After a stellar collegiate career with the Lafayette Leopards, New South Wales big man Dan Trist has signed his first professional playing contract with Baloncesto Oviedo in the Spanish LEB Gold (Oro) competition.
Playing in the highly competitive second division in Spain, Trist joins fellow Australian Mitch McCarron who also recently signed to play in the same league with Palencia. Trist confirmed he has signed a 1 year deal and in speaking exclusively with The Pick and Roll, advised he was looking forward to the challenge ahead.
"I'm really looking forward to going there [Oviedo]. It is a lovely part of the world and they are playing in one of the better leagues in Europe. It's a great starting point for my career and I am confident it will open a lot of doors for me in future."
Trist also viewed the signing as a chance to stay flexible, should bigger opportunities open up. "It's my first contract and I wanted short-term flexibility. An opportunity to have a great first year and then springboard to bigger things from there."
Trist in control - Courtesy Rick Smith via Lafayette Athletics
Trist explained the Oviedo was looking to improve next season, and were going to be looking to him to add value in the paint.
"They finished in the middle of the table last season - they had a decent season but are looking to do better this year. At this stage I am expecting to play the four spot and hopefully bring an interior presence and do some damage for them."
"The second division [in Spain] is comparable if not better than many other division one competitions in Europe. A lot of players from the second division in Spain are able to successfully make the transition to the Spanish ACB. You have to start somewhere and the second division is a great place."
Arguably the best Australian in NCAA Division I basketball last season, Trist was one of two unanimous selections to the Patriot League All-Conference First Team. The 6’8 senior forward enjoyed a career-year, delivering a league best 17.3 points per game at a 57.6% clip from the field. He was also the 4th best in rebounding with 6.7 rebounds per game, collecting 4 player of the week awards on his way to also being named 2014/15 NCAA Division I Australian Player of the Year.
Trist collected his 1,000th career-point during the season and moved into the top-10 in Lafayette’s all-time scoring list. As an efficient post player, Trist posted 8 double-doubles during the season and scored in double-digits in all but 4 of his games played. He also managed to score 20 or more points 13 times, including a career-high 29 points in a win against Bucknell. Demonstrating his ability to mix it with the best, Trist rounded out his 4-year collegiate career by posting a game-high 18 points with 9 rebounds in being knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by number 1 seed Villanova.
Dan Trist also accepted an invitation to play in the 2015 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (PIT) that was held in April, starting all three games and averaging a respectable 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. After representing Australia at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championships, he also participated in the 2015 World University Games in which his team finished in ninth place.
With a solid offensive game based on an array of post moves, Oviedo will be hoping Trist can deliver in much the same way he did for Lafayette as they aim for post season action in 2016.