Wes Washpun is a March Star

Last Sunday, as the basketball bounced high in the air off the rim, the fate of two great teams were in the balance. The Northern Iowa Panthers were looking to return to the NCAA tournament for back to back years, even without the presence of their most legendary player, Seth Tuttle. On the other side, the Evansville Purple Aces were striving to end a large drought of making the tournament, and not waste the fantastic career of DJ Balentine. And when the ball dropped in, excitement filled the body of the Panthers, while the Aces were lead to tears. The man behind the shot was Wes Washpun, a 6’1’’ Senior PG, form Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Washpun began his career at Tennessee before shortly transferring back home to UNI. When Northern Iowa had a great season in 2014-15, Washpun was no more than a secondary role player, that solely had the job of dishing the ball to Seth Tuttle, and to the great cast of three-point shooters. However, this year shaped out to be a very different one for the Panthers. Their season was marked with tremendous highs and lows, including non-conference wins over North Carolina and Iowa State, but having loses in the MVC to Loyola (twice), Missouri State, and Southern Illinois. But in the midst of this inconsistent season, Wes Washpun emerged into a main player. His confidence and grit, proved to be perfect for leading this gutsy group of Panthers. As a complete team, UNI appears to possesses the formula for winning games in March. They are very well coached by Ben Jacobson, play consistent hard defense, and have good perimeter shooters on their roster. They also have tournament experience, so they should not be phased at all by the bright stages in March. Washpun has already had his “March moment”, but he might be in for some more.





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