KAMLOOPS – When Brett Rouault joined the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack men’s basketball program last summer, he wasn’t expecting to be thrown right into the mix of regular Canada West play.
But that is exactly what has transpired. The 17- year-old Vernon guard has seen his minutes on the court steadily increase during his first season.
“It has surely been a learning experience for me,” says the 6-foot-4 Rouault, a graduate of the Fulton Maroons program. “I am starting to get into the flow of things.”
Heading into the Pack’s weekend home games, Rouault has started 13 of the WolfPack’s 18 tilts. He is averaging 5.8 points per game with 39 rebounds (29 on defence). He also had 26 assists and his 20.9 minutes average of court time was sixth highest on the team.
The learning curve has been pretty steep for Rouault, who played under former University of Victoria Viking Dale Olson at Fulton.
“The contact in this league is certainly not what I was used to. It’s more physical and it’s faster. Everything is better.”
WolfPack head coach Scott Clark says Rouault has deserved his extra minutes.
“Normally, players in their first year don’t get to play as much as Brett does,” said Clark. “But due to our rebuilding program and Brett’s hard work in practice, it has transpired into him seeing more of the court and playing in key situations.”
Added Rouault: “I have certainly been surprised by the amount of time I am seeing. Especially when I see what freshmen on other teams are getting. Starting is awesome.”
Rouault has not only had to deal with being thrown into the fire of Canada West basketball, but also dealing with university life as a whole.
Although the coach hasn’t put the pressure on his shoulders, Rouault and fellow freshman guard Brett Parker (Langley) will be looked at to provide leadership as they become CIS veterans.
“The experience I get right now in key situations will certainly help me when our team gets better and plays in more important games,” said Rouault. “I am really glad I’m getting the experience now. I expect that as we get older, the coach will look to me to be one of the leaders out there.”
Second year post Travis Beck is another Fulton grad with the 4-16 Pack.