By Chad Courrier firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mankato Free Press
---- — Taylor Anderson and Taylor Paulsrud have played basketball together since the fifth grade, not only during the school season but also on various AAU teams.
So it’s no surprise that the juniors at Rogers High School want to continue that relationship in the future, though they claim that they both chose Minnesota State on their own.
“It made the decision easier with both of us going there, but we both liked it and made our own decision,” Anderson said.
Anderson and Paulson both made verbal commitments last week to Minnesota State coach Emilee Thiesse, who can’t comment on recruits until she’s received a signed letter of intent. For Anderson and Paulsrud, that can’t happen until November, becoming the first commitments of the 2015 class.
“The school is close to home so my family and friends can see me play,” Paulsrud said. “It’s everyone’s dream to play college basketball with your best friend. We’re lucky it’s worked out.”
Anderson is a 5-foot-8 point guard, getting into the lane and passing out to Paulsrud, the 5-10 shooter. Anderson is averaging 10.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 steals this season, while Paulsrud is averaging 5.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
“I’m always looking to get in the lane and passing out,” Anderson said. “Taylor’s a good shooter. That’s where I get a lot of assists.”
Both Anderson and Paulsrud attended an AAU camp at Minnesota State last summer. Minnesota State was the only program to offer scholarships to both players, with Anderson considering South Dakota State and Augustana and Paulsrud thinking about Bucknell, DePaul and Northern Iowa. Eventually, both chose to attend Minnesota State where they could continue their relationship.
“I think we both decided that Minnesota State was everything we wanted,” Paulsrud said. “We wanted to make our choice and get it over with.”
Rogers is 6-3 so far this season, 18-10 last season with a trip to the Section 8AAAA semifinals.
“They’re both mentally tough and can handle the pressure,” said Rogers coach Carlee Anderson, who played at Bemidji State. “They have really come through when we needed them, and they’re ready to play in college.”
The Mavericks have four seniors and five juniors on the team, which is 9-3, 6-2 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference games heading into weekend games at Northern State and Minnesota State-Moorhead. Thiesse signed five players in November for next season.