Weber State has Struck Basketball Gold Again with Bolomboy

1 Feb

The Big Sky conference and specifically Weber State are no strangers to hiding basketball talent away in Ogden, Utah.  It started with Damian Lillard who has found stardom in the NBA with the Portland Trailblazers.  Lightning may be striking twice for the Wildcats, this time with senior forward Joel Bolomboy.

Bolomboy made his way to Weber State by way of Fort Worth, Texas.  As a freshman he appeared in all 37 games for a team that went 30-7 and made the CIT Championship game, losing by three to East Carolina.  He also had a team-high four double-doubles, which was surely a sign of things to come.

As a sophomore there was no slump for Bolomboy.  He was named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year and registered a conference high 11 double doubles all while finishing third in the country at 11 per contest.  The Wildcats finished 19-12 and won the Big Sky Tournament.  The win earned them a 16 seed and a date with Arizona in the NCAA Tournament.  The Wildcats fell by nine but Bolomboy had 11 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.

Last season Weber State experienced a downturn finishing 13-17 but Bolomboy continued to improve.   He averaged double figures in scoring for the first time with 13.3 and again led the Big Sky in rebounding at 10.2 per game and double doubles with 12.  He also finished 4th in the conference in blocks with 51.

This season Bolomboy has exploded.  He not only leads the conference in rebounding at 13.4 and double doubles with 19, those numbers are good enough for 2nd in the country in rebounding and the top spot in double doubles.  Bolomboy also ranks 2nd in the country in defensive rebounds per game with 9.81.  He had a career-high 28 points and 20 rebounds in a double overtime loss to Utah Valley and had another 20-20 game with 20 points and 23 boards in a win over North Dakota.

With 10 games remaining in the regular season Bolomboy and the Wildcats are 15-6 and 7-1 in the Big Sky, currently a half game behind Montana.  Of the Wildcats six losses five of them have come by a combined 13 points and after dropping their first two games of the season they won five straight before suffering a hard luck road trip with losses to BYU, Utah Valley and Denver by an average of three points.  After returning home they have run off nine of 10 with the loss coming on the road at Idaho State 69-68.

Weber State will likely have to battle Montana, who they will welcome to Ogden for their lone regular season tilt on Feb. 27 for the top spot in the Big Sky Tournament.  If the Wildcats are fortunate enough to punch another ticket to the Big Dance, Bolomboy will be a big reason why and will be the focus of any team they face in March.

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