The JT experience

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Freshman teammates and roommates rise through the ranks of men’s basketball

The “JT experience” is announced as Joel Cline and Travis Voigt come into the game off the bench. As the game progresses, no quality of play is lost. It is almost as if they can read each other’s minds as plays between the two are executed more fluently than speaking the native tongue. Fresh legs can always help bring life to a team, but Cline and Voigt bring something extra.

“(As roommates) we can tell each other what you expect and what you as a player prefer, and the type of style that you play with and whatnot.”

“I think me and Travis have more chemistry than I do with anyone else on the team,” said Freshman post, Joel Cline. His teammate and roommate, Freshman guard Travis Voigt expanded, “(As roommates) we can tell each other what you expect and what you as a player prefer, and the type of style that you play with and whatnot.”

Voigt and Cline have both had a successful start to their collegiate basketball careers. Of the eight freshman and three sophomores on the team, Cline and Voigt are leaders in scoring with 195 (Voigt) and 82 (Cline) points, and minutes played with 364 (Voigt) and 273 (Cline). Impressively, the “JT experience” are both in the top three of the whole team in field goal percentage with 52.5 (Voigt) and 45.5 (Cline) percent. Voigt also leads the team in 3-point field goal percentage with 53 percent, while Cline is in the top four in blocks (2) and rebounds (71).

Left: Joel Cline, 30, sets a pick for Travis Voigt, 13, in a game against Northwestern.
Left: Joel Cline, 30, sets a pick for Travis Voigt, 13, in a game against Northwestern.

 

Both from Green Bay, Wis., Cline and Voigt lived only about five minutes from each other. However, until about nine months ago, they only knew each other from reading the paper. Travis Voigt was making headlines for N.E.W. Lutheran High School, while Joel Cline did the same for Southwest High School. They played against each other just once in a summer league.

Voigt and Cline started building up their chemistry in open gym games. When they both had decided to come to North Central, they planned on being roommates.

After games, the chemistry in the “JT experience” continues to build. Not only do they shoot together frequently outside of practice, but they also “absolutely” talk basketball when they go back to their room.

“We watch film together a lot – especially as a team,” said Voigt.

“We usually go through a post-game breakdown either that night or the next day,” said Cline. “We break down how we did personally and go from there.”

A lot of their success can be attributed to the chemistry that they have built, and it has not gone unnoticed. In fact, the name “JT experience” is the “coined” name of Cline and Voigt for the substitution package that Coach Jon High uses.

“It is kind of evident that we have good chemistry together, but also it is rotation too,” said Cline. “It’s not up to just us. Coach has to see it too. And we definitely have to perform on the floor too to get that playing time.”

Both Cline and Voigt played their best games when they came in to the game together in the “JT experience” package. Voigt’s best game of the season was his first start against rival Northwestern. He scored 16 points while picking up six rebounds, four assists and one steal. Cline’s came against Providence-Manitoba. He scored 14 points accompanied by one steal and four rebounds. Neither of their counterparts had statistically amazing performances in either of these games. However, they both played well-executed complementary basketball to help the other succeed.

With the rapid flight of these two freshman players, the future of North Central men’s basketball looks bright.