Welch looks to take the next step

By: Isaiah Blakely 

Dominick Welch had a slow start to his freshman year but found his groove in the second half of the year, and he looks to build on that this season.

Welch averaged 7.5 points per game and 4.4 rebounds in 25 games last season. Welch missed a chunk of the season with a foot injury. Welch’s first seven games he was only averaging 5 points and 2.6 rebounds a game, but his last 18 games he was averaging 8.4 points a game and 5.1 rebounds including in the Atlantic 10 tournament where the Buffalo native averaged 12 points 7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks over the three games.

Welch led the team with 43 three pointers made and shot 36 percent from three. Head coach Mark Schmidt wants Welch to continue to develop on the offensive end.

“He’s made unbelievable strides…at times he was our best guy. But he has to take that next step,” said Schmidt. “All he could do was catch and shoot. Now he’s got to take guys off the bounce. His dribble has got to tighten up.”

Welch said that the biggest thing he was looking to add to his game was tighten up his handle as well as improve his overall game. A player Welch likes watching is Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George because he is an all-around two-way player.

Schmidt had high praise for Welch as an overall player already.

“He’s smart. In my 30 years of coaching he’s probably in the top 5 of guys I underestimated,” said Schmidt. “He has a really good feel offensively and defensively. He’s got a lot of pride, and when he doesn’t play well it really affects him and he works at it.”

Schmidt says he’ll be playing multiple positions including the power forward spot when the team plays small ball this year. “We’re expecting him to take that next step and become a really good player,” said Schmidt.

Welch talked about keeping his confidence up through the ups and downs in a season.

“Keeping my confidence,and my confidence is back right now. It was a tough loss last year. But we’re trying to keep that momentum that we have in last year over to this season,” said Welch. “Bring the young guys with us and make sure they have confidence going out there with us.”

Welch mentioned that tough loss in the Atlantic 10 championship to St. Louis, but the goal for this team is to get back to that game.

“Our team goals are to try to get back to the Atlantic 10 championship,” said Welch. “Just try to take it game by game and work hard every day.”

Welch knows the freshmen on this team are going to be important and they need to stay ready.

“There’s spots open every day. It makes you work hard,” said Welch. “We were freshmen coming in playing 40 minutes a game. The opportunities there, we lost two players last year, so the minutes are there.”

Welch begins to help lead the Bonnies tonight at 7:30 against Ohio in the Reilly Center.

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