One Team All Green

The Triple Double: Wolverines Dominate Westminster in Season-Opener

UVU Athletics

OREM — The season opener for the UVU men’s basketball team was much different in 2018 compared to 2017.

UVU opened its 2018-19 season against in-state foe Westminster on Tuesday night in the UCCU Center. Compare that to the start of the 2017-18 season with back-to-back against at Kentucky and at Duke. A much different start but one UVU will take. 

The Wolverines got off to a slow start before a 17-0 run midway through the first half helped them take a lead they never relinquished en rout to a 96-71 win over the Griffins.

Here are some thoughts on the season-opening win over Westminster.

Good to be 1-0

With five newcomers who are expected to contribute significantly, getting off to a 1-0 start is crucial. Confidence, experience, and continuity are key for UVU in 2018-19 especially considering the schedule; it is front-loaded as the Wolverines next three games are at BYU, at Saint Mary’s and at Utah State.

The Wolverines scored 96 points and shot 52 percent from the field as well as 50.9 percent from beyond the arc. Maybe the biggest key was that UVU turned the ball over just 8 times the entire night while dishing out 25 assists. 

Yes, there are things to clean up, but UVU is 1-0 and, for now, that’s all that matters. Maybe the best part of being 1-0 is that the Wolverines won in front of 4,327 fans at the UCCU Center. It was a great crowd and great atmosphere that one can only hope will be consistent throughout the 2018-19 season. It gives the UCCU Center more of a home-court advantage for the Wolverines. 

The Motors of White and MacDougall

Newcomers Isaiah White and Conner MacDougall are going to have major impacts on this UVU men’s basketball team. Both players are constantly going, hustling, playing physical and not stopping unless they are taken off the floor. Just look at one of the plays made by Isaiah White as he grabs this rebound, makes a move and then finds Jake Toolson in the corner for the 3-pointer.

Considering how much attention will be given to both Jake Toolson and Conner Toolson throughout the season, it is safe to say that Isaiah White and Conner MacDougall will be key components for the Wolverines. 

White finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the win. MacDougall had 13 points, six rebounds and two assists. Their work ethic is second to none. And if these two can stay consistent and injury-free, it might be an interesting year for the Wolverines.

As the Toolson’s Go, So Goes UVU

Pretty simple concept, really. Conner Toolson and Jake Toolson are the most experienced, have played under Mark Pope for two years now and are the leaders. The cousins combined for 37 points in an exhibition win over Dixie State and then combined for 36 points in the win over Westminster. 

Here is a video of Conner Toolson throwing it down off the fast break. The 6-4 senior who is a dad-to-be has some get-up.

Not to be outdone, Jake Toolson, who is a new father, is just as smooth. Both players can light it up from beyond the arc and both players can get to the rim. Here is a look at some nice ball movement that leads to a 3-pointer from Jake Toolson.

Both Toolson’s were selected to the WAC preseason teams with Conner picking up First Team honors and Jake being named to the Second Team. Conner averaged 12.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game last season. He led the WAC with 53 steals and also ranked third in three-point field goals made (75) and fifth in three-point field goal percentage (40.3). 

Jake averaged 11.2 points and 4.7 rebounds last season. He ranked third in the WAC with an 84.6 percent clip from the free throw line and was seventh in the league with a 50.4 percent mark from the field. 

So, as these two cousins go, so go the Wolverines.

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