Case moves forward in college career
Chico State coach Puck Smith asked Alan Case to play an unfamiliar position for the 2000-01 basketball season and it didn’t go as smoothly as player and mentor hoped.
However, the former South Tahoe High star stuck by the game plan and played inside for the Wildcats.
“He played mostly the forward position, which was not ideal for him, but we really didn’t have a choice,” said the 14-year Chico State coach. “But he did a good job.”
The junior forward led the Wildcats with 4.8 rebounds per game while averaging seven points.
“He had a good year, but was a little up and down as far as his shooting is concerned,” Smith said. “At times, he really made himself known and overall we’re very happy with him.”
Case only shot 36.5 percent from the field, sinking 50-of-137 shots. He was actually better from 3-point territory, making 35-of-90 attempts or 38.9 percent.
Even though the 1998 STHS grad was one of the team’s bigger presences inside, the 6-foot-4 Case knew where to find the 3-point line. He canned six 3-pointers and scored 19 points as the Wildcats upset perennial national contender U.C. Davis 89-73.
“Our four man gets a lot of looks on the perimeter,” Smith said. “Our four man starts inside and pops up. It’s more of who he is going to guard than where his shots are going to come from.”
Case, who started 19 of the Wildcats’ 23 games, averaged 25 minutes, shot 81 percent from the line and was second in steals with 20.
Smith redshirted three other STHS alums, including Travis McCollum, Matt Williams and Andy Butcher. Smith intended to use McCollum as a true freshman, but he came down with mononucleosis and injured his wrist.
“He’s a really big, strong kid who is working really hard,” Smith said. “Matt and Andy are working real hard this spring and hopefully, they’ll get a chance next year.”
The Wildcats finished in a tie for seventh in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, winning 9 of 23 games. Chico State was 11-14 overall.
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