a team, WSU is averaging 9.9 assists per game compared to the 16.9 from their opponents. They need to move the ball around and open the court to give themselves better opportunities to shoot. Shooting 41.3% from the field isn’t going to cut it if they want to stay relevant in the conference. Shooting 29.7% from three is also dragging this team down, so hopefully, the Wildcat shooters can find their rhythm.
The rebounding for Weber State hasn’t been atrocious this year. Forward Dillon Jones has led the way for the Wildcats this season with 9.0 boards per game, tied for third in the conference. That being said, they still get outrebounded 32.7 – 28.4 per game. Pairing that with 14.3 turnovers per game is a recipe for disaster for offensive productivity.
Jones and guard Steven Verplancken Jr. need to show out for the Wildcats to get this offense straight. The two produce 14.1 PPG and 11.7 PPG, respectively, which needs to improve for the team’s top scorers. Verplancken has been efficient from behind the three-point line, shooting 43.2% with guard K.J. Cunningham displaying similar numbers at 44.4%. Let these two get hot and take over from behind the arch for the Wildcats.
Weber State will tip-off against the Saints at 7 p.m. MST at Dee Events Center in a game they will hopefully take easily.