Westfield State University junior Jauch Green, Jr. has had a sensational first season with the Owls, helping lead them to a 15-10 record and the number two seed in the upcoming conference tournament, as Westfield hosts #3 Fitchburg on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Woodward Center.
After spending two seasons playing for Western Connecticut State University, Green made the decision to transfer to Westfield State this year and hasn't looked back.
"It just feels like home here. My last school didn't really work out, but I got a fresh start here" Green said, "Everyone is friendly and upbeat, I love the energy. Everyone here knows what they want, we want to win."
The Owls coaches knew they were getting a talented player based on his time at WestConn. A conference all-rookie selection, he averaged 13.7 points per game to go along with 6.2 rebounds across his freshman and sophomore seasons, but they had no idea the impact he would really have at Westfield. Now just months later, Green is leading the Owls in scoring and rebounding at 23.4 points and 10 rebounds per game.
"He has a great competitive spirit, truly loves the game, and it really shows in the way he plays" said Rich Sutter, who has spent 21 seasons as the head coach at Westfield State. "He is also an outstanding student, and a positive member of the community"
A 6-5 forward who played his high school basketball in Cromwell, Conn., Green ended up at Westfield State in part thanks to the star running back of the football team.
"Believe it or not Travon [Holder] is from my hometown – Hartford, Connecticut," Green said. "We linked up, and he said he knew Marcus Collins, then Marcus and I became the best of friends, so I said you know what, I'm going to Westfield."
Collins, a senior captain for the Westfield State basketball team, is also enjoying a very strong season for the Owl's, averaging 14.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Holder, meanwhile amassed more than 3,400 rushing yards in his four year career for the Westfield State football team, and was named to the All-New England Team this season.
If there's one thing Green values above all else, it's winning.
"I think we're really good, we're very solid." said Green when discussing the upcoming MASCAC championships. "We had a little slip in the road, four-game stretch, but now we're on a five-game winning streak. If we put our minds to it and everyone plays for one another like we have been, I definitely think we can take it this year."
Green picked up a basketball as early as 5 years old and fell in love with the game. "I started at a really young age, and I just taught myself by watching the game and developing it by playing with my friends back home growing up" Green said.
He credits his mom as his biggest inspiration.
"My mom, she's a single parent, everything I do is for her." Jauch continued, "We didn't have anything handed to us, everything was handed to us rough, so I'm trying to get a degree and show her that I'm doing something."
A communication major, Green says he is enjoying the department. "I like comm, it's what we're doing right now, talking and communicating, I think I'm pretty good at it."
Outside of basketball, Jauch also enjoys playing ping pong. "I'm an avid ping pong player" But other than that I'm a one sport type of guy"
When asked about his plans for next year, Green stayed focused on the task at hand. "Well I plan on this year hopefully taking home the MASCAC championship, then next year coming back for my senior year, maybe repeating and going back to back."
Green has taken home six MASCAC player of the week awards this season, and Coach Sutter said that he will be nominating Jauch for All-America honors.
"He has very few weaknesses as a player, and has really grown as a person this season," said Sutter.
After an unstoppable season, Jauch seems primed to lead Westfield State on a deep playoff run. He credits his strong individual season to the team.
"Just hard work and dedication all around," said Green. "My teammates and coaches push me every day in practice because they know I can be great. I feel like we're really a team here, and we all want to win.
-- By Nick Dolan, Sports Information Intern