New South Dakota State men’s basketball coach TJ Otzelberger has restocked his team in the short term – adding four players who will join the team next year in graduate transfers AJ Hess (Southern Utah) and Michael Orris (Northern Illinois), JuCo transfer Andre Wallace (Iowa Western CC) and Lebanese prepster Sergio El Darwich. You’ll be able to read more about that group early next week.
But Otzelberger also got right to work on stocking the roster long term, and the Jacks got a verbal from the 2018 class Wednesday from Sioux Valley big man Trevor Hanson. Only a sophomore, you’re forgiven if you don’t know much about Hanson, who’s been listed from 6-foot-6 to 6-foot-8, depending on the source. He must be on the high end of that measurement, though, because he says he’s a bona fide center and expects to play that position in college. There’s obviously plenty of time for him to hone both his game and his physique, and if he does, the Jacks may look wise for extending an offer as early as they did. And adding an in-state player is certainly a positive as well.
Hanson was offered a scholarship just last week, and it didn’t take him long to make his decision.
“I was a little surprised,” Hanson admitted when asked if getting an offer so early in his career was expected. “But when they offered I pretty much knew right away that’s where I was going. I’ve been following them for quite awhile. It’s a good school and it’s close to home so I can be where my family and friends are. They’ve been having a lot of success, so I’m really excited.”
When asked if the Jacks had been recruiting him before the coaching change Hanson said he wasn’t sure, but his high school coach, Bill Vincent, said the youngster has definitely been on the recruiting radar. Hanson missed a good chunk of this season with a broken foot that may have caused him to stay off the radar, but he had a strong spring with the Dakota Schoolers. He hasn’t had to carry the load for the Cossacks, who have strong veteran players in Collin Kramer and Tayt Vincent, but Hanson’s upside is apparently obvious.
“I would assume if you’re a college coach you’re looking at him as a guy with potential,” Vincent said. “He’s got a chance to fill out and improve and translate his skills to the next level.”
Those skills are of a versatile set, which is important for fitting in at SDSU.
“He’s a five that can stretch out at the high school level,” Vincent said. “We use him a lot with on the ball screens – he can pick and pop and shoot the 3 if need be, or he can post up. But he likes to be inside. He likes to be banging inside. He’s pretty polished for our level, but he’s still got a lot of room to develop and grow.”
Hanson isn’t the only high school sophomore the Jacks have targeted, as they also have made offers to guards Mitch Listau of Waunakee, Wisc., and AJ Green of Cedar Falls, Iowa, according to various recruiting service reports.