The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

October 31, 2013

MSU Men BB adds shooter to recruiting class

MANKATO — Thomas Kopelman liked the Minnesota State campus and basketball program so much when he visited three weeks ago, he came back Monday to announce his commitment.

"It was one of those things that I went there, and it's a great basketball program, and I liked the players and the gym," Kopelman said. "It was everything a school could offer."

Kopelman, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard from Rockford (Ill.) Lutheran, is the second player to commit to Minnesota Satte for next season, joining 6-6 forward Alex Herink of Hudson, Wis.

"I'm a shooter, but a lot of my game revolves around driving the basket," Kopelman said. "But I'm definitely shoot first, drive second."

Kopelman, a two-time all-state selection, said his final decision came down to Dartmouth, New Hampshire, St. Leo's, Lindenwood and Minnesota State. He was on campus Monday and Tuesday to tell the Mavericks coaches in person that he'd be coming here.

He averaged 22.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 3.7 steals last season, helping his team to a 25-5 record. He shot 65 percent from the field, 40.8 percent from 3-point range and 80.2 percent from the free-throw line. Kopelman has 1,370 points in his career and has made 232 3-pointers.

"He's started for me since he was a freshman," Rockford coach Tom Guse said. "I get him for hopefully 32 more games, and then (Minnesota State) can have him. He's a good one.

"He's a tremendous shooter, who's put in a lot of hard work in the weight room to get stronger. He's difficult to guard because he can take you to the hole. Defensively, he has phenomenal timing."

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