Senior Alex Welhouse's diverse sports career comes to an end
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 09:03
From a conference tournament championship in 2010 to reclassification and road games against the likes of Wisconsin and Michigan State, senior Alex Welhouse has been through more than the typical Maverick basketball player. A role player who saw little time on the floor at the beginning of his career, Welhouse quickly developed into one of the team’s key weapons.
In his first year with the Mavs, Welhouse played in 15 games, averaging just 5.5 minutes per game. As a junior he became a starter and scored 10.4 points per game while playing an average of 27.
In his final year, his points per game dropped to 8.4. But both his field goal and 3-point percentage improved, a testament to the knowledge he’s gained in five years with the team.
“With five years, experience is the best teacher,” Welhouse said. “Through experience you get a lot more seasoned and that helps you out a lot.”
Known as a sharpshooter from the corner, Welhouse complemented former Mav Mitch Albers and his assault on the UNO record books. Albers’ ability to penetrate left Welhouse open to launch from outside.
But Albers’ graduated last spring, leaving Welhouse to find new ways to get to his shot. He adjusted and finished his senior season with the eighth-best 3-point percentage in The Summit League.
“Everyone has their role on the team,” Welhouse said. “[Whether] you’re a scorer, you’re a rebounder, a defender, a passer, everybody has to accept their role, whether that’s score more points or less points, rebound more, whatever, you just got to accept your role and be perfectly fine with it.”
Reclassification into Division I means tougher opponents and more time on the road. Welhouse’s senior experience helped lift the locker room moral this season, especially when the team went 30 plus days without a home game.
“I think he’s given us a lot of stability this year and even in the last two years through the transition, because he came here to a good Division II program on solid footing,” Head Coach Derrin Hansen said. “Then when you make that jump, there’s some unforeseen challenges coming ahead, and he’s been great about being stable throughout our team and [being] someone we can rely on.”
Despite being one of the Mavs’ most reliable players on the court, Hansen stressed Welhouse was just as much, if not more valuable to the team and to the school with his contributions off the floor.
“I think it starts off the floor,” Hansen said. “He’s a really good student; he’s conducted himself well off the basketball floor, and that’s important within the community. Those are things we think are the most important part first, and as a player he’s been a constant for us and good player on the basketball court.”
Statistically, Welhouse is ninth all time in career 3-point shots made with 151. In a program that continues to grow, Welhouse will be remembered in good company.
“I think when you talk about some of the best guys probably from the arc, I think he’s going to be in that realm, and we’ve had really good shooters here,” Hansen said. “If you’re one of the top eight or nine all time 3’s made then that’s saying something.”
It’s been five years and 92 games. But in Welhouse’s mind all the practices, all the travel and all the shots have gone by in an instant.
“I remember coming in, and I was a redshirt freshman with Michael Jenkins and Andrew Bridger and all that, and I remember thinking, ‘Ah man, I’m going to be here forever.’ I’m blinking, and now I’m already graduating. So it’s been a fast ride, but it’s been a great ride,” Welhouse said.
Welhouse was fortunate to enjoy a championship in the MIAA tournament four years ago and played in the Division II NCAA tournament the same season. The Mavs still have a few more years to go until they’ll be eligible for postseason play in Division I. But Welhouse thinks the program is well on its way.
“I’d love to see them in the NCAA tournament,” Welhouse said. “We were picked ninth in the division, and we’re sixth in the first year. The sky’s the limit for this program, and I think they can make it if they keep working hard and doing what they do.”