'It Was My Best Season As A College Player'

By RENALDO DORSETT Sports Reporter rdorsett@tribunemedia.net HIS final season at the collegiate level ended abruptly in a run at the Conference tournament but Jay Philippe continues to look ahead as he plans to make major moves in his basketball career. Philippe and his Weber International University Vikings were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Sun Conference with a 106-84 loss to Northwood University on Tuesday night. Philippe finished with 11 points, five assists and six rebounds. The 5'10" senior point guard reflected positively on the season despite the loss, in a year where he averaged 6.2 points and 3.4 assists per game. "We have three seniors, including myself, and we really feel we had a chance to make noise in the conference. Unfortunately, we ran into the No.1 team in the conference which is also the number one team in the nation in NAIA Division II. "We started off slow and that's what caused us, trying to crawl back into the game. It was tough having to play twice as hard and it was disappointing for us," he said. "Overall it was a good season. Coming into the year, I know I had to step up, that's what my coaches really wanted. I knew it was my last year going in. It was my best season as a college player." His career on the floor in the collegiate ranks concluded with the loss Tuesday night. However, Philippe looks ahead to a budding career on the sidelines as a coach before pursuing any professional options. "I'll be an assistant coach next year in the Men's Basketball Programme. I'll be able to bring leadership, being in a position to help them after playing college basketball for four years. Being a point guard, the floor general, I know what it is to control all aspects of the game and that's just my personality. "A lot of guys tend to gravitate towards me, I'm a people's person so I'll be a players coach," he said. "I still plan on working out and playing overseas next year. I will be talking to an agent who should be working on some things for me, targeting either Italy or the Middle East to play." Weber International finished the season with an 11-16 record and finished 8th in The Sun Conference with a 4-12 record after defeating Florida Memorial in the Wildcard matchup to advance to the conference tournament. Northwood University improved to 28-3 and 14-2 in The Sun Conference. On December 17, 2011, Philippe turned in his career high of 17 points, five assists, three rebounds and a steal in the Warriors' 79-76 victory over the Reinhardt University Eagles. In his time at WIU, he also experienced success off the court as he was named a NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete. In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honour. "It meant a lot to me," Philippe said. "It means a sense of achievement and that hard work in the class room is as equal or even more important than my work ethics in the hardwood." Over 100 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball student-athletes were named 2011 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Philippe made his mark during his high school career with the CC Sweeting Cobras and transferred to the Sunland Baptist Stingers just before his senior season. He began his collegiate career in 2007 with the Virginia Intermount College where he averaged eight points and three assists in his lone season with the Cobras.


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