Stutzman in the Cougar crosshairs

Jared Stutzman only a sophomore but he's already making a name for himself as a basketball marksman. The Bonneville High School (Idaho) sharpshooter is now beginning to hit the bull's-eye when it comes to getting the attention of Division I college coaches, and it's not only because of his long-range shooting, but also because of his versatility and intelligence on the basketball court.

After the 2011-12 basketball season is put into the record books, Jared Stutzman will have two more years of high school basketball to play. The Bonneville High School wing is rapidly becoming the star that not many on the recruiting scene know about, but soon will.

"I'm a long 6'5" shooting guard," Stutzman said. "I shoot the ball well enough to play the two and am long enough to play the three. I shoot the long ball well and can take it to the hole."

Coach Rose and his staff are aware of Stutzman's on-the-court marksmanship and are in the process of recruiting him.

"What I like about Coach Rose and all his assistants is that they are real honest with me," Stutzman said. "They don't give me lip service, and you can trust what they say. You also know that BYU will always follow the recruiting rules to the letter. I can't say that about all the programs that have tried to recruit me."

Stutzman, who is LDS, has two current offers from the University of Utah and Weber State. He's hoping that BYU will also be included on the list of schools that have offered.

"BYU is a unique place," said Stutzman. "It is a culture school and I like their style of play. They like to push the ball and always recruit kids that can run and shoot the ball well. I love to run and I'm a pretty good shooter."

Stutzman is being a little humble when he says he's a "pretty good shooter."

"For the 20-game season, I have averaged 21 points per game and about eight rebounds per game," said Stutzman. "Because I have been the main scorer on my team, I have attracted a lot of defensive attention. It has been a good learning experience for me to try to figure out the defense and to take what they give me. Some games [that means shooting] the three-pointer and some games they challenge me to take it to the hole. Some games they double me and I load up on the assists. I just try to adjust and do what will help my team win."

Against Century High School, Stutzman rained down five threes, and in a close loss to Madison High School he scored 28 points while shooting 8-of-13 from beyond the three-point line. One three was a buzzer-beater shot from just three feet over the half court line that hit nothing but net. Bonneville is now trying to qualify for a run in the postseason.

"We just finished our last regular season game last night," Stutzman said. "We will try to qualify for state in the next two weeks. We have been starting four sophomores lately so we are inexperienced but we are getting better every game."

In the meantime, Stutzman has plenty of high school basketball games left to play and is simply letting his on-court accomplishments do all the talking. In time, he'll consider his options and will make the best decision for him.

"I'm still pretty young in this recruiting game," he said. "I have tried not to worry about it too much. I'm just trying to get better each day. BYU has always been on my list but so are lots of other schools. My parents have basically handled the recruiting up until now.

"They want me to have choices when it comes time. They have only really talked to schools that they would feel comfortable sending me to, where the environment would be good, the coaching would be good, and the education would be good. At some point I will have to narrow the list down, but I'm not quite ready to do that yet."

In the state of Utah, Lone Peak high school has two basketball players that will go on to play at BYU: Nick Emery and T.J Haws. So what does Stutzman feel about possibly playing with those two standout prospects?

"I haven't really ever played against Nick or T.J., but I know they are great players," Stutzman said. "But, there will be great players wherever I choose."

Stutzman has a fairly good grasp on what he is looking for at the next level. He might be young in years, but his focus on what he wants to accomplish while in college and afterwards is razor-sharp.

"I guess I put a lot of emphasis on who I want to play for," Stutzman said. "I want to be a college basketball coach for a career, so the coach that I choose will not only be the coach I play for he will also be the coach that I learn how to coach from. That will weigh heavily in my decision down the road. I look at it as not only playing college basketball but also like an internship where I will begin learning the ropes of my future career."

But before he ever makes a long-range three-point shot or no-look pass on a fast break at college, Stutzman may leave for a mission.

"I do want to serve a mission," he said. "I am a September birthday so I can serve right after high school or I can attend a year of college first. It will depend on the school I pick and what their depth charts look like. All the schools recruiting me have been super supportive of me serving a mission and they all leave the decision up to me on when I want to go. I'm leaning on serving first, right out of high school, but I am flexible."

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