Borchert makes home for himself on the hardwood

Arizona native Colin Borchert experienced a culture shock after moving to Scooba to play junior college ball, but he's found a home on the basketball court. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Arizona native Colin Borchert experienced a culture shock after moving to Scooba to play junior college ball, but he’s found a home on the basketball court. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – While Colin Borchert was growing up in Phoenix he had no idea his college basketball future would lie in Mississippi.

The Mississippi State senior forward spent a year at East Mississippi Community College before beginning his career with the Bulldogs last season. Needless to say, it was quite a learning experience for Borchert when he arrived in Scooba in 2010.

“The culture shock was crazy,” Borchert said. “I came from a big city where I had pretty much anything I wanted within a mile radius to somewhere where there was two gas stations and a liquor store. The biggest thing was just to adapt to that and realize the reason I was there. My No. 1 goal in life is compete at this level and go on and make money playing basketball.”

The 6-foot-8, 231-pounder was a high-profile recruit coming out of Glendale Mountain Ridge High School. Borchert was rated as a four-star prospect and one of the nation’s top 100 recruits according to Rivals.com at one point in his prep career. He garnered offers from USC, Kentucky, California, Nebraska and UNLV.

However, Borchert had to take the junior college route to reach the Division I level. He spent his freshman season at Yavapai (Ariz.) Junior College before transferring to EMCC as a sophomore. There, he led the Lions to a Region 23 Tournament title and a MACJC Division championship, averaging 15.5 points and 7.7 rebounds.

Borchert earned third-team All-American honors and scholarship offers from Georgetown, South Alabama, Xavier and a new head coach named Rick Ray at MSU.

“When I saw him, I saw a guy who could make 3s and is a good passer,” Ray said. “I think it gets lost in the shuffle sometimes just how good of a passer Colin is. We wanted somebody like that.”

Immediate impact

Borchert made an immediate impact for the Bulldogs, starting 24 of the 29 games in which he played. He scored nine points per game and finished second on the team with five rebounds during his initial year in Starkville.

This season, Borchert is averaging 10 points and 4.3 boards an outing while starting 14 of State’s 15 contests.

“The biggest thing with me is just confidence,” Borchert said. “Last year I wasn’t making shots in the beginning, but once I get that feel I can start making shots like I am now. It’s a confidence thing, knowing that my teammates want me to shoot and to be a threat out there on the wing.”

Borchert was named team captain by his teammates prior to the season.

“We had a team vote on it and those guys had enough respect for him to name him team captain,” Ray said. “I told those guys before the vote not to vote someone just because they were a senior, vote because they deserve it and you respect them.”

logan.lowery@journalinc.com