Entering his final season at La Salle, forward Jerrell Wright is primed to have a breakout year for the Explorers. The big man from Dobbins Tech out of Philadelphia, Penn., has been a consistent force in the low post ever since he was a freshman back in 2011.
Wright as a freshman had veteran pieces around him such as Ramon Galloway, Tyreek Duren and Sam Mills. In the frontcourt, it was just him, Devon White, and at the time fellow freshman Steve Zack. Both Wright and Zack had their share of growing pains as freshmen but that did not stop them as La Salle made the NIT that year. During the 2011-12 season, Wright averaged 9.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Next, in his sophomore year, he became a more integral part of La Salle’s offense and it showed. His game had matured and he started dominate in the low post by going to his right often. No one in the Atlantic 1o can stop Wright when he goes to his right, it’s his bread and butter. Down the stretch and into the NCAA Tournament, the Explorers leaned on Wright for some crucial baskets and free throws.
One of Wright’s biggest moments in his career so far had to be when La Salle took on Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament. No shock here as the game was in Kansas City and La Salle came out on fire. They couldn’t be stopped but then Kansas State started to make their comeback, La Salle kept giving the ball to Wright as he attacked the post and went to the line. During that game, he went to the line numerous times and made his free throws to silence the pro Kansas State crowd.
In that game versus Kansas State, he finished with 21 points, eight rebounds, and also played with four personal fouls. But the biggest stats from that game were that Wright shot 6-for-6 from the field and 9-for-10 from the free throw line. From that game on, the entire country started to recognize who Jerrell Wright was.
Fast forward to this past season for the Explorers and it wasn’t a good one. The team had a record of 15-16 (7-9 in the Atlantic 10) and had many frustrating games. Despite that, Wright still had a solid season improving from his sophomore campaign in which he averaged 10.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. In comparison to this past season, Wright’s scoring increased and his rebound production went down a tenth of a point.
Now, coming into this season, Wright is the senior leader on this team. He now has to be the man as La Salle doesn’t have the likes of Duren, Mills, Tyrone Garland, and Taylor Dunn. Even without those pieces there anymore, La Salle still has a solid team around Wright and I expect big things from him.
Can he be a 15 points and 10 rebounds per game kind of guy? Yes, he certainly can and I have no doubt in my mind that he can achieve it. As you see, over his career, his numbers have always improved so expect the same thing this upcoming season. Finally, do I see First Team All Atlantic 10 selection in his future? Yes, if he can take this La Salle team back to tourney, Wright will be a First Team All Atlantic 10 player.