Dan Vandervieren Makes a Big Ten Choice

Dan Vandervieren, a 6-foot-10 center from Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins, who had received recruiting interest from Minnesota, has decided to commit to another Big Ten school after making an unofficial visit Monday and Tuesday morning.

Dan Vandervieren, a 6-foot-10 center from Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins visited Illinois State Sunday and Purdue Monday.

The visit to West Lafayette paid off as Vandervieren said that he has decided to commit to Purdue this morning.

Vandervieren's mother, Deb Millis, said that the plan was not to commit this trip, but Purdue just seemed to be the right fit.

"It is a little shocking to commit so early, but Dan really clicked with the entire coaching staff and players. Dan really hit it off with the players. He had no intention on committing, but really feels good about the decision. He plans on majoring in business, and Purdue's program was ranked #12 in the country by U.S. World News."

Minnesota and Marquette had shown Vandervieren plenty of interest, but their top big man on both lists was Bryce Webster of Mendota Heights (MN) St. Thomas Academy, so neither team had offered him a scholarship.

Vandervieren saw his stock rise after his strong summer play with the Minnesota Select AAU team. Vandervieren helped lead the Royals to a 30-1 mark and the Minnesota Class AAAA championship as a junior coming off the bench behind Arden Skoglund, who signed with Valparaiso. His strong play this spring and summer has attracted three Big Ten offers and the interest of several other conference teams.

Vandervieren shined as a member of the Minnesota Select AAU team and received offers from Montana, North Dakota State, Buffalo, Toledo, Youngstown State, Purdue, Illinois State, Albany, Eastern Kentucky, Valparaiso, Utah State, Penn State, Bowling Green and Lipscomb.

Vandervieren averaged 14.5 points per game at the Las Vegas Classic and led Minnesota Select to the tournament's final eight.

The Gophers watched him closely at their team camp and came away very impressed with his inside scoring, shot blocking and passing skills and his improved body.

Vandervieren went from 265 pounds to 250 and has regained 10 pounds of muscle. He is working on his agility and footwork and is spending plenty of time in the weight room and gym.

Vandervieren reminded the Gophers of fellow Hopkins grad Jeff Hagen, a former walk-on who led the Big Ten in blocked shots as a senior this season. The Gophers have had fellow Hopkins grads Kris Humphries, Dan Coleman and Zach Puchtel on their roster, which made Gopher fans feel that they could keep the Hopkins pipeline going. However, Purdue was at nearly every AAU games this summer and had attended an open gym in July. Boilermaker head coach Matt Painter was the lone college head coach watching Vandervieren at the Las Vegas Classic and assistant Paul Lusk was very active in his recruitment.

Vandervieren transferred from Eden Prairie, where he played as a sophomore. He is a strong center with good shot-blocking ability and good passing skills. He is a high-energy player who finishes well around the basket.

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