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Rice Lake grad Widdes ready for big senior season

Eau Claire (WQOW) — UW-Eau Claire men’s basketball will rely heavily on their guard depth for the 2018 season, and are hoping Rice Lake grad Ben Widdes will lead the way for a big senior year.

Widdes transferred to the Blugolds midway through the 2017-18 season from Carroll College, and made an instant impact averaging 5.4 points per game. He has quickly earned the respect from his teammates by being selected as a captain for this season, and has been a perfect fit from the start. His biggest challenge was adjusting to the WIAC style of play, but he feels a lot more comfortable heading into this season.

“The level of play is definitely a big step up,” says Widdes. “There’s not a lot of gaps on defense, so it’s all about picking your times of when to attack, and just being a lot smarter of what i was used to before.”

Head coach Matt Siverling has been impressed with how quickly Widdes has fit in, and had an easy decision in naming him a captain.

“It does feel like he’s been here for four years,” Silverling says. “Even last year towards the end of the year, it felt like he had been with us for a long period of time. Just because of how he’s acculmated himself, the type of character he has, and obviously the acceptance that the team had of him immediately when he stepped foot on campus.”

The Blugolds open the season Thursday night at home. They’ll host St. Olaf at 7 P.M at Zorn Arena.

Collin Talbert

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