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Rapid rise leads D2 scoring guard Blaise Threatt to Weber State basketball

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Apr 24, 2023
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Blaise Threatt poses during a recruiting visit to Weber State in April 2023. Threatt committed to Weber State on Monday.
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Blaise Threatt

Blaise Threatt keeps a notebook during the basketball season where he puts thoughts about each game -- defensive coverages, plays he wants to remember, things he sees.

That notebook helped the former walk-on at Colorado Mesa make a considerable jump between his second and third seasons, and that notebook is now on its way to Ogden.

Threatt, a 6-foot-3 guard with more than 1,000 points in his college career so far, announced his commitment to Weber State men's basketball on Monday after visiting over the weekend. He narrowed his choice from 70 or 80 Division I schools that contacted him with interest to a handful of mid-major programs in the West before making his decision.

He has two years left to see what else he can unlock, including something else he's written down on what he calls his vision board -- "Weber to the tournament," Threatt said. "One day at a time, but that's the goal. I know we can do it with the group of guys we've got."

Threatt suffered a freak injury late in his high school career in Scottsdale, Arizona, that involved cutting his back on the bleachers while going after a loose ball. That dried up any college prospects he had but, after a year off to recover while working for a valet company, a former teammate helped connect him with a walk-on spot at CMU, a Division II program in Grand Junction, Colorado.

After a freshman season where he struggled through a shoulder injury and scored 8.9 points per game, Threatt wanted more. He committed to a better diet and a more focused off-season workout plan, and consulted the notebook for ways to improve.

He boosted his 3-point shooting seven percentage points and his scoring average to 13.8 points per game. But looking at the notebook, Threatt knew his work wasn't done.

"I knew people wouldn't respect my shooting ability ... I still didn't feel really confident in my shot," Threatt said.

So he flew to Australia for what was planned as a one-month minicamp with his father, former 14-year NBA veteran Sedale who, along with another son, operates a basketball skills development business and skills and has for the past 15 years.

Threatt competed in workouts with players from the NBL, Australia's pro league, and otherwise spent "countless hours" in the gym with his dad. His stay ended up lasting more than two months.

"We were getting thousands and thousands of shots up -- on the move, off the catch, full-speed, sprinting, half-court spot up, any type of catch-and-shoot you can think of, deep 3s, just trying to perfect a rhythm for me that would really work so people would have to respect my shot this year," Threatt said.

The results were marked. He turned down an opportunity to stay in Australia and begin playing the NBL. He returned to Colorado Mesa and averaged 18.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 52.8% overall and 45.2% from the 3-point line. He was named to the All-RMAC First Team as the CMU Mavericks won the regular-season title with a 19-3 record.

Threatt topped out at 30 points in a win over Regis, shooting 11 of 14 overall and 3 of 3 from deep. On consecutive nights late in the season, he posted 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists against Westminster and 25 points and nine rebounds against Western Colorado.

When the season ended for the Mavericks, he and his family felt it was best to put his name in the transfer portal.

"I never had a goal to transfer out of here, I just took it day by day and throughout the season, the interest level got higher. People started following me and schools tried to talk to people around me to see what my plan was," Threatt said. "I really didn't talk to anybody during the season because I wanted to stay committed to where I was at and not look past what we were trying to accomplish."

Threatt considers his life to be well-regimented. He sticks to a daily routine and a particular diet. He runs for cardio workouts frequently, enjoys the weight room, does Pilates twice a week and hot yoga often, too. He said he's excited about the diet, nutrition and training resources Weber State can provide that weren't available at the Division II level.

When he's not on the court or working out, he likes to stay "deep in my faith" by reading the Bible. He also plays NBA2K on Xbox against friends back home. He hasn't yet learned who at Weber State might be a challenger.

"I'm taking all bets on NBA2K, nobody will beat me," Threatt declared.

What he does know is that Weber State returns all five starters from last season. WSU envisions him playing an impactful role but the rest is up to him -- a calling card of Weber State coaches for the past two decades when recruiting.

"A lot of programs are promising things like 'yeah you'll come here and start, you'll come and play 35 minutes,' but when I talked to (head coach Eric) Duft, when he flew out here with Jorge (Ruiz) and came out to my house, they were like 'yeah, we're not guaranteeing you anything.' They were the first program to tell me they weren't guaranteeing me any playing time, you have to earn your way in, and I loved to hear that," Threatt said. "That really motivated me that this is the place I need to be."

Just like he did at Colorado Mesa, Threatt says he's just focused on "stacking good days on top of each other" and he'll find a role he likes.

While visiting campus, Threatt spoke with Dillon Jones and Steven Verplancken Jr. via video call (the two are currently off campus). When at Southern Illinois, Verplancken was roommates with Threatt's childhood best friend and Verplancken, too, began his career at Division II.

"I just kind of knew this was the place where they were going to push me. Guys like Steven and Dillon, they just really demonstrated the same values that I think I have -- the love for the game and the want to get better, the desire to play professionally," Threatt said. "And talking to the coaches, Coach Duft has been there 17 years so I know he's not a coach who's going to try to jump ship or is just there for a paycheck; he really loves the program and they have really good tradition. So I just knew it was the right place to spend my next two years."

After completing WSU's summer camp in June, Threatt said he plans to spend what time he has before fall semester in Australia to work out with his father again. The sports management major says he'll enroll in Weber's professional sales program; he plans to become a sports agent when his playing days are over.

Verplancken and KJ Cunningham are Weber State's two seniors next season. Threatt and Jones join Dyson Koehler, Alex Tew and Arnaud Revaz as five juniors on the squad; Revaz, a 6-foot-10 transfer who spent three seasons at Maryland, also announced his commitment to Weber State on Monday.

Among the 20 players named to all-conference honors in the Big Sky this past season, Jones and Verplancken are two of five who are returning; the rest either finished their eligibility or have entered their names in transfer portal.

Threatt and Revaz join freshman Marko Sarenac, Nemanja Sarenac and Viljami Vartiainen as five additions to the roster ahead of the 2023-24 season.

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