Cougs in hunt for big man -- and lil bro?

EVER SINCE HE was released from his Boston College LOI, the 6-10 power forward out of the Midwest has been one hot property. College coaches from around the country last month flocked to see him at open gyms, Washington State's among them. And in their recruitment of Minnesota's reigning Mr. Basketball, the Cougars may be looking at doing something no other school is, says his AAU coach.

Because Kevin Noreen has a brother, 2011 prospect Kyle Noreen. WSU has offered Kevin, and is talking to Kyle. Kevin would seem to fill a pressing need for the Cougs -- a legit post presence with the frame to bulk up.

"Washington State was one that Jerry (dad) mentioned and I think they're looking at Kyle and Kevin," said AAU coach Jerry Robertson. "I think that's what peaked their interest in Washington State, that they were looking at both their sons."

Kyle is a 6-6 guard who can play the 1 or 2, said Robertson. He recently eclipsed the 2,000 point mark but he has not attracted the type of offers his older brother has to this point.

"I know Harvard is recruiting him...The difference between the two, Kevin is a little more athletic and...more complete. But they're both A students, they're both outstanding basketball players and they have outstanding parents. They're both very talented kids," said Robertson.

WHILE WSU LOOKS to be in the hunt for Kevin, things haven't progressed to a point where an official or unofficial visit has been set up to WSU.

"I have not heard that, Jerry has not said anything about a trip out there. He had mentioned that they had called and that there is some interest," said Robertson.

ROBERTSON SAID Noreen has taken either unofficial or official visits to Northwestern, Marquette and Providence, and is heading to Indiana soon. In addition to those three and Washington State, he has offers from Oklahoma, St. Louis, Colorado, Duquesne and others. Cal and Florida have also asked him to go to prep school for a year so they'd have room to put him on scholie in 2011.

"Iowa State is also interested in him, there's just a whole slew of them -- I lose track," said Robertson. "I talk to Jerry Noreen every day, so he keeps me posted about what's going on. I know he hasn't committed to anybody, and there are a whole lot places looking at him. A whole lot.

"I know they really like Northwestern, I know that for a fact," said Robertson. "They like the academics and they're in the Big 10, and it's a (shorter) drive so they can get there on the weekend and see him play."

NOREEN IS THE all-time leading scorer in the state of Minnesota after averaging 38.2 points per game and appx. 16 rebounds per contest his senior year. He shattered the previous record (3,428), scoring 4,086 career points. He also set the state record in rebounding with 1,899 career boards and fell just 35 assists short of that career state record.

But if there's a knock on those numbers, it's that it came against Minnesota Class A competition. Robertson points out, however, that Noreen took home multiple AAU tournament awards, playing against top flight competition.

"Kevin Noreen is probably the most complete basketball player I've ever coached," said Robertson, who also coached former UConn star Khalid Al-Amin. He also said that Noreen can play any position on the court. "He has an outside game, an inside game and he's probably the hardest working kid I've ever coached."

ACADEMICS, SAYS ROBERTSON, along with perhaps distance, will factor into the decision.

"I can tell you exactly what he's looking for because I talk to them, they asked me for my opinion, I coached him for two years, he's a good kid and I'm very close to him and his family. What they told me is academics, and then opportunity to play within a year. And a style of play that fits his game," said Robertson.

What style is that?

"Where a big can step outside, handle the ball and shoot the ball, that type of thing," said Robertson.

And as to Noreen's timetable, with the late signing period coming to a close on May 19?

"This would be sheer speculation on my part, but if I were to speculate, I would say he's going to wait until the last minute in order to make sure they make the right decision," said Robertson.

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