UW-L Men's hoops adds 8 newcomers - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports


UW-L Men's hoops adds 8 newcomers


La Crosse, WISCONSIN   La Crosse, Wis. - University of Wisconsin-La Crosse head men's basketball coach Ken Koelbl has announced the verbal commitments of eight players for the 2013-14 season, including six high school players and two college transfers.

High school verbal commitments include Colten Berger of Durand (H.S.); Nick Crowley of Dodgeville (H.S.); Ryan Kruser of Waunakee (H.S.); Abram Pedersen of Eleva-Strum (H.S.); Clint Rihn of Onalaska (H.S.) and Will Tweed of Fall Creek (H.S.). 

Two college transfers have also made verbal commitments, including Joe Sokovich from Wheaton College (Ill.) and Jared Staege from UW-Eau Claire. 

Berger, a 6-5 forward, helped lead Durand to a 22-2 record and Middle Border Conference championship.  He averaged 9.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game last season while shooting 64.2% from the field and earning second team all-conference honors. 

Crowley, a 6-4 forward, was a three-time All-Southwest Wisconsin Conference selection at Dodgeville.  He earned first team honors as a junior and senior and honorable mention accolades his sophomore season.  A two-year co-captain, Crowley was named the league's most valuable player his senior year after averaging 22.6 points per game and was selected to play in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-Star Game.  He earned all-area honors last year as the Dodgers shared the league title, finishing 18-6 overall.  Crowley, who averaged 13.2 points as a junior and 7.5 his sophomore season, scored over 1,000 career points. 

Kruser, a 6-1 guard, helped lead Waunakee to an 18-6 record last season and a conference title.  He averaged 14.9 points per game as a senior and earned Badger North Conference First Team honors.  Kruser earned WBCA All-State Honorable Mention honors this season and was selected to play in the WBCA All-Star Game.

Pedersen, a 6-4 forward, averaged 13.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game his senior season as Eleva-Strum finished 15-10.  He was a Dairyland Conference First Team selection as a senior after being named to the second team in his junior year.   Pedersen averaged 8.3 points and 5.5 rebounds as a junior.

Rihn, a 6-1 guard, was a Mississippi Valley Conference (MVC) First Team choice this past season as Onalaska advanced to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Division 2 state semifinals.  He averaged 6.1 points last season.  Rihn, who was selected to play in this year's WBCA All-Star Game, helped lead the Hilltoppers to two conference titles and was a starter of the Division 2 state championship team in 2011-12.   He earned MVC Second Team honors as a junior.

Tweed, a 6-2 guard/forward, averaged 9.6 points and 7.3 rebounds his senior year as Fall Creek won the Western Division of the Cloverbelt Conference.  The younger brother of current UW-L guard Luke Tweed, Will Tweed earned first team all-conference honors in 2012-13. 

Sokovich, a 6-9 center, attended Wheaton College (Ill.) the past two seasons.  He played in 18 games for the Thunder in 2012-13, averaging 1.3 points per game.  Sokovich scored a career-high seven points at Augustana College (Ill.).  He appeared in eight games as a freshman in 2011-12. A two-year starter at Watertown (Wis.) High School, Sokovich was a two-time Wisconsin Little Ten All-Conference selection.  He earned first team honors as a senior in 2010-11 and second team accolades his junior year in 2009-10.

Staege, a 6-2 guard, played football last season at UW-Eau Claire.  Playing wide receiver, he appeared in all 10 games while finishing with 11 catches for 157 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown reception versus UW-Stout September 29.  He also returned seven punts for 45 yards during the 2012 season.  A two-year basketball starter at Waunakee (Wis.) High School, Staege earned Badger North Conference First Team honors as a senior after averaging 9.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 2010-11.  He was named to the 2011 WBCA All-Star Team.  Staege was an honorable mention all-conference selection in his junior season.

Story courtesy of David Johnson at UW-La Crosse Sports Information

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