Gopher Target Lance Stemler Picks Indiana

Junior college All-American Lance Stemler has signed a national letter of intent with Indiana. Stemler, a 6-8, 215-pound forward, will have two years of eligibility remaining after one-year stints at Bradley University in 2004-05 and Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) in 2005-06. He picked the Hoosiers over interest from Marquette. Stemler had received some late interest from Minnesota.

Indiana head coach Kelvin Sampson feels Lance Stemler is going to make an immediate impact on next year's squad.

"Lance is a first team junior college All-American and his team won 34 games last year," Sampson said. "The thing that jumped out to me is the program he came from. (SWIC Head Coach) Jay Harrington is a National Junior College Association of American (NJCAA) Hall of Famer. He is a great coach, runs a terrific, yet disciplined program and they play a team game. Lance is not a great athlete, but a very good basketball player. He can step out and shoot and go inside as well. Lance is certainly a good addition for Indiana."

While at SWIC, Stemler earned NJCAA first-team All-America honors after leading his squad to 34 victories and a sixth-place finish in the NJCAA national tournament. While with the Blue Storm, Stemler averaged 22.4 points per game - a number that ranked sixth in the nation in the NJCAA. He also chipped in with 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals, while shooting .563 from the floor and .393 from beyond the arc.

In addition to his first-team All-American accolades, Stemler earned NJCAA Region 24 Most Valuable Player and first-team honors, and was selected to participate in the NJCAA All-Star game where he scored 13 points in leading his team to a 109-94 victory. Furthermore, Stemler earned the school's first-ever National Player of the Week honor on Feb. 15.

SWIC head coach Jay Harrington, who is longtime friends with Sampson after the duo served on the USA Collegiate Basketball Committee, is expecting Stemler to be a good fit as a Hoosier.

"Lance is a very skilled player and he is very knowledgeable about the game of basketball," Stemler said. "He is really an unselfish player and is a better person than he will ever be a basketball player."

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