Luke Russell Draws Gopher Interest

Luke Russell, a 6-foot-9 junior big man from Menomonee Falls (WI) High, drew a visit from Minnesota assistant coach Vince Taylor last Wednesday. GoldenSports.Net caught up with Russell's head coach David Kramer to find the latest on his recruitment.

Luke Russell averaged 9.8 points per game as Menomonee Falls finished 5-16 last year, losing to Arrowhead 79-77 in the first round of the playoffs.

Russell is starting to attract attention of several area schools, according to his head coach, David Kramer.

"He is getting interest from Marquette, Wisconsin-Green Bay, which has offered, and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I've been talking to Vince Taylor of Minnesota a lot and Northern Iowa."

Russell is an intriguing prospect, according to Kramer.

"He is real long and thin. That is one area that he is trying to work on. He makes an impact on the defensive end. He blocks shots and runs the floor well for his size. He was not very aggressive as a sophomore on the offensive end, but through the last part of the year and summer and early this season, his offensive game is starting to catch up. I'm excited to see what he can do when he gets stronger."

Kramner said that Russell is working to improve his all-around game.

"Strength is the main thing. Working on his offensive skills and his post moves," Kramer said. "It would be good for him to put the ball on the floor. He is working on his game facing the basket."

Russell has a high interest in basketball, which is not always the case with many big men, says Kramer.

"He has been playing basketball for awhile. He has grown an inch and a half to two inches since last year. He loves basketball and plays it a lot," Kramer said.

Kramer said that Russell does not have a favorite school yet.

"It's still early. He has visited Marquette, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Wisconsin-Green Bay and hopefully this year, Minnesota as well."

Kramer think that this year's team will be much improved.

"We have high expectations that we can compete for a conference title. We have a lot of kids back. We have four sophomores who played last year on the varsity. We also have a guard who had a broken leg. Our JV team was successful," he said.

Russell played on the Wisconsin Playground Warriors 16-and-under AAU team that won the 84-team King James Shooting Stars Classic in Akron, Ohio in April and the 60-team Bill Hensley Memorial Run 'in Slam All-Star Classic in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Minnesota is expected to land three more recruits to go along with Paul Carter, a JC transfer from Missouri State-West Plains CC and Colton Iverson, a big man from Yankton, South Dakota. The Gophers could have three scholarships to offer for the Class of 2009. They are also recruiting Minnesota juniors Royce White, Rodney Williams and Trent Lockett.

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