OGDEN — Most chatter around a college basketball team’s additions usually revolves around incoming transfers and scholarship freshmen, especially if they at one point had three or more stars attached to their names.
There was plenty of that at the Sept. 26 media day for Weber State men’s basketball, but one walk-on freshman earned a few bits of praise as well.
Mitch Brizee will be one of 16 rostered players, and one of three walk-ons, for the Wildcats this season. The talk around the 6-foot-9 big man from Twin Falls, Idaho, was that he’s a scholarship-level athlete who, with a little seasoning, is a sure-fire Division I player who this year, at least, will make valuable contributions on scout team.
“Mitch is going to be a key person if he improves his game every day. He’s starting to show everybody that he can play for this team,” freshman guard KJ Cunningham said. “He’s a good rebounder and passer. And he can shoot the 3. When I come off a pick-and-roll with Mitch, I can hit him back and he can knock down a shot.”
Brizee arrived in Ogden during the summer and said he targeted WSU as a landing spot for both his studies and basketball.
“Weber State has a really good business program here and I’m majoring in business. And the environment coach Rahe has built here, the culture, I like that,” Brizee said. “Talking to coach Rahe, he had a lot of energy and passion for the game. And I connected with the team when I played in open gyms. It was just a good fit for me personally, and it’s close to home, too, which is nice.”
Brizee won player of the year honors in a nine-team region as a senior at Twin Falls High School, shooting 70% from the field and carrying a 3.8 GPA, the Times-News reported.
“Mitch being a walk-on, I was like, that’s crazy. During pick-up games, he grabs like every offensive rebound,” freshman wing Austin Galuppo said. “If we had more scholarships, he’d for sure have one.”
Weber State continues training camp ahead of the 2019-20 season, which begins with an exhibition game on Nov. 2.