MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Avgi, Wolves not dwelling in the past

Andi Avgi (right) fights for position on Friday night.

Photo by Lukas Eggen
Andi Avgi (right) fights for position on Friday night.

MONMOUTH — Western Oregon senior Andy Avgi doesn’t like to spend time thinking about the past.

He doesn’t think about WOU’s men’s basketball team’s 2014-15 season, where it won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular season title and earned a trip to the NCAA Division II West Regional. He doesn’t dwell on the Wolves being ranked in two preseason polls or him being named the conference’s preseason Player of the Year.

Instead, Avgi is focused on what’s coming next.

“(The accolades) are nice and everyone says good job on that, but that’s based on what we’ve done in the past,” Avgi said. “It’s all about the future now.”

Western Oregon has come out firing in the 2015-16 season, starting 4-0. Perhaps more importantly, the Wolves have shown off impressive depth.

In each game, at least four players have scored 10 or more points, while seven players are averaging at least 20 minutes per game.

“We have weapons from everywhere,” Avgi said. “We want to make sure they have to play against all of our guys. We can really wear them down like that.”

Those weapons include returning letterwinners Devon Alexander, Julian Nichols and Jordan Wiley, and newcomers Alex Roth and Tanner Omlid.

Wolves coach Jim Shaw takes over for Brady Bergeson who left for another coaching position earlier this year. A transition could provide some growing pains early in the season, but players haven’t taken long adapting to Shaw and his coaching staff.

“Any coach that comes in, they have similar philosophies,” Avgi said. “There’s just a little bit of adjusting, it’s not too bad. I’ve played basketball for a long time. The other players have too. We’re good at adjusting.”

Adjusting has been a prominent theme during 2015 for Avgi who, for the first time during his collegiate career, played football during the fall.

While basketball has come to define Avgi’s time at Western Oregon, the senior yearned to try something new. It was during 2014 that the idea of football first came up.

“I wanted to see what I can do in the future and I wanted to challenge myself,” Avgi said.

As recently as the summer, Avgi wasn’t completely sure if playing football would be the right choice — but a WOU alumni, and Super Bowl champion, stepped in.

“Kevin Boss had a big impact on my decision,” Avgi said. “I talked to him a lot that summer and my parents and brother, too. I decided let’s go for it.”

Avgi had 12 receptions for 192 yards and four touchdowns as a tight end.

Despite transitioning straight into basketball, Avgi has hit the ground running, averaging a team-high 22 points per game in two games.

“The physicality (of football) helped me on the court,” Avgi said. “The conditioning is different, but I’ll get better.”

The senior hopes that by giving him options, his athletic career won’t end once he leaves WOU.

“I definitely would love to play at the next level,” Avgi said. “I want to try doing that. If it happens, I’ll be grateful. If it doesn’t, I’ll be OK, too.”

For now, Avgi is more worried about the immediate future than life after college and showing that last season was no fluke.

“We always have a target on our back regardless of what we’ve been doing,” Avgi said. “We’ve started out great but we can do so much better.”


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