Ex-Gopher Brian Sykora likely to land at Gustavus

6-6 Brian Sykora, who left the Minnesota football team, is expected transfer to Gustavus Adolphus to play basketball. He was redshirted last season as a tight end and was expected to battle for a backup spot this season. Sykora visited the campus recently and has applied for admission. He is awaiting word from the admissions office. School begins at Gustavus on Sept. 3. Gustavus Adolphus is a Division III school, which means Sykora would be elgible to play this upcoming season.

Brian Sykora was considered a key football recruit in the Gopher class of 2001. He played at Bloomington (MN) Jefferson under former Gopher Jon Leverenz. Sykora was named All-State, All-Area and All-Lake Conference as a senior. He also named All-Lake Conference as a junior. Sykora had 35 receptions for 435 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. He also had four sacks as a defensive end.

Sykora was a four-time letterwinner in basketball. He averaged 18 points and nine rebounds per game and helped lead the Jaguars to the Class AAAA championship game, where they lost to Minnetonka Hopkins.

Sykora is a rugged inside player who can step outside and face the basket. He will give Gustavus some much-needed inside size. His older brother David lettered at Minnesota in football in 1999.

Gustavus Adolphus finished second in the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament last season. The Gusties won the MIAC Playoff Tournament and qualified for the NCAA Tournament by defeating Bethel 65-64 at home in the semi-final round and top-seeded St. Thomas 62-36 on the road in the championship round. The Gusties then defeated Whitworth, UW-Stevens Point, Hanover and Occidental to reach the Final Four, which was held in Salem, Virginia, for the first time in the program's history. Gustavus defeated Hampden-Sydney (VA) in the national semi-final round. The Gusties fell to Williams 67-65 (MA) in the national championship game.

Senior-to-be Tim Brown and graduate Dave Newell were named to the MIAC All-Conference team. Rising senior Chris TeBrake was named to the All-Defensive Team. Brown was named to the d3hoops.com All-West Region Team and earned honorable mention All-America honors. Brown and Sykora were high school teammates at Bloomington Jefferson, thus the tie to Gustavus for Sykora.

The Gusties open their 2003-04 season at home versus Luther College on November 22nd. They return four of five starters after losing three seniors.

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