Dez Wells excels as freshman
Published: Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 11:02
This season, Xavier men's basketball team has seen consistent starts by only one freshman: Dezmine Wells.
Wells most frequently playsat the three position for the
Musketeers, but as followers of Xavier basketball know, you can always expect the unexpected from this rookie.
From the start of his season, Wells has been stunning Xavier
Nation with his highlight-worthy dunks, three-pointers and overall athletic ability. In his first regular season game,
Wells scored a highlight dunk that made the SportsCenter Top 10 plays. He has been featured on Top 10 two other times this season. "I've been dunking for so long
that it's kind like second nature, so whenever I get a chance to it's just kind of second nature to feed off the crowd's energy. I always want to get them involved in the game,"
Wells said. Though his transition to college basketball appears to be seamless, the freshman felt differently about
his first college game. "The first game, the first ten
minutes I almost lost my breath, I was gasping for air. Everything was so intense, and my heart was pounding. It was an adjustment," Wells said. "It hit me real fast, and it took me the first half to get used to, but by the second half I
was pretty cool; I was settled in." Not only is Wells the only freshman on an experienced Xavier starting line-up, he also plays with the nationally-renowned backcourt duo of senior point guard Tu Holloway and redshirt junior shooting guard
Mark Lyons. Wells found that he fit in with the duo, both on and off the court. "It didn't take me long to fit in with those
guys. They're so down to earth and so cool. They want to
see me do well just like I want to see them do well," Wells
said. "They help me out a lot and they're good leaders. It feels good to play in a game with two guys that are as focused and competitive as they are." As a freshman that spent his senior year of high school at an all-boys military school, Wells sees college as a welcome change. "I love everything about college. I was without TV, basically without
a social life, for a whole year of my life. Being at
Xavier, being at college, is a lot of fun for me," Wells said.
"I could just sit in my room and watch TV all day and be satisfied with that. I get to be around different kinds of people. It's a different culture. I really like it here."
As most players do, the freshman has his own version of a pregame ritual. "I try to make sure I talk to my mom before every game. I listen to music and I make sure I get up shots before the game," Wells said. Outside of basketball, the
freshman finds himself interested in a wide variety of hobbies, including other sports. "[My favorite other sport] used to be football, but now it's kind of every sport. A couple of my friends here play soccer, so I'm getting into learning about soccer. I like soccer, football, stuff like that, so it's not really any one sport," Wells said. Wells talents, however, do not lie solely with sports. The freshman
also has a hidden talent of drawing, specifically letters and
names. Only in his first season at Xavier, Wells certainly seems to be drawing up a basketball career to watch.