In this year's early signing period nine high school players from Minnesota signed with division one schools. Looking at this year's prospects there is a good chance that about five more kids from Minnesota will also sign with D1 school in the late signing period. Today we hear what the schools of the early signees had to say about their future talent.
Boston College announcement on Kevin Noreen
"Noreen averaged 32.8 points, 12.4 rebounds, 5.5 steals and 4.8 assists per game during the 2008-09 season at the Minnesota Transitions Charter School. He shot 66 percent from the field for the Wolves. He also made a name for himself in the Minnesota Pump N Run program."
Long Beach State release on Jacob Thomas
"We are thinking in recruiting mode that the first year we were trying to get good players," coach Dan Monson said. "Now we are trying to get good players that fit our needs. With Jacob we really addressed a kid that can stretch defenses and give us a really skilled shooter at the off guard position.
"He is a kid who is an elite scorer and an elite shooter. Those (recruiting) rankings don't mean much but still you don't get a lot of kids in our league who are ranked that highly. He is ranked that high for a reason. He can score on anybody and he just has a knack for putting the ball in the basket. Even evaluating our team this year that is something we are really lacking so it will give us that next year."
Averaged 22.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game as a junior leading team to a 13-5 record in league and an 18-11 overall record ... Scored in double digits in all 29 games, including two 40-point games, eight 30-plus point games and 15 games with 20 or more points ... Connected on 38 percent of field goals, 34 percent of 3-pointers and 75 percent of free throws ... Made five or more 3-pointers five times including a nine 3-pointer game, an eight 3-pointer game, two six 3-pointer games and a five 3-pointer game .... Had a season-high 41 points on 18-of-31 shooting from the floor and 8-of-13 shooting from three against Robbinsdale Cooper ... Finished with 40 points on 24-of-39 shooting and 9-of-13 shooting from three against Rosemount ... Had 37 points against St. Louis Park, 34 points against St. Francis and Spring Lake Park, and 30 points against Minnetonka, St. Bernard's and Fridley ... Grabbed a season-high nine boards against Benilde-St Margaret's ...
Colorado State release on Chad Calcaterra
Calcaterra, a 6-10, 250-pound post out of Cloquet, Minn., averaged 23.8 points per game during his junior season. Additionally, he pulled down 10.9 rebounds a game while blocking an average of 4.3 shots. He shot 58.6 percent from the field, and was named to Minnesota's all-state team. He holds the Cloquet High School single-season scoring record and has the potential to become the school's career scoring leader this season.
"Chad is a great young man with a ton of potential and a great work ethic," said Rams coach Tim Miles. "He is a very good athlete who plays with a physicality that will serve him well at the college level. He has an attitude that craves improvement and will work to be a productive player in the Mountain West. Chad is an excellent student and a first-class kid."
North Dakota State release on Marshall Bjorklund
Bjorklund, 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds, has been a three-year starter and all-conference performer at Sibley East High School in Arlington. He averaged 21 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks per game as a junior, and was a Minnesota Class 2A all-state pick and second team All-Metro pick in the Twin Cities.
"Marshall is a rugged interior player that will give us a different dimension," coach Saul Phillips said. "He is a bit of a throwback that uses his length around the basket really well and can use a variety of moves inside. He provides a physical presence and is very skilled."
Eastern Kentucky release on Taylor Filipek
"Filipek is a 6-6 guard/forward from Willmar High School in Minnesota who averaged 16 points per game as a junior. Filipek also starred as a football player for the Cardinals where he led the area in both receptions and interceptions this fall. His high school is in the same league as current Colonel Justin Stommes, who played at Rocori High.
Lafayette Twitter release on Jake Kreuser
"Congratulations to Jake Kreuser and his family! Got the paperwork today-the seven footer from Sibley HS in Minnesota has joined the Leopards!"
South Dakota release on Trevor Gruis
One of the top centers in the state of Minnesota, Trevor Gruis has helped Ellsworth High School and Coach Tyler Morris to the state title game the past three seasons. As a junior he led the Panthers in rebounds, blocks and assists by averaging 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists per game, while Ellsworth posted a 28-4 record and second-place finish at state. He was named to the Fab 40 for the state of Minnesota by Minnesota Breakdown, while earning all-state tournament, all-conference, all-area and all-state honors. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-9 Gruis averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game to assist Ellsworth to its second-straight state title with a 30-2. He was named to the all-area, all-conference and all-state tournament team. He was also part of a Panther squad that went 31-3 to capture a state tile during his freshman year. Gruis has totaled 1,072 points, 702 rebounds and 271 assists during his three-year prep career. He is the son of Layton and Missy Gruis.
"I wanted to come to USD because I liked the coaching staff a lot, and then when I met with the players they were great to," said Trevor. "Playing at the Division I level is going to be a great challenge for me as a player, and it's close to home so my family can come and watch me."
North Dakota release on Aaron Anderson
Anderson is a 5-foot-10 point guard from Brooklyn Park, Minn., where he helped guide Osseo High School to a 29-3 overall record and a runner-up finish in the 2009 Minnesota Class 4A State Tournament. Anderson was named to the all-tournament team for his efforts.
As a junior, he ranked second on the team in scoring (9.6 ppg), assists (2.6) and steals (1.9) en route to earning All-Northwest Suburban Conference honors. He reached double figures in scoring on 16 occasions, including a season-high 20 points against Forest Lake. Anderson played AAU basketball for Minnesota's Pump 'n Run team.
• I believe that because the Ivy League doesn't give full athletic scholarships they don't use an early signing period. If they do I have yet to find any information about it. So there was no release I can find on Columbia committed or maybe signed Dyami Starks.
• Minnesota Preps will run a similar story about division two signed players in the next 24 hours.
• After the signed player stories we will run player rankings for the 2010 and 2011 classes plus a top list of the uncommitted/unsigned talent left in the state.