Ryan Amoroso commits to Marquette

Six-foot-8 1/2 junior forward Ryan Amoroso of Burnsville (MN) High has committed to Marquette, picking the Conference USA school over Minnesota. Amoroso emerged as one of the most improved players in the state this season and one of the most recruited players as well. Amoroso received a scholarship offer from Northern Iowa, Indiana State, Wisconsin-Green Bay, New Mexico and Marquette. Michigan State, Florida, Iowa State, Illinois and Creighton had also become involved in his recruitment.

Ryan Amoroso led the Blaze to the semifinals of Class AAAA Section 4, losing to Eden Prairie. Burnsville finished 22-7 and had won eleven straight games before their playoff loss. He averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds per game. He shot 50.4 percent from the field, 75.9 percent from the free throw line and 35.2 percent from the charity stripe.

He underwent a growth spurt in ninth grade as he went from 6-4 to 6-8. He said that he has worked hard to develop his post game and his ability to play both inside and outside.

Amoroso started the 2001-02 season on the JV, but he continued to make strides throughout the season and wound up averaging 9.8 points and five rebounds per game as a sophomore.

Amoroso played for the Minnesota Magic AAU team again this season, along with Minnesota commitments Spencer Tollackson and Miles Webb (who missed some tournament due to summer school). The Minnesota Magic will play in the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in May and in the AAU national and Super Showcase in Orlando in July.

Amoroso did not received an invitation to the Nike or adidas ABCD camp and instead played at the Midwest Basketball Academy in Kansas City in early July.

Amoroso had said that he has worked hard in the offseason to improve his quickness, strength, shot, jumping ability and athleticism. He has bulked up to 233 pounds.

Burnsville figures to be one of the state's best teams next season. They return 5-9 outside shooter Adam Chandler and 6-6 forward Eric Heisler. Amoroso said that the sophomore team had a 6-8 player and two 6-7 performers who will move up to the varsity next year. The Blaze are expected to play in the Target Center in January in the annual Timberwolves Shootout.

Amoroso has a nice shooting touch and has the ability to step out to three-point range. He has made big strides in his game this past season and observers have notice even more improvement this summer. He needs to continue to get stronger and improve his athleticism. However, he has emerged as one of the top three juniors in the state and he figures to battle Tollackson for the Mr. Basketball Award this year.

Amoroso has visited Northern Iowa, Indiana State, Creighton and Marquette unofficially. His father attended Northern Iowa and he has relatives in the area. However, his continued improvement has cost the Missouri Valley Conference team any chance of landing Amoroso.

Marquette was helped by the addition of former Northern Iowa assistant Kyle Green. His presence gave the Golden Eagles a familiar face in the recruitment of Amoroso. In fact, when Amoroso called Green as the assistant coach traveled from the Nike All-American Camp in Indianapolis to the Kentucky Hoop Fest in Louisville, the conversation lasted the entire trip.

Amoroso said that Marquette was the slight early favorite beck in May, due to Golden Eagles offering him a scholarship first. However, Amoroso, who admittedly was a Gopher fan growing up, understood the delay in getting a scholarship offer from Minnesota, due to the uncertainty of Rick Rickert (who eventually stayed in the NBA Draft) and limited official visits for the Gopher program. Minnesota had told him that they wanted to evaluate him in the July period when coaches can watch the players.

However, Minnesota, perhaps realizing that they were falling behind in his recruitment, offered him a scholarship on May 22. Some insiders have speculated that if the Gophers had offered Amoroso first, that they would have landed him. However, the golden Eagles have landed their second straight player from Minnesota, having received a verbal commitment from center Mike Kinsella of Minneapolis (MN) CC in July.

Amoroso is a former youth golfer who finished 18th in the 2000 PGA Junior championship for 14-15 year olds. He played for the Burnsville golf team this season. Amoroso shot a season-best 78 and said that he has a 10 handicap.

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