Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

SLU's Welmer Ready for His Debut a Year Later Than Expected

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

SLU's Welmer Ready for His Debut a Year Later Than Expected

Article excerpt

The lasting memory of Elliott Welmer's first year at St. Louis University is that of a gangly 6-foot-9 basketball player coasting around campus on a three-wheeled scooter, his broken left foot propped up for protection.

Welmer was shaping up as a potentially significant player last year as he emerged from a solid showing on the team's trip to the Bahamas in August. But he never made it to the practice floor.

When former coach Jim Crews gave his farewell news conference in March, he indicated that Welmer had been on track to become a starter.

The soft-spoken Indiana native has overcome the foot injury and is working on defining his role in coach Travis Ford's first season. Welmer will see his first game action Friday night when SLU plays Division III Greenville College in an exhibition game at Chaifetz Arena at 7.

"I'm prepared for anything at this point, whatever is best for the team," he said. "I definitely have the confidence to come in right away."

Unlike many redshirt freshmen, Welmer does not have a year of practice with the team under his belt due to his long layoff. Thus, he is starting at a point similar to that of true freshmen Zeke Moore and Jalen Johnson.

He did spend a year at a prep school after being recruited and committing to the Billikens, but the reality of making the jump to a physical college level is an ongoing project.

"The thing I have to remember with Elliott is to have patience because he's never played in a college game," Ford said. "I have high expectations for him. He's still figuring out the pace and reaction to how we play. I love his versatility as a player. Consistency is going to be a big word for him because he's had some really good days and others not so good. That's typical of a freshman and that's what he is."

Welmer is a power forward with a deft shooting touch, suiting him to the "stretch four" spot thanks to an ability to shoot the 3- pointer. He also will be used at center, which will challenge him physically. …

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