Heading into last spring, Bryce Webster was fairly well known around Minnesota and around Big 10 country. After going out on the national club circuit and performing very well with the Minneapolis based Howard Pulley Panthers, the six-foot-nine inch forward from Mendota Heights (MN) St. Thomas Academy is no longer a secret in the class of 2006.
According to St. Thomas coach Mike Sjoberg, the rest of the nation is catching on to what he already knew.
“He’s a special player, he’s got the size, hands and feet at his young age to be an exceptional player,” said Sjoberg. “With all of the exposure he’s been getting nationally, I guess a lot of other people think so too.”
Although the 235-pounder didn’t even turn 16 until late August -- meaning he could be a member of the class of 2007 by age -- there is plenty to like. He’s got soft hands, gets up and down the court well and is an instinctive rebounder who is learning to alter shots without fouling as much.
His humble and hardworking approach has caught the eyes of some of college basketball’s biggest names. Among the schools that have been in to watch him are Arizona, Kansas, Boston College, Purdue, Michigan State, Marquette, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and several others. However, Webster isn’t trying to narrow down a list right now and is seriously considering as many as 10 schools and is trying to focus on his junior season.
“We talked about schools quite often before the season got started,” said Sjoberg. “We spent some time after practice yesterday and he said that he doesn’t want to think about it until after the season.”
While he’s focusing on improving -- particularly by adding a reliable 15 foot jump shot and developing the ability to take one or two strong dribbles to the basket -- Webster has also tried to fit in some campus visits. He was supposed to visit Kansas for the Georgia Tech game but the visit had to be cancelled due to weather.
Even though the visit was cancelled, Webster and his coaches watched the game on television and will try to reschedule a visit at a later date.
“We had such a small window of opportunity to get there and we weren’t going to leave until early Saturday morning,” said Sjoberg of the cancelled trip to Lawrence. “The weather got crummy and we couldn’t make it. We watched the game on TV and a visit to Kansas is in the cards at some point.”