OGDEN — At the same time former Idaho State shooting guard Balint Mocsan considered the coronavirus pandemic and was determining to stay home in Hungary and go pro instead of playing his final college season at Weber State, Concordia-St. Paul forward Cody Carlson was considering the health crisis and determining he needed to transfer to Division I for his final college season.
After about a week in the transfer portal, the 6-foot-10 senior post player committed to Randy Rahe and WSU men’s basketball over interest from 15 Division I teams, including top pursuits from Western Kentucky, Chattanooga, St. Bonaventure and Southern Utah.
“I definitely feel like this was the right choice,” Carlson told the Standard-Examiner. “I love it here so far.”
Carlson committed to WSU on Aug. 14 and has since signed, traveled to Utah and moved in before announcing his commitment Monday night, hours before taking the court for the first time as a Wildcat.
Carlson has played 84 games in three seasons at Concordia, starting 56. He started all 27 games as a junior, averaging 12.3 points and 5.9 rebounds in 25 minutes per game, shooting 38.2% from the 3-point line.
Despite a coaching change increasing the chances of successfully obtaining a transfer waiver, Carlson said he will redshirt the 2020-21 season and not seek a waiver, set to play his senior season in 2021-22.
Concern over the conclusion of his career during the pandemic drew him into the transfer portal. With the format or success of staging the upcoming season still unsure, Carlson said it made sense for him to make the jump to Division I and redshirt instead of playing a handful of games in Division II and losing his final season if it ends up canceled.
That’s perfect for his player development, he says, with a goal to play overseas after college.
“My biggest goal is to gain weight and become accustomed to the higher level of basketball,” Carlson said. “I’m a really agile post. I feel like I have a good outside game. I have a good inside game, too, but I’m not going to be going against people who are smaller than me anymore so that’s where the big weight gain and strength needs to come.”
After a week, Carlson felt like all signs pointed to Weber State as his best choice, especially with his desire to redshirt to develop his body and his game while practicing against fellow seniors Dontay Bassett and Michal Kozak, whose departures will hopefully provide him a role in two seasons.
“I was looking for a school where I’d have a role on the team and get playing time,” he said. “They have their own strength coach as a team and that was really important to me because I’m going to be spending most of my time with him this redshirt year. I wanted a lot of time with a weight trainer, and coach Rahe is a very credible coach. He has the most wins in the Big Sky Conference.”
He studied business management with a minor in sales at Concordia-St. Paul, a private school in the Twin Cities about 150 miles south from his hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, on the shore of Lake Superior. So Weber’s reputable professional sales program was an easy transfer, he said, one he can finish this season to set up the start of a master’s program.
He found Utah appealing. The home of the “greatest snow on Earth” still posed the prospect of a milder winter than Minnesota with plenty of things to do outdoors. Since arriving in Ogden last week, he’s found it “absolutely gorgeous” despite feeling the effects of higher altitude his first workouts Tuesday.
Carlson again finalizes WSU’s 13-player scholarship WSU roster for the 2020-21 season.
“The weight coach really knows what he’s talking about, he’s going to help me out a ton. And coach Rahe has coached some great players, I feel like my player development is in good hands,” Carlson said. “As far as the team goes, everyone’s really friendly and everything’s been perfect.”
WSU ROSTERWith four returning scholarship players and nine new additions, here’s how the Wildcats’ roster stands for the 2020-21 season. All transfers are eligible to play except Carlson, who will not seek a waiver to play, and Darweshi Hunter, who is awaiting a resolution to his waiver request.
Freshmen: G/F Dillon Jones
Walk-ons: F Mitch Brizee, F Jake Furgerson, G Hunter Humphreys, G Josh Sanders