Strong Commitment?

Ankney (IA) 6-9 senior forward Ted Friedman committed to Northern Iowa over eight other BCS offers on Friday, four days before July's first open evaluation period opens. If a BCS school, like Wisconsin, renews its interest in him, how will Friedman respond?

MADISON - As his 18th birthday approached, Ankeny (IA) senior forward Ted Friedman knew the perfect present he wanted to give himself. He wanted to end his recruitment, and give his verbal commitment to head coach Ben Jacobson and the University of Northern Iowa.

"They were the ones that offered me first and recruited me the hardest," said Friedman. "The coaches were great and all my future teammates were great people. It just felt like the best fit for me."

The 6-9 Friedman committed to the Panthers on July 6 over offers from Creighton, Colorado State, Drake, Lehigh, St. Louis, Tulane and Weber State. He also was getting interest from multiple Big Ten schools, including Wisconsin, which makes this next few weeks interesting for him.

With Wednesday being the start of the summer's first evaluation period, Friedman is bracing for that interest with an already formulated response.

"I am going to be a Panther," said Friedman in a matter-of-fact way. "I am going to be a Panther for show. If schools show me interest, I'll just tell them no."

Playing with the Kingdom Hoops AAU team, Friedman played in five spring AAU tournament and will play two tournaments in Milwaukee and one in Kansas City.

"I've been working a lot of my game," said Friedman. "I know I need to get stronger and improve all my skills for college, so that's the main thing I have been focused on. I think my shooting has really improved. I have really worked on my 3-point shot and trying to get more consistent with that."

Friedman averaged 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last season for Ankeny High, which won its first 24 games of last season before falling to four-star center Adam Woodbury (an Iowa commit) and Sioux City East, 60-56, in double overtime in the state semifinals.

Ankeny finished the season 25-1.

"It was a good season, even though we probably could have won it all," said Freidman. "Even though we lose five of our seven guys, I still feel like we have a chance to make it back. It'll be interesting to start, but we should have a good team."

Friedman joins Waverly-Shell Rock (IA) forward Klinton Carlson, Mundelein (Ill.) wing Robert Knar, Ashwaubenon (Wis.) center Bennett Koch and Iowa City West wing Jeremy Morgan in Northern Iowa's 2013 recruiting class.

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