Wolfpack in Contention for South Dakota's Finest

When Joe Krabbenhoft began last summer, he was just hoping to have another summer like he had after his sophomore year in which he showed promise as one of the top players in South Dakota. <P>

When Joe Krabbenhoft began last summer, he was just hoping to have another summer like he had after his sophomore year in which he showed promise as one of the top players in South Dakota.

Instead, the 6-7, 205-pound junior Sioux Falls Roosevelt wing has gotten plenty of high-major interest, including significant looks from N.C. State. However, he could be on the verge of receiving an offer from Kansas.

Krabbenhoft, who split his time with the Dakota Schoolers and the Howard Pulley Panthers last summer, took an unofficial to Lawrence, Kan., and visited his dream school this past Tuesday for the Jayhawks victory against Michigan State.

``It was the best college game I've ever seen," he said. "The atmosphere is unbelievable. That's my dream school to go play there. Coach (Bill) Self will come up in a couple weeks and watch a game or two. If everything goes well, I'll probably commit there."

Krabbenhoft has also taken unofficial visits to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Creighton and Notre Dame and he may take a trip to N.C. State in the near future.

``The ACC is a great conference to play in," Krabbenhoft said. "I've talked to Herb Sendek and he's a great guy. Their assistant (Mark Phelps) came to watch me work out and they've shown a lot of interest. It's exciting because they're the only ACC school that's looking at me seriously."

Krabbenhoft is a hard-nosed, strong player who rebounds well for his size, isn't afraid to mix things up and is a deceptive athlete who can get to the basket and finish.

However, he still needs to prove to people that just because he hails from a small state that has produced few quality basketball players (Mike Miller, Eric Piatkowski), that doesn't mean he can't compete – and thrive – on the national level.

``It really pushes me to compete against kids from New York and Texas being from South Dakota," Krabbenhoft said. "There are kids who can play here. When people say that people from South Dakota can't play, it just pushes me to work harder."

While Krabbenhoft has called South Dakota home for the last few years, he was actually born in Illinois and spent much of his childhood in Joplin, Mo.


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