Hutcheson Starts Making Visits

Nate Hutcheson impressed a lot of college coaches on the AAU circuit with his Martin Bros. team this summer. Now, the versatile swingman from Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa, is beginning to take his official visits and getting closer to a decision.

"I just got back from an official visit at Western Michigan," Hutcheson said on Sunday night. "Next weekend I'll be going on an official to Santa Clara. Then two weeks after that I'm going to Saint Louis. Then I'm probably going to Wake Forest the weekend after that."

Hutcheson is an athletic and versatile 6-foot-7, 202-pounder who can knock down shots from the perimeter and could play shooting guard, small forward or possibly even some power forward at the next level.

He averaged 15.5 points and 3 rebounds per game as a junior this past season. He made 37 percent of his 3-point attempts (28 of 76) and 71 percent of his free throw attempts.

"He's a great scorer," Linn-Mar head basketball coach Chris Robertson told back in June. "He can shoot from the outside, as well as score around the basket. He is a terrific defender. Wherever he goes, they are going to get a great all around player."

A few years ago, Hutcheson was Linn-Mar's point guard as a 6-2 sophomore before growing several inches and becoming a Division I prospect.

"My growth spurt hit in the middle of my sophomore year," Hutcheson said. "Everybody was taller than me. I played point up until then, because people were taller than me. Then I sprouted up."

Hutcheson shot up from 6-2 to 6-6. He has since grown an inch this summer. But he has retained the ball handling and court vision he utilized when he was younger, which makes him even more versatile now.

The Linn-Mar standout has also worked to get stronger. He's gone from being around 180 pounds to his present 202 pounds.

"I've been lifting like crazy, getting in the gym every day and lifting, taking protein and stuff like that," Hutcheson said. "I knew my body type is the kind that I had do that. I had to get in the weight room and get bigger."

The hard work has paid off with several scholarship offers from schools all over the country. Hutcheson has since narrowed his choices to Western Michigan, Santa Clara and Saint Louis, which have all offered scholarships.

"I have other offers," Hutcheson said, "but those are the three I'm looking at."

Wake Forest has not offered, but is still in the mix.

"I don't know how far the Wake Forest thing is going to go," Hutcheson said. "They have someone they offered before me. They say he might commit and if he does, Wake Forest is out of the picture."

With or without Wake in the picture, Hutcheson figures to have a busy couple of weeks with all of the official visits he has scheduled.

Hutcheson enjoyed his visit to Western Michigan this past weekend. He likes the Broncos coaches and the players and how he could possibly fit into the mix, saying, "It's a good situation there."

"They said I would play right away," Hutcheson said. "They are graduating a couple guys from my positions. They said they would need a player like me who is versatile and can play the 2, 3 or 4."

The Iowa native will be headed to California this weekend to look at the Broncos of Santa Clara.

"Santa Clara is one of the ones I know the least about right now," he said. "That's why I'm looking forward to going out there on the official. One of their assistants came to open gym and talked to me. … It would be kind of sweet to play there because Grant Gibbs, one of my friends and former teammates, goes to Gonzaga and we would have some battles."

Hutcheson enjoyed an unofficial visit to Saint Louis U. back in the spring and was impressed by Billikens coach Rick Majerus and the campus.

"Their coach, he's amazing," Hutcheson said. "I know for a fact he can get intense, but that doesn't bother me. He's a real nice guy off the court. On the court, people say he's not a nice guy, but players say it's never personal and he's trying to help you get better. The city is amazing. The campus is one of the most beautiful I've seen."

The Linn-Mar swingman said he plans on making the decision on his college destination before the start of his senior basketball season and will sign during the early signing period.

"After I get all my visits done," he said, "I'll make a decision after that."

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