The Weber State Wildcats under Randy Rahe might just be the steadiest, most predictable men’s college basketball program in the state. Every season it seems like the 'Cats win at least 20 games, win or contend for the Big Sky Conference title and, in their best years, make it to the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats will try to do it again this season after going 20-11 and finishing an unaccustomed third in the Big Sky in 2017-18.
Weber State is in position to make noise in the Big Sky this season due to returning some of its most important names on the roster, starting with Rahe, who holds the school records for wins and conference wins, and is the winningest coach in the Big Sky.
The Wildcats also have seven players from last year’s roster in 2018-19. None of those could be more important than junior guard Jerrick Harding.
After starting only six games his freshman season, Harding made a meteoric leap as a sophomore, starting all 31 games and averaging 22.0 points while shooting 42.5 percent from 3-point range in 32.9 minutes per game.
Harding was the conference’s second-leading scorer and third in free throw percentage at 88.2 percent. He was picked unanimously for the All-Big Sky and All-District first teams last year.
Another returner to watch this upcoming season is senior center Zach Braxton. The Minneapolis native averaged 7.8 rebounds per game in his junior season — second in the conference — and averaged 12.3 points to boot, which was third on the team. He also earned a third team All-Big Sky nod last year.
Additionally, Braxton has been Weber State’s iron man. In his entire career at Weber State to date, he has missed only one game. His production in points, assists and rebounds have increased in each season with the Wildcats.
Weber State has high expectations once again. The Wildcats were picked to finish second in Big Sky, according to preseason polls done by head coaches and media. Montana was picked to finish first.
Hardick was also a fixture on both polls. The league’s coaches and the media chose to put him on the Preseason All-Conference team.
WEBER STATE SCHEDULE
All times Mountain
Tuesday — at San Diego, 8 p.m.
Friday — Bethesda, 7 p.m.
Nov. 15 — San Jose State, 6:30 p.m. (Junkanoo Jam in Bimini, Bahamas)
Nov. 16-18 — CSU Bakersfield or Central Michigan, TBA (Junkanoo Jam in Bimini, Bahamas)
Nov. 27 — Benedictine (AZ), 7 p.m.
Dec. 1 — BYU, 7 p.m.
Dec. 5 — at Fresno State, 8 p.m.
Dec. 8 — Utah State, 2:30 p.m.
Dec. 15 — Utah Valley, 7 p.m.
Dec. 22. — Delaware State, 2 p.m.
Dec. 29 — at Eastern Washington*, 3:05 p.m.
Dec. 31 — at Idaho, 3 p.m.
Jan. 3 — Northern Arizona, 7 p.m.
Jan. 5 — Southern Utah, 7 p.m.
Jan. 12 — at Portland State, 8 p.m.
Jan. 17 — Idaho State, 7 p.m.
Jan. 19 — Northern Colorado, 7 p.m.
Jan. 24 — at Montana State, 7 p.m.
Jan. 26 — at Montana, 7 p.m.
Jan. 31 — Portland State, 7 p.m.
Feb. 2 — Sacramento State, 7 p.m.
Feb. 7 — at Southern Utah, 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 9 — at Northern Arizona, 2 p.m.
Feb. 14 — Montana, 7 p.m.
Feb. 16 — Montana State*, 7 p.m.
Feb. 21 — at Sacramento State, 8 p.m.
Feb. 28 — at Northern Colorado, 7 p.m.
March 4 — at Idaho State, 7:05 p.m.
March 7 — Idaho, 7 p.m.
March 9 — Eastern Washington, 7 p.m.
March 11-16 — Big Sky Tournament at Boise