Kiwi’s in College Mid Season Report – Part 2

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We conclude the wrap on the kiwi men playing NCAA Division I basketball. Impressively, three of these guys are playing in Power 5 conferences.

Check out previous part in the four-part series:

Part 1 – Men’s first half

Jack Salt

  • Year: Junior
  • University: University of Virginia Cavaliers
  • Division: 1
  • Conference: Atlantic Coast

The top 10 ranked Cavaliers have had Salt anchoring their defence for a couple of seasons now. Salt, now a co-captain of the team, has made the starting centre position his own during the past two years playing all 34 games in that role last season and all 13 games to date in this campaign.

Salt averages 3.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game – not big numbers but in the role he performs for the Cavs he is a perfect foil for the athletic guards that have propelled Virginia to a very impressive 12-1 record.

That value was emphasized in the Cavs opening Atlantic Coast Conference win on Saturday (59-58 v Boston College). Salt played a season high 31 minutes, only took three shots but scored with each attempt, and finished with 4 rebounds, 2 blocks and an assist to go with those 6 points.


Shane Temara

  • Year: Senior
  • University: University of North Texas Mean Green
  • Division: 1
  • Conference: USA

Although raised in Syracuse, New York, Temara qualifies for selection for New Zealand in the future as he has Kiwi parentage.

The 6’9” forward has started in all 15 games for the Mean Green (9-6). He leads the team in rebounding with 6.6 boards per game, is third in scoring (11.1ppg), and already boasts three double-doubles this season.


Sam Timmins

  • Year: Sophmore
  • University: University of Washington Huskies
  • Division: 1
  • Conference: Pac-12

Timmins made a big impression in his appearances for the Tall Blacks at the FIBA Asia Cup in Lebanon in 2017 when he averaged 6.7ppg and 8.0rpg. The former Otago High centre has continued that good form in the early part of the college season and he is second on the rebounding count for the 11-4 Huskies with 5.5 boards per game. Having started every game he also averages 6.4 points and 1.5 blocks per outing and will be a key player for Washington during Pac-12 Conference play, which they have begun with a win and a loss.


Sam Waardenburg

  • Year: Freshman
  • University: University Miami Hurricanes
  • Division: 1
  • Conference: Atlantic Coast

Partly due to a back injury Waardenburg has been restricted to six outings as the No 15 ranked Hurricanes have made an impressive 12-1 start to the season.

The former Rangitoto College standout has averaged 2.7 points and 2.5 rebounds in 10 minutes court time per game as he eases into the demands of top level Division 1 play.


Yanni Wetzell

  • Year: Redshirt Junior
  • University: Vanderbilt University Commodores
  • Division: 1
  • Conference: Southeastern

After two standout seasons at St Mary’s University in Texas, Wetzell transferred to Vanderbilt University at the end of the last academic year. Last season Wetzell averaged 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game for St Mary’s – numbers that impressed Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare and earned him a place on the New Zealand Select tour of China in 2017. In accordance with NCAA transfer regulations he has to sit out (redshirt) the 2017/18 season but still has two years of eligibility remaining.


Tai Wynyard

  • Year: Sophmore
  • University: University of Kentucky Wildcats
  • Division: 1
  • Conference: Southeastern

Kentucky (11-1 this season) are always stacked with NBA bound talent, which is why Tai Wynyard is finding court time hard to come by. The signs were encouraging in the annual Blue v White pre-season game with Wynyard collecting 10 points in 37 minutes of action. Since then has played just eight of the Wildcats 31 games averaging one point and 2 rebounds per outing, playing a total of just 43 minutes.


Zach Young

  • Year: Senior
  • University: Nicholls State University Colonels.
  • Division: 1
  • Conference: Southland

The former Wellington College guard has played just eight games this season for the 8-7 Colonels. He averages 1 point and 1 assist per game as Nicholls State sit 2-0 in Southland Conference play.

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