By Chad Courrier
Free Press Staff Writer
Minnie Frederick needed just one college visit, two years ago, to figure out where she wanted to continue her education and basketball careers: University of Detroit Mercy.
“I just liked all the surroundings there,” Frederick said. “I really liked the coaching staff. I just felt like I fit right in there.”
Frederick, a senior at Mankato East, will sign her letter of intent with the Division I program today, the first day of the early signing period. Detroit Mercy is a member of the Horizon League and located less than an hour’s drive from where Frederick grew up in Flint, Mich.
Detroit Mercy was 20-14 last season, 14-4 in the Horizon League, and lost in the first round of the women’s NIT. The Titans have just two seniors on the roster, though one is a guard.
“Those coaches contacted her as a freshman, and they’ve followed her out here,” East coach Mike Barger said.
Frederick, a 5-foot-6 point guard, was also recruited by North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Niagara and Oakland University. She could have waited until the spring to see if she attracted other offers.
“I thought if I knew what college I wanted to got to, why wait?” she said. “Let’s get it over with.”
In two seasons at Mankato East, she is within six of the career assists record and been a key reason for the Cougars’ resurgence.
As a sophomore, she made 252 assists, and she had 269 assists last season. Both seasons ranked in the top 7 in state history, and her 17-assist game against New Ulm in 2010 ranks as the second-best by a Minnesota player. She has 22 games in her career with at least 10 assists and one triple-double, with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists against Albert Lea in 2010.
“She can get to the basket, and she’s going to get quicker as she sticks with the weight room,” Barger said. “She’s a distributor who makes everyone around her better.
“She pushes the ball up the floor and gets us in our offense. I think her skill set translates well to the next level.”
Frederick also has averaged 15.7 points and 4.1 rebounds over 47 career games, helping the Cougars advance to the section championship game last season.
“I’m really excited about the season,” Frederick said. “I feel like this is our year to make it to state.”