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Mika Preparing to Make an Impact at BYU

25 April 2013 Brett Richins
Eric Mika is expected to contribute as a freshman at BYU in 2013-14.

Eric Mika is expected to contribute as a freshman at BYU in 2013-14.

He’s still five weeks away from graduating from high school, but Lone Peak center Eric Mika has already turned his focus towards Provo and BYU– a place where he will try to fill the shoes of All-WCC post player Brandon Davies next season.

The 6-10, 225-pound future freshman will enter the BYU program as the nation’s No. 3-ranked center for the class of 2013. He will also come to campus with state and national championships in his back pocket.

This past season, Mika was a dominating force on a team that destroyed opponents by more than 20 points per game. Even some of the nation’s most elite high school teams were no match for Mika and the Knights as they rolled to a 26-1 record, while playing games all over the country.

After being forced to sit out as a junior following his transfer to Lone Peak from Waterford High, Eric took full advantage of his senior season. During his team’s run through the Utah 5-A state tournament, he averaged 16 points and 13 rebounds on a star-studded team. He rolled up those numbers while usually sitting on the bench for most of the fourth quarter of those games, as the Knights cruised to the title.

Luckily for BYU, Mika committed to Dave Rose and the Cougars while serving as Lone Peak’s water boy during the 2011 season. After his dominating performance against some of the best high school players in the country this past season, he could have gone to virtually any school he wanted.

“It would have been cool to see where I could have gone, but I know that I would have ended up at BYU,” Mika told Deep Shades of Blue. “It’s the right place for me.”

Eric says that he understands that a lot of eyes will be on his play next year. The step up from high school to college is a big one, even for a player who has had success while facing some of the nation’s best competition in both high school and AAU play, and Mika says he’s trying to do all he can to prepare himself for the next level.

“I’m still trying to work on some things. I’m trying to gain weight right now. I’ve been getting in the gym with some of the big guys from BYU. The coaches aren’t allowed to be around right now, but I’ve been getting in the gym with Nate Austin and Brandon (Davies). The next level is so much more physical–which is what I like–but every guy is so much bigger.”

In addition to building his body, he’s also focused on developing his skill level.

“Right now I’m working a lot at finishing with one hand better, things like hook shots. With how physical it is (at the college level), it’s not easy to face up and shoot in the middle of the lane. Guys are going to be big and long, so that’s one thing that I’m focusing on.”

In this interview with DSB, Mika talks about dealing with the expectations he will face next year at BYU and what went into his decision to play a season before serving a mission…

Lone Peak head coach Quincy Lewis talks about how Mika turned the disappointment of having to sit out his junior year to his advantage and explains what kind of player the Cougars are getting…

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