Conklin Commits

North Eugene (Ore.) High School power forward Brian Conklin was looking for a college with good mixture of basketball and academics. Apparently, he's found just that in Saint Louis University.

Conklin committed to the Billikens on Sunday night, becoming the fifth Class of 2008 prospect to make a commitment to Saint Louis U. since Rick Majerus was named the program's head coach.

"We're excited that Brian is going to a program where he's going to continue to get better," North Eugene coach Bill Wagner said. "Obviously with Coach Majerus's track record, Brian is excited to go play for him. As a coach, I'm excited that he's going to a school where he's going to keep getting better."

When BillikenReport.com spoke to Conklin a couple weeks ago, he said he had six scholarship offers — Oregon State, Portland, Portland State, Montana, Lehigh and Saint Louis — and had drawn interest from other schools like Washington State, Pepperdine and Santa Clara.

Conklin, who said he had a 4.07 grade-point average, also said it wouldn't be difficult for him to leave Oregon.

"I like traveling a lot," Conklin said then. "I think it would be fun to go live somewhere else for four years. I'm kind of open to wherever. It wouldn't be too hard to pull me away from Oregon."

The North Eugene Highlanders went 28-0 last winter, defeating Roosevelt 38-28 in the Oregon Class 5 championship game. The Highlanders set a school record for wins and won the state title for the first time since 1977.

Conklin averaged 19.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and four assists per game and was named The Oregonian's Class 5A player of the year.

"We've obviously had some good players come out of our state this year with (UCLA signee Kevin) Love and (Duke signee Kyle) Singler," Wagner said. "The thing that I would sum up about Brian. He's an athletic kid who can play inside and out, but he's just got a motor that won't quit. He just goes and goes. He's going to outwork people."

Wagner said Conklin shot 70 percent from the floor and was second on the team in assists.

"A lot of people say he's like the Energizer Bunny," the coach said. "A lot of people comment about how hard he plays and how hard he works. He's not the most athletic player out there, but he's going to outwork people to get the job done."

Conklin adds to an already impressive recruiting class for Majerus.

The Billikens already had verbal commitments from 6-11 post players Brett Thompson and Willie Reed, point guard Kwamain Mitchell and shooting guard Femi John. Adding Conklin to the mix gives SLU three recruits who have won state championships: Conklin, Mitchell and John.

Note: Conklin was traveling to an AAU tournament on Monday afternoon and could not be reached. BillikenReport.com will have more from Conklin soon.

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