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Where Are They Now? Shockers Edition: Part 1- The Turgeon Years

 

 

by Alex Chiles, who you can find much easier than some of these guys on Twitter @axchiles

Have you ever wondered what became of some of the recent Shocker greats? Did they go pro here in the States? Find success in international ball? Complete career change? Sure, you could google this information. But why go through all that trouble when I can do it for you? For this piece, I primarily focused on the Turgeon years and beyond, because I’m in charge and can do what I want. For Part 1, we’ll focus on players that played the majority of their years with Mark Turgeon. Without further ado…

P.J. Couisnard

What did he do for the Shox?

Although never earning more than honorable mentions in the Valley’s end of season awards, PJ was an all-around contributor for the Shockers from 2004 to 2008. He was a big part of Turgeon’s Sweet 16 team in 2006 and was the team’s high scorer his senior year, helping Gregg Marshall through his first as the Shockers head coach. Bob Lutz touted him as today’s “Most Underrated Shocker”. Overall, he’s Top 20 in WSU history in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and three-pointers. He’s also #1 in crowd chanting, because I can still close my eyes and hear “COUS!!!” echoing through Koch Arena.

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What’s he been up to since?

Since his time at WSU, he played a lot of professional-but-not-NBA basketball in the states and spent two years playing in Hungary (where he even faced off against former teammate Kyle Wilson a time or two). Most recently, he played for the Kentucky Mavericks, a now-defunct team. He retired after the 2016 season and is now considering a coaching career. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife and three kids.

Matt Braeuer

What did he do for the Shox?

I’m definitely biased here- Matt Braeuer (who has way more consecutive vowels in his name than I remember) was easily my favorite Shocker growing up. He was scrappy, played defense, and shot 3-pointers well. He was a leader on the court (hint hint about his future) and it’s no coincidence that Mark Turgeon’s peak coincides with Braeuer’s time there, culminating in the Sweet 16 where they lost to George Mason in a battle of that year’s Cinderellas. He did have the chance to play his senior year in Marshall’s first year, but unfortunately missed 10 games that season due to concussions- which is a damn shame considering he is the exact kind of player Marshall loves and he could’ve really made a big impact on that team going forward. He ended up being top 10 in Shockers history for 3-pointers made and is just barely outside the top 10 for assists and steals.

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What’s he been up to since?

Matt Braeuer has spent his post Shockers years involved in the non-playing portions of college athletics, doing a little bit of everything. He spent two years as with his former head coach Mark Turgeon as Maryland’s video director. He then was an assistant coach Sam Houston State from 2013-2016. He is currently director of men’s basketball operations at College of Charleston. That last one may not sound like a big deal, but coaches often have experience in that position at one time or another in their careers. For example, Barry Hinson was KU’s director of basketball operations between Valley coaching gigs. As for Matt, I definitely miss the shaggy hair.

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Kyle Wilson

What did he do for the Shox?

A transfer from Illinois, Kyle Wilson played 3 seasons with the Shockers (PPG went up steadily each year too). He was a swingman and a solid contributor on the Sweet 16 team. He was great at the long 2, and often took advantage of slower opponents at his position to convert and-1’s.

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What’s he been up to since?

After WSU, Kyle was an international journeyman, playing in Germany, Austria, Cyprus, Hungary, and Israel. He retired in 2012 and is now using the Marketing degree he earned from WSU. He is now the proud owner of a LinkedIn profile and has joined the world of business. He is currently a sales district leader for Pepsi. Like Matt, he traded in his shaggy hair and basketball jersey for a more professional look.

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Sean Ogirri

What did he do for the Shox?

After a season that landed him on the Valley’s All-Freshman team, Ogirri was arguably the Sweet 16 team’s best player, averaging double digit points a game and shooting 44% from three point land for the season, easily good enough for #1 in the Valley. The following season was a disappointment and his numbers suffered, as did the team as a whole. Overall though, Ogirri’s WSU legacy is making the 2006 run possible, being silky smooth from 3, and this Sports Illustrated cover.

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What’s he been up to since?

When Turgeon left for Texas A&M, Ogirri followed suit and transferred to another D1 school himself. He sat out one season to satisfy NCAA rules and then played his final year of eligibility at Wyoming. He was the conference’s #1 three point shooter that season, both in percentage and number made. Since then? He’s more known internationally than domestically these days, as evidenced by the fact that he has a Spanish Wikipedia page but not an English one. He’s played baloncesto internationally, primarily in Spain and the Dominican Republic. And his 3-ball? Still silky.

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Paul Miller

What did he do for the Shox?

Oh, Paul Miller. Paul Miller was frustrating until he wasn’t. Maddening to watch, until he wasn’t. He was a big man who developed a ton over his 5 years on the team (he had to redshirt after suffering a broken foot his first year). He started as a skinny, tall, awkward, turnover-prone mess. He improved on his passing and top of the key jumper, and by his senior year, he was a beast and nobody in the Valley could guard his 6-10, 250 lb frame. He finished his career with the Sweet 16 appearance and being named the Valley’s Player of the Year. To this day, he’s the only Shocker not named Fred VanVleet to be the Valley’s POY since 1986.

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What’s he been up to since?

Paul went undrafted, played on the Knicks summer league team, but ultimately did not make an NBA roster. He then joined the international circuit, playing in Germany, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and France. Earlier this year, Paul called a Shockers game on television for Cox Channel 22.

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