For the UVU men’s basketball team this season, more often than not, one of the first substitutions brings redshirt senior Jordan Poydras into the game. A transfer from Divison II St. Cloud State in Minnesota, Poydras is the leading scorer on the Wolverine bench. He averages 9.5 points per game. Like some other players on this year’s team, Poydras chose to transfer to UVU despite receiving scholarship offers from some bigger schools.
“Utah Valley is one of the smaller schools that ended up offering me, but I just liked what Coach Pope offered and I like the mountains,” said Poydras. “I like the school too; I saw it was an up and coming school and I wanted to be a part of the growth.”
Despite having a solid role on the team, this season hasn’t been what Poydras was expecting when he transferred. Coming off the bench isn’t all bad, but minutes can be hard to come by. Poydras averages 20.6 minutes per game, but the discrepancy is big. This season he has played as many as 29 minutes in a game, but he’s also played as few as eight minutes. These circumstances require Poydras to stay ready, even though he may not play as much as he’d like on any given night.
“I’d say it’s really hard. It’s not something I ever saw happening but it is. It’s hard to do and it made me respect people more who can do it,” said Poydras. “It’s not easy to sit there and not be in the flow of a game and then come in and take over the game. It’s a learned trait; it’s not something you’re born with. It’s something you have to think out before you can accept and take on that role.”
Poydras taking on that role has been huge for the Wolverines this season. Against the University of Denver on Nov. 23 he played a key role in a historic 27-point comeback victory. Poydras scored a season-high 23 points in 24 minutes on the court, including hitting two 3-point shots in the last four minutes of the game to help seal the win.
While Poydras’ scoring numbers jump off the score sheet to the casual observer, UVU head coach Mark Pope has taken notice of his development on the other end of the court.
“Poydras has gone from being a defensive liability, we really felt like that last year and early in the season, to being the guy that all my staff is like ‘we have to put Jordan in, he needs to go guard,’” said Pope. “For a guy that came in here as a big-time scorer, for him to take on that role. It’s just an example of how I think we’re rollin’.”
As Poydras continues to develop his basketball skills, his plans for after graduation remain simple.
“I just want to keep playing basketball, wherever that is.”
I grew up on a farm in Burley, Idaho, but I’ve always had an intense love of sports. I’m studying journalism in an attempt to turn my love into a career. I’m a huge Utah Jazz, Tennessee Titans, and San Jose Sharks fan. If it’s a sport, I’ll watch it.