Gopher target Joe Krabbenhoft gets another offer

Gopher basketball target Joe Krabbenhoft of Sioux Falls (SD) Roosevelt was offered a basketball scholarship by Northwestern today. This makes the sixth school that has offered a scholarship to the junior forward.

Joe Krabbenhoft has had a busy July, participating at the Nike All-American Camp in Indianapolis, playing with the Howard Pulley team in the Nike Peach Jam in Augusta, South Carolina and with the Dakota Schoolers at the adidas Big Time Tournament this past weekend and in Kansas City next week.

Krabbenhoft has received offers from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Creighton, Northern Iowa, Northwestern and Auburn, and Arizona attended his games in Las Vegas and Iowa State told his father that they plan to watch him in Kansas City this week.

Minnesota assistant coaches Bill Walker and Mike Peterson and head coach Dan Monson all saw Krabbenhoft in Las Vegas. Walker has a long-time relationship with Joe's father, Kelby. Walker played at Missouri-Rolla and was a coach at Missouri-St. Louis. Kelby was close with the head coach at Missouri Western, which played in the same conference as Walker's team and the two became friends.

Walker, despite knowing Kelby for years, has not seen Joe play before the Nike Camp. Krabbenhoft shined as a member of the Dakota Schoolers at the Sabes Foundation Invitational held at the University of Minnesota campus, but since it was held during a dead period. His strong play there caught the attention of the Howard Pulley AAU team. Pulley, which has traditionally been the top program in the state, is down a bit this season as top Minnesotans Amoroso, Tollackson, Webb and Hopkins forward Mitch Henke all played for the Magic and Minnesota Select and Team Minnesota have several solid players as well, leaving less available talent for them.

Howard Pulley picked up talented Brandon Rush from Kansas City for some events, and Krabbenhoft and fellow Schoolers Matt Martin have also joined the team. The 6-6 Krabbenhoft has played point guard for Pulley at the St. Louis Eagles Invitational, Rumble in the Bronx and Memorial Day Classic and during the play-in games at the Nike Peach Jam in Augusta, South Carolina.

Krabbenhoft felt that his performance with Pulley at the Memorial Day Classic earned him an invite to the Nike All-American Camp.

"I had 24 points against the Louisiana Select and George Raveling (Nike director) happened to catch the whole game. I think that helped me get noticed," he said.

Krabbenhoft is a versatile player with good ballhandling skills. He has a variety of offensive moves and is a hard-nosed defender. The Nike Camp was his first chance to be seen by many of the major basketball powers. He played well throughout the week, despite a sprained ankle.

Krabbenhoft was a pleasant surprise to many of the coaches in attendance who had not seen much of the Sioux Falls native.

Krabbenhoft was a pleasant surprise to many of the coaches in attendance who had not seen much of the Sioux Falls native.

"Seeing Mike Krysewski in the front row made me nervous. The level of play was very good, playing with and against Al Jefferson (a top five player in the country) and some of the top players in the country."

"This even really upped my game. I liked the style, which was more up-tempo. It was nice to be seen by more colleges. I tried to stay focused and not get nervous."

Krabbenhoft said that he was aware of the coaches watching him play.

"You can tell who is watching you play. Hopefully, some coaches are watching me."

Krabbenhoft, whose team included Jefferson and won the 3-on-3 competition, was appreciative of the opportunity to play in front of the top coaches in Nike.

"I was the only player from North or South Dakota, so it was nice to get noticed. It was nice to know that a small-town farm boy can get noticed."

Krabbenhoft is a versatile player, but with five players under 6-4 on his Michigan team at the Nike Camp, he was forced to play power forward.

"It was frustrating at times, but I put up with it. I like to have my hands on the ball more, but I tried to play hard all week."

That hard work and strong play continues to pay off for Krabbenhoft as he continues to get more and more attention from top college coaches.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories