The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 18, 2013

Familiar face to transfer to Minnesota State

By Chad Courrier
The Free Press

MANKATO — MANKATO -- Two years ago, Michael Emge wanted to go to Minnesota State, but it didn¹t work out.

After this season, he hoped he could transfer from Northern State to Minnesota State, and it worked out.

"I just didn't see a winning future (at Northern State)," Emge said. "In high school, I won a lot of individual accolades, but we didn't have a lot of team success. I want a chance to win a national championship, and I think that can happen at Minnesota State."

Emge, who recently received his release, will enroll at Minnesota State in the fall. The 6-foot-5 guard who played high-school basketball at Faribault won't be allowed to play next season, due to Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference rules regarding transfers within member programs.

"It's going to be tough because I've never really sat on the bench," Emge said. "But in the long run, it will help me. I've got a chance to get stronger, and I'll be able to learn the offensive and defensive systems. Sometimes, if you get a chance to watch, it makes you a better player."

Minnesota State coach Matt Margenthaler, who can't talk about transfers until they arrive on campus, recruited Emge in high school and made an early scholarship offer. However, Emge said that he had a couple Division I programs that were interested so he waited.

"By the time I decided, (Minnesota State) had already gone in another direction," Emge said. "Mankato is where I wanted to be, but I decided to give Northern a chance."

In two seasons at Northern State, Emge has played in 54 games. As a freshman, he played in all 26 games, averaging 6.3 points and 1.8 rebounds while shooting 35.1 percent from 3-point range (35-94). Last season, he played in 28 of 31 games, starting 19. He averaged 8.5 points and 2.1

rebounds and shot 40.0 percent on 3-pointers (54-135).

"I can add some shooting," he said. "When I've watched Mankato, they're always a good offensive rebounding team, but they haven't had great shooters. I think I can bring that. And just keep everyone excited and fired up."

The Mavericks, who tied a program record with 28 victories and advanced to the region championship game last season, shot 37.1 percent from 3-point range as a team.

Minnesota State lost forward Jarvis Williams and guard Jimmy Whitehead from last season¹s team, but there were three players who redshirted last season: forward T.J. Okafor and guards Michael Busack and Grant Pope.