Illinois Forward Commits to CMU

The Central Michigan University basketball program has received its fourth verbal commitment for the 2005 class. He is a versatile power forward from the Land of Lincoln who chose CMU over a number of other Division I schools.

O'Fallon (Ill.) High School head coach Kevin Kellermann confirmed that his son, Chris Kellermann, has made a verbal commitment to play his college basketball for Central Michigan.

"On Saturday afternoon, Chris walked into the room and told me he wanted to go to Central Michigan," coach Kellermann said. "He hit it off real well with the players when he visited. He likes the facilities, especially the academic support, and he likes (CMU head) coach (Jay) Smith."

Kellermann said they visited CMU the weekend of Sept. 11 and became convinced it was a great place for Chris.

"CMU plays four out and one in and that style of offense fits Chris perfectly," coach Kellermann said. "He just turned 17 in August and his best basketball is ahead of him. There's a good possibility Chris might grow some more."

Last season, the 6-foot-8 Kellermann averaged 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists per game for O'Fallon. He shot 89 percent from the line, 65 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range.

Coach Kellermann said his son also had offers from Bradley, Austin Peay, Samford and Southeast Missouri State. He was also being heavily recruited by Southern Illinois, Wichita State, Bowling Green, Ball State and Wisconsin-Green Bay.

"Chris was interested in SIU until Matt Painter left to become coach at Purdue," Kellermann said.

According to Kellermann, a high ankle sprain suffered by Chris at a team camp in June slowed his progress this summer as he was only able to play at close to 80 percent.

Coach Kellermann said it was soon afterward at the Hoosier Shootout in Indianapolis that CMU first began recruiting Chris, who was playing AAU ball for the Midwest Storm.

"Playing with pain shows toughness," coach Kellermann said. "Chris is a very unselfish player, he'd just as soon pass the ball as shoot it.

"He's a versatile player and has great court instincts. Chris has range out beyond the three-point arc, can shoot a jump hook with either hand, and can play with his back to the basket. A lot of college coaches have told him that Chris reminds them of (Creighton All-American) Kyle Korver," Kellermann added.

O'Fallon finished last season with a 14-15 record, but Kellermann said 11 of those losses were to teams ranked in the top 20 in Illinois.

With the addition of Kellermann to the 2005 recruiting class, the Chippewas have one scholarship remaining. Two players who have been offered are 6-7 forward Andre Smyth of Windsor (Ont.) Vincent Massey Secondary School; and 6-10 center Brandon Ford of Sarnia (Ont.) St. Clair Secondary School.

"Central Michigan is a great opportunity for Chris," coach Kellermann said. "Making the decision to go there was like a ton of bricks being lifted from his shoulders. Coach Smith told me he feels this could be the best class he's ever brought in to CMU in his eight years there."


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