COURTESY OF BYU
Rashaun Broadus, who played high school ball at Waianae and Mililani, averages 8.8 points per game at BYU.
Mililani's Rashaun Broadus was an immediate contributor in BYU's offensive system
RASHAUN BROADUS found the transition from junior college to NCAA Division I basketball relatively easy. He didn't even have to change nicknames.
Both Brigham Young, his current school, and Western Nebraska Community College, his previous school, have Cougars as their mascots. It also helps that the offensive system he is running BYU is very similar to the one he enjoyed in two seasons at WNCC.
Broadus received interest from Colorado State, Wyoming, Montana, Houston and BYU. He made a recruiting trip to Montana, had Houston as his second option, but chose the Cougars after visiting the Provo, Utah, campus.
"What we really liked was Rashaun's combination of strength, speed and quickness," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "He has good lateral quickness and we wanted a point guard who could defend and run our team. So far, he has done a good job
"He has played exclusively at point guard. He has a mind-set to score, but he is getting better at getting his teammates involved. His ability to make the big play was never in doubt."
Broadus played both point guard and shooting guard at Western Nebraska. He led the Cougars in scoring with a 14.6 points per game and 3-pointers with 57 his sophomore season.
"My goal is to improve my basketball IQ as a point guard," Broadus said. "I'm working on getting everyone involved. I'm the floor general out there and I want to get all the troops ready. I like the role. I just want the Ws."
Through 10 games for the 7-3 Cougars, the 6-foot, 195-pounder is averaging 8.8 points a game. He has 54 assists to 25 turnovers.
On Tuesday in a win over Western Washington, Broadus had a career-high nine assists.
"It is very hard for defenders to stay in front of him. He is deceptively fast for a kid as big as he is," Rose said. "Rashaun gets about 27 minutes a game, sharing the point with Austin Ainge."
In high school, Broadus played his first two seasons at Waianae, then transferred to Mililani. He was the Oahu Interscholastic Association West Division Player of the Year and the Trojans MVP his senior year.
There was a scholarship offer from NCAA Division II Western Washington but that was taken back when he was declared a nonqualifier by the NCAA Clearinghouse.
"Coach (Jackson) Wheeler and Coach (Bob) Nash at UH kept in touch with me and they knew the coach (Ron Brillhar) at Western Nebraska," Broadus said. "I signed a letter of intent late in the summer."
He started 14 of 36 games as a freshman, then redshirted his second year when Western Nebraska was put on probation for using an ineligible player.
Last year Broadus took over the starting point guard job for Western Nebraska.
"I started every game, played 35 to 40 minutes and we got up to the No. 1 ranking part way through the season," Broadus said. "We went to the regional, but lost in the semifinals to the team (Northeastern JC from Colorado) that eventually won.
"We were well-known and there were scouts there all the time. UH saw a couple of games, but never sent me any letters. However, my recruitment started to get way better."
After his recruiting trip to BYU, Broadus knew that was where he wanted to continue his career.
"I was impressed with the facilities, the fourth-largest gym in the country, and the coaches," Broadus said. "I said this is the school for me.
"The BYU offense is basically the same as Western Nebraska, up and down. The coaches told me the point guard job was mine to lose. People asked me why I would go to a school that had a 9-21 season the year before. I felt they had a young team and that everyone would be better this year. I felt I could help turn things around."
Broadus sets goals. His first priority has been school ever since he lost the scholarship to Western Washington.
"I want to stay eligible, that's my first goal," said Broadus, who was on the Dean's List at Western Nebraska. "I've had good grades ever since I left high school.
"I got my AA (two-year Associate of Arts) degree and that is an accomplishment academically."
He also wants to be a better defensive player than he was in junior college. His third goal is to help the Cougars win the Mountain West Conference.
Broadus follows the same routine before every game.
"I always take a shower, then sit down and relax while I listen to music on my CD player. My favorite artists are Lil' Wayne and Bun B," Broadus said.
The sociology major hopes to continue playing basketball, perhaps overseas, once his collegiate career is finished.
Broadus' brother William is a red-shirt sophomore at Western Nebraska this season. The 6-3 shooting guard is being recruited by Wichita State and Indiana State.