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Wildcat basketball senior breaks records, blocks shots

Lars Gustafson

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Senior forward Jordan Semple prepares to defend in a game against San Francisco State. Photo credit: Gustavo Ornelas

By the end of Chico State’s 2014 men’s basketball season, the record books are going to be rewritten because of senior forward Jordan Semple, who is now the all-time leader in blocked shots and rebounds in the program’s history.

Semple chose Chico State over multiple full-ride scholarship offers in 2011 and has been a big factor in the men’s basketball team’s success since he stepped on the court.

“I felt like this program was going in the right direction, even though they weren’t too good when I first came here record-wise,” Semple said.

During his tenure as a Wildcat, Semple has transformed into one of the premier defensive players in the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference.

“I’ve definitely become a more defensive-minded player. Instead of just focusing on scoring, I get the rebounds, blocks and steals — things that are very over looked,” he said. “I focus on those three things every year, and I make sure I’m on the top of those categories in the league and points will naturally come.”

With the all-time Chico State men’s basketball team’s blocked shot and rebound records under his belt, Semple said that his personal mindset, basketball awareness, timing and jumping ability were key to how he was able to break records.

“When you put those three together with the mindset, you can get something special. You can have all three and a lot of people do, but if you don’t have that initial mindset then you might as well not be playing,” Semple said.

Semple has a chance to have a record-breaking triple-crown season with 13 games left to play. He is currently sitting fourth in the all-time leaders for steals.

Last year, as a junior, Semple broke the program’s blocking record.

“In regards to the blocking record, I got to make sure no one catches up to it. Every game, I’m thinking about blocking shots. I want to make sure people know I can block shots,” he said.

Semple is now the all-time leader in blocked shots, averaging 1.9 blocks a game.

However, this season, Semple’s aggressive and tough defensive play has gotten him into foul trouble in a few games.

“If I don’t have any fouls in the first half, then I’m pretty aggressive and I’m taking a couple chances. When you do get the first foul in the first half, that’s when you got to be careful but not let my man go right past me,” Semple said.

Greg Clink, Chico State’s men’s baskeball head coach has contributed to Semple’s growth as a basketball player since redshirting his freshman year.

“He’s very consistent with his rebounds. He’s very consistent defensively. He’s a very good offensive player, but he’s equally good defensively and has the ability to guard several different positions,” Clink said.

When Semple is on the court, he is one of the fiercest competitors and leaders, Clink said.

According to Clink, Semple is one of the biggest competitors he has ever coached. Semple has been one of the people responsible for all the success that the men’s basketball team has had the past few years, he said.

“His biggest attribute is his competitive level. He’s very competitive and doesn’t accept losing,” he said.

This season, Semple has also been a threat on the offensive side of the court, averaging 12.5 points per game and having a .526 field goal percentage.

“Semple is very efficient. He scores a lot of his points ten feet and in. He’s very good at driving to basket, very good at finishing around the basket. He scores a lot of points from the free-throw line. He does a good job of getting to where he needs to get and finishing around the basket,” Clink said.

Semple is not only a great teammate but a coach on the court as well, said Mike Rosaroso, senior point guard.

“Jordan Semple is a great leader. He does everything we expect out of him. He’s a hard worker and competes everyday in practice. He does a great job of leading everybody and helping the younger guys work harder in practice,” Rosaroso said.

Semple is already on top of two all-time men’s basketball records at Chico State and only time will tell if he will have the triple crown of broken records at the beginning of the tournament this March.

Lars Gustafson can be reached at [email protected] or @larsonsports on Twitter.

 

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Wildcat basketball senior breaks records, blocks shots