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5A MVP: Confidence steadfast for West Jordan's Loveridge

Published March 21, 2012 5:32 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Scott Briggs has coached two championship teams and a number of great players at West Jordan, but he's first to admit no one's generated as much attention as Jordan Loveridge — at least in his experience.

The 6-foot-6 forward has a style that merits the hype. He's a banger inside, and snatches down rebounds better than anyone in the state. He can make silky turnaround jumpers and hooks, or slam down rim-rocking dunks.

But that's not what impresses Briggs the most.

"For an 18-year-old kid, I'm not sure he could have handled the attention much better than he did," Briggs says. "On our team, it was never him and everyone else. He was always about team success."

The Jaguars couldn't make it all the way — running into Lone Peak as it was playing its best — but Loveridge was the motor that helped elevate West Jordan. As a senior, he led 5A in scoring and rebounding, and his confidence never seemed to waver.

West Jordan won games by an average of nearly 18 points. In those 21 wins, Loveridge was remarkably consistent, notching 18 double-doubles.

During the midpoint of the season, West Jordan fell to Brighton and Loveridge was ailing with a knee injury. He sat out a game for the first time since his sophomore year.

"It killed me to not be out there with those guys, but I knew it was better in the long run," Loveridge said. "They helped me get through it."

By the postseason, the Jaguars were rolling again, first through Fremont and then Bingham, in huge blowouts. Even against Lone Peak, he still had 25 points and 12 rebounds.

Briggs — and a whole slew of Utah fans — are excited to see what Loveridge can do next year for the Utes.

"A year ago, there was some doubts whether he could contribute and play in the Pac-12," he says. "I think he's really erased those questions."

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon