Poquette and strong freshmen class powering new-look Wildcats

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Poquette and strong freshmen class powering new-look Wildcats

Matt Poquette (freshman) practices after reaching double-digit points for CWU in their exhibition game against Gonzaga.

Matt Poquette (freshman) practices after reaching double-digit points for CWU in their exhibition game against Gonzaga.

Heather Stewart

Matt Poquette (freshman) practices after reaching double-digit points for CWU in their exhibition game against Gonzaga.

Heather Stewart

Heather Stewart

Matt Poquette (freshman) practices after reaching double-digit points for CWU in their exhibition game against Gonzaga.

Aaron Zewdie, Staff Reporter

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The CWU men’s basketball team is showcasing 10 new faces this season, four of which are freshmen. One of these is Matt Poquette, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound forward from the small town of Morton, Washington. He grew up watching his older brother play basketball and going to his games.

Poquette’s favorite sport growing up was football. He began to love basketball during junior high and would eventually attend Morton-White Pass (MWP) High School where he made the varsity basketball team his freshman year.

As a freshman, Poquette helped lead MWP to a second-straight Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) State Title, finishing with a perfect 28-0 record. His senior year, Poquette dominated the Central 2B Division, averaging 24 points, 10 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals per game. Overall, Poquette was a three-time first-team all-league performer, a two-time all-state selection, Central 2B League MVP and The Chronicle’s All-Area Player of the Year.

Poquette enrolled at CWU because he was attracted to the school’s family environment and the community that reminded him of Morton. Once he arrived in Ellensburg, the team and the community made him feel welcome. Poquette has already made an impact on the team, as evidenced by his best game of the season thus far against Cal State Monterey Bay where he put up 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block.

Poquette is trying to get even better as the season progresses, by working on his ball handling and his outside shot, and adding strength by lifting weights. He explains that these are the three areas in his game that need improvement for him to a have successful playing career here at CWU.      

Off the court, Poquette is currently undeclared for a major, but he has shown an interest in field sports management. Fellow freshman guard Marcus Austin described Poquette’s game as explosive, especially when he tries to get rebounds. Austin adds that Poquette is a hard worker that’s consistently working on his game and is a great addition to the team because of his height and athleticism.

“Man, he is one of those players that you kind of lose sight of on the court for like two seconds and by that time he is already in the air dunking on you,” Austin said.

Head coach Brandon Rinta described Poquette as a player that has a high motor, works extremely hard and is a blue-collar player with athleticism. He adds that Poquette has brought great energy to the team and is willing to help the team in any capacity. Rinta is impressed with Poquette’s versatility on and off the court. As a freshman, it’s tough to make the transition from high school to college, but Poquette seems to be making the transition rather smoothly.

“He is a really good student, and beyond being a good basketball player, I think he is a great teammate,” Rinta said. “He is exactly what we are looking for in a teammate here at Central.”

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Poquette and strong freshmen class powering new-look Wildcats