Feb. 12, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

One of the best interior players in the Midwest Conference has attended Carroll University for years, but he never stepped onto the court for the Pioneers before this season.

Josh Gould was an all-conference tight end for the Carroll football team, who had played just one year of high school basketball, but kept involved with the sport through intramurals and pick-up games.

When Gould first arrived at Carroll, men’s basketball head coach Dave Schultz spotted him and inquired who he was with hopes of him making him into a two-sport athlete.

“He was a good athlete with good movement, and had some good basketball skills,” said Schultz.  “I talked to him in the last couple years to see if he had interest in playing, because I thought that he could help us.  He was interested, but he was committed to football, and there were possibilities of even playing after college.”

Even last year, following his final season on the football field, Gould turned Schultz’ offer down because he had aspirations of becoming a professional football player.

“I always wanted to concentrate on football because my dream was to play in the NFL,” said Gould.  “I had a couple workouts (with pro teams) and tried to send out tapes to NFL teams.”

When his football career options were exhausted last spring, Gould decided to return to Carroll to finish school and make an attempt at playing for the basketball team, but first he had to get into basketball-shape. 
“I played some summer league to see how my skills were, and the guys on the team encouraged me to go out for the team, and here I am now,” said Gould.

Schultz said there was a small learning curve, but that Gould was quick to adjust.

“There was rust as far as learning terminology,” said Schultz.  “We had a veteran crew coming back, so he had to get up to speed with some of our schemes and what we like to do.   Anytime you don’t play competitive basketball for four or five years, there’s going to be an adjustment, really throughout the year.”

Gould has made an immediate impact for the Pioneers with his size and his skills.  His size – 6-4 and 255 pounds – gave him a big presence in the middle, and he earned a starting center spot right away.

“This year, we were looking for guys who were a little more mature inside,” said Schultz.  “We needed a little bit more seasoning and experience, and Josh physically had no problem stepping in.  He has been able to establish himself as a big contributor – basically a double-double guy – right from the get-go.”

The native of Chicago, Ill., leads the team – and ranks second in the MWC – with 8.2 rebounds per game, and is one five Pioneers scoring in double-figures with 10.2 points per game.  Despite his successful comeback to the hardwood, Gould has had to focus on changing his approach on the court.

“In basketball, it’s hard not to get fouls pretty easily, and I probably hit people a little harder,” said Gould.  “I’ve still got that football mentality in my system so I go a little hard on the basketball court.  Controlling my power and strength over other people is the biggest thing.”

Gould is glad that he has been able to be a part of the squad, and has enjoyed his new coaches and teammates.  The Pioneers have also benefitted from his contributions, already cementing a berth in this year’s Midwest Conference Tournament.