Not very many people outside Kalamazoo were taking the Western Michigan
Broncos seriously this year in their quest to defend their Mid-American Conference crown. After all, they lost the reigning MAC Player of The Year, forward Mike Williams - WMU rode his coattails on many occasions last year on their way to the Tournament. So they needed someone to step up in 2004-05, and someone did. Levi Rost is our tenth Mid-Majority Baller Of The Week.
Mister Rost, a senior, is an undersized yet big-playing power forward who stands six-seven and weighs 210 pounds. In Saturday's MAC East showdown-of-undefeateds with Bowling Green
, he scored 20 points on 5-for-9 shooting, went 8-for-10 from the stripe, and grabbed seven boards for good measure. Earlier in the week, during the Broncos' dominating win over Kent State
, Levi went off from the field (8-for-12) and finished with 25.
Rost has matured in a big way this year. As a junior, he played about 20 minutes as a game as a sixth-man small forward - with mixed results. Aside from a solid 18-and-9 against Central Michigan in Late February and a 26-point outburst in an early laugher over Ohio
, he took too many shots and got in foul trouble too often. But now he's averaging 18 points (up from seven in 2003-04) and nearly six boards, and he's keeping his fouls down. He's also improved greatly from the line, as a whopping 19 percentage-point increase (to 85.2%) shows.
Earlier this season, he set the school record for three-pointers in a game with nine at Buffalo
. The performance came after a horrible shooting night in a non-conference tilt against Detroit
- Rost stayed in the gym until two a.m. after that game, a testament to his increasingly solid work ethic.
He and a fellow senior, guard Ben Reed, are assuming key leadership roles for the Broncos.
Rost is a Great Lake State native, and grew up in St. John's, a 90-minute drive from Western's campus. His twin sister, Casey, plays for the WMU womens' team and is a three-point specialist in her own right. So if you're ever over at the Rost household for dinner, and the twins challenge you to a game of H-O-R-S-E, for God's sake say no