During a June tour
of Australia and New Zealand, the Cougars' players and coaches got an
invitation to try the "reverse bungee," an attraction that catapults
daredevils nearly 200 feet upward. One of the two players who took a pass on
the thrill ride was 6' 6" senior guard Kyle Weaver. "Me and heights
don't really get along," he explains, "so I stayed on the ground and
cheered my teammates on."
also describe Weaver's approach to this season, even as he and the Cougars--10
of whom return from a group that won a school-record-tying 26�games last
year--draw a dizzying array of accolades, attention and expectations.
"We're not a bunch of guys who are used to�a lot of hype," says
Weaver, who along with backcourtmate and fellow senior Derrick Low played on
the Pan Am team this summer and made the Wooden Award watch list last month.
"We're still a bunch of guys who are hungry, who have something to
Weaver is an
acrobatic slasher who, coming out of Beloit ( Wis.) Memorial High, had just one
other Division I scholarship offer, from Bradley. He certainly proved his worth
last season. He was ranked in the top�six in the Pac-10 in five
categories, including steals (second, 2.2�per game); assists (third, 4.6);
assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth, 1.7); blocks (sixth, 1.2) and minutes (sixth,
33.9). Weaver also became the first Cougar to register a triple double,when he
had 14�points, 13�rebounds and 10�assists in a 71-68 overtime
loss at Stanford. "The strength of his game is his versatility," says
second-year coach Tony Bennett. "He can score in the post, he can handle,
he can defend, he can block shots."
While the Cougars
will miss the low-post presence of Ivory Clark, who graduated last spring, they
will have experience--three of their top four returning scorers are
seniors--and also will be fueled by the skepticism of some prognosticators
concerning the team's lofty preseason expectations. With all of those factors
in play, the sky-shy Weaver can hope that in this case at least, there is
nowhere for the Cougars to go but�up.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Nov. 9 Eastern
Washington (W 68-41)
Nov. 13 at Boise
Nov. 16 Idaho