Men's basketball: Three high school seniors commit to Bemidji State
BEMIDJI - Bemidji State men's basketball cach Matt Bowen appears to be pulling in another solid recruiting class. Park High School guard Jake Lindstrom, Spring Lake Park forward Taylor Hall and Crosby-Ironton guard Bryce Tesdahl have all recently...
BEMIDJI - Bemidji State men's basketball cach Matt Bowen appears to be pulling in another solid recruiting class.
Park High School guard Jake Lindstrom, Spring Lake Park forward Taylor Hall and Crosby-Ironton guard Bryce Tesdahl have all recently made verbal commitments to play for the Beavers next season.
The first day for high school seniors to officially sign a National Letter of Intent to play basketball is Wednesday.
NCAA rules prohibit Bowen from commenting on recruits until they have signed a NLI.
The three are part of Bowen's second recruting class.
Lindstrom, a guard, averaged 23.4 points per game as a senior last season in the tough Suburban East Conference. He was a 37 percent 3-point shooter and was named all-conference the last two seasons.
Lindstrom was a varsity player for the Cottage Grove-based school for four years and finished his career with 1,726 points.
The Wolfpack finished the season 9-18.
Hall averaged 15.6 points games this year and was the top scorer at Spring Lake Park. The all-conference scored 441 points over 20 games for Panthers, which lost in the Section 3AAA championship to Minneapolis Henry.
He scored 24 in that section championship game. It was one of seven 20-plus point performances he had last season.
Spring Lake Park finished the season 18-11.
Spring Lake Park head coach Grant Guzy described Hall as a "diamond in the rough."
He moved to Minnesota from Wisconsin three years ago and played on the sophomore team. He was 6-foot-2 at the time and led the Panthers B-squad.
He played primarily on the junior varsity team two years ago as a junior, grew to 6-foot-4 and was able to see playing time at the varsity level when SLP made the state tournament.
It was last summer that Guzy saw a dramatic transformation in Hall's game.
"When he played in the spring and summer, he just got after it," Guzy said. "He was at open gym, played in all of the tournaments, summer league, spent the summer in the weight room -- he got bigger, stronger, quicker, faster and he kept working hard."
The 195-pound senior went on to be the top scorer at SLP last season on a team that returned three players from the 2007 state tournament roster.
He grew to 6-foot-6 and averaged 4.5 rebounds per game, 2 assists per game and averaged one blocked shot per game.
Guzy raved about Hall's athleticism and said that will be one of the biggest things he will contribute to Bemidji State.
"He comes right off the basketball season and is the starting center fielder on the baseball team here," Guzy said. "He's a natural athlete and basketball-wise his future goal is to just keep improving the way he did the last two years. He has a lot of upside."
Tesdahl has the biggest name recognition of the trio. He played for Class 2A state runner-up Crosby-Ironton, was named All-State tournament and was named to the Minnesota Associated Press' All-State second team.
The all-conference player was the leading scorer for the Rangers and averaged 17 points per game. He also had potential to reach double figures in rebounds and assists every night.
"He does have the outside shot - it maybe a little unorthodox -- but it's a threat makes him tough to defend," Galovich said. "He can put the ball down on the floor and when he attacks basket he has such good vision. When he's not able to finish off the basket, he's able to give it to his teammates."
He's the all-time leading scorer with over 1,900 points at Crosby-Ironton, which finished the season 32-1.
"Maybe the most important thing about Bryce is that he's very unselfish," Galovich said. "He finished with over 10 assists per game for us and he's one kid that made everyone else on our team better by his presence."
Galovich described Tesdahl, a 4-year varsity starter, as an ideal student and one who has earned respect from peers, the community and faculty.
Tesdahl likely would have surpassed 2,000 career points, but he chose to sit out 10 games to support the teacher's strike in Crosby-Ironton in 2005. His parents are both teachers in the Crosby-Ironton School District.
When talking with Bowen last month, he mentioned the Beavers were looking at five recruits but did not mention the names of any players he was targeting.
Whoever else is added, Galovich feels that Bemidji State is an up and coming program on the rise.
"From what I hear and see, Matt is doing it the right way," he said. "With the two classes he has they are going to be young next year and it's tough to win with freshmen and sophomores in that league (NSIC). But they will show improvement, but they will be better next year and the year after that they should be very good."
Bowen's first recruiting class last year included Cass Lake-Bena's Brady Fairbanks, St. Bernard's Patrick Cassidy, Andover's Jimmy Johnson, Foley's Tyler Wruck and DeLaSalle's Anthony Humphrey.
"I like what (Bowen's) doing," Galovich said. "He's recruiting local kids and not only are they good athletes, they are good students and good people."