STORM LAKE — Zane Neubaum knows exactly what has helped him have the kind of breakout season he is experiencing for the Buena Vista men’s basketball team this year.
Neubaum, a former all-stater at South Central Calhoun, ranks among the leaders in scoring in the American Rivers Conference and has helped the Beavers to a 7-9 record.
“I have been blessed with unlimited confidence from my coaches and teammates to put the ball in my hands and let me attack,” Neubaum said. “During the offseason, I tried my best to make myself as well-rounded as possible and have no weaknesses whether it was 3-pointers, mid-range or in the post.
“I would say I have been able to get in better shape conditioning-wise and physically to better handle bigger and smaller opponents. I have also realized how mentally prepared you must be at all times to be able to keep ready for 40 minutes.”
The 6-foot-4 junior is averaging 20.8 points per game in 33 minutes on the floor. Neubaum is shooting 48 percent from the field, 78 percent at the free throw line and has made 21 three-pointers.
He is also posting five rebounds per game with 26 assists, 20 steals and 10 blocked shots.
Neubaum opened the season with a 37-point performance vs. Westminster and had a career-high 44 against Greenville where he was 20 of 27 from the field. He has gone over the 30-point mark two other games, including this past weekend vs. Wartburg.
“Seeing that career-high in a win over Greenville at the Snyder Classic was definitely a memorable moment individually,” he said. “A memorable moment as a team was being able to win the Snyder Classic and tie for first in the ARC/SLIAC Tournament.”
A biomedical sciences major, Neubaum played in 27 games last year, averaging 13 points with 109 rebounds, 33 assists, 20 blocks and 20 steals. He also saw action as a freshman, averaging 13.5 points and 4.4 rebounds a night.
“Buena Vista is the right fit for me because of the relationship I have been able to have with my coaches,” Neubaum said. “No matter if we are on a hot or cold streak, I always feel comfortable talking to them.
“My ultimate personal goal is to be the conference player of the year at some point. As for our team, I want to win the conference tournament and make the national tournament. I think the goal for our team is very attainable.”
Buena Vista returns to action Saturday when they host Loras at 4 p.m. inside Siebens Fieldhouse. The conference tournament begins Feb. 21.