Bliss to Visit CMU

The spring signing period for prep basketball players is only a few weeks away. Although most top prospects signed with the college of their choice last November, others like Dave Bliss have emerged during their senior year to become a hot commodity among Division I basketball programs, including Central Michigan University.

Center Dave Bliss (6-10, 245) of Wausau (Wisc.) West High School has a big decision to make in the next few weeks.

It's a decision that thousands of high school basketball players across the nation would no doubt love to make themselves.

Bliss, you see, must decide where he will play his college basketball. He has scholarship offers from both Central Michigan and Southern Illinois to ponder and has scheduled visits to both schools, including CMU this weekend (March 26-28).

"Central Michigan and Southern Illinois have pursued him the hardest and expressed the most interest," Wausau West head coach Chris Schell said. "He's really excited about his visit to CMU this weekend. I know the comfort level is very high for Dave and his family with CMU, it seems like a great fit for him."

Bliss was recently named the player of the year in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. He finished the season averaging 19 points and 14 rebounds per game for Wausau West (14-8), despite being constantly double and triple teamed.

"On many occasions this year he could have padded his stats but chose to pass the ball to a teammate instead," Schell said. "He's a kid who's got everything in order and is a tremendous young man."

For Bliss, having things in order means taking official visits to both CMU and SIU (April 9-11) before making a verbal commitment. Signing day is April 14.

"I'm excited to get a chance to meet (CMU) Coach (Jay) Smith and the team in person," Bliss said. "I've heard great things about the campus too."

Bliss said he also likes SIU of the Missouri Valley Conference. The Salukis have been nationally ranked most of the season and in the NCAA tournament the past two years.

"They have a young coaching staff that seems to have the program heading in the right direction," Bliss said.

According to Schell, both Providence and Old Dominion have recently requested film on Bliss, while Georgia Tech might not be far behind.

Time is of the essence though, and it appears CMU and SIU will get first crack at Bliss, a hidden gem of a post player who's been flying under the radar in Wisconsin's north woods.

"This is football territory up here in central and northern Wisconsin," Schell said, "but Dave is a very special player. He's all about winning."

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