BEMIDJI, Minn. – Head Bemidji State University men's basketball coach Mike Boschee has announced seven student-athletes to his first NCAA signing class as the Beaver bench boss. Seven players from three states have inked National Letters of Intent to play for Bemidji State beginning 2013-14.
Committing to BSU are Ben Best (F, 6-7, 195, Drummond, Wis.), Ellwood Ellensen (F, 6-8, 210, Rice Lake, Wis.), Pat Fischer (G, 6-3, 190, Sartell, Minn.), Michael Jacobson (G, 6-5, 180, Wishek, N.D.), Scott Litchy (G, 6-2, 175, Avon, Minn.), Cody Risseeuw (G/F, 6-5, 235, Clinton, Wis.) and Shane White (F, 6-6, 215, Rhinelander, Wis.).
“I am very excited about our first year class of BSU basketball signees,” Boschee said. “This class addresses our needs of players lost to graduation, as all of them are multi-sport athletes with great reputations on and off the court. We want players who understand what Beaver basketball is all about and continue to provide the foundation necessary moving forward. These freshmen are very versatile in their skill sets, allowing us to play them at multiple positions and giving us the opportunity to play different ways both offensively and defensively.”
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Ben Best • F • 6-7 • 195 • Drummond, Wis. • Drummond High School
Drummond High School: Recorded 18.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game as a senior for Drummond High School to earn Wisconsin Associated Press All-State Fourth Team and Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division 5 All-State honors… Added 73 assists and 72 steals in 2012-13 and guided the Lumberjacks to a 24-3 overall record and their second consecutive appearance at the state tournament… Totaled more than 1,000 points in his career… Named Indianhead All-Conference Player of the Year twice… Listed as a WBCA all-state performer as a junior after posting 18.3 points and 10.2 rebounds per game and lifting DHS to a 24-4 overall mark, Indianhead Conference Western Division Title and a state appearance... Four-year varsity player for basketball also earned an all-conference first team nod as a sophomore… A three-sport athlete for the Lumberjacks, Best has earned 12 varsity letters and earned all-conference laurels in basketball, baseball and cross country… Finds success in the classroom as an A-Honor Roll student and WIAA scholar athlete.
Personal: Born May 21, 1995… Son of Charles and Chris Anne Best… Undecided on an academic major.
Ellwood Ellenson • F • 6-8 • 210 • Rice Lake, Wis. • Rice Lake High School
Rice Lake High School: Helped guide Rice Lake High School to back-to-back conference titles (undefeated each season) and a 2012 Division 2 Regional Championship… Named All-Big Rivers Honorable Mention as a senior after posting 9.3 points (tied for second on the team) and four rebounds per game to lift the Warriors to a 20-5 overall record… Participated in the Minnesota vs. Wisconsin high school “Border Battle” all-star game, which pits the best players from Northeastern Minnesota against the best from North Central Wisconsin… Totaled 7.9 points per game as a junior… The two-sport athlete also competes in track and has earned seven varsity letters (four in track and three in basketball)… Named captain to both basketball and track squads… Was a sectional finalist in track.
Personal: Born May 8, 1995… Son of John and Holly Ellenson… Undecided on an academic major at BSU… Father, John, played collegiate basketball at Marquette and University of Wisconsin and went on to play professionally in France… Mother, Holly, played basketball at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire… Both John and Holly have coaching experience at the college, high school and youth level… Brother, Wally, is on both the men’s basketball and men’s track and field rosters at University of Minnesota… Grandfather, Wally Akervik, played hockey at University of Minnesota Duluth and coached for 22 years at UW-Eau Claire (10 years) and University of Wisconsin Superior (12 years), which included two national championships… Uncle, Andy Akervik, played college hockey at UW and was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in 1985.
Pat Fischer • G • 6-3 • 190 • Sartell, Minn. • Sartell-St. Stephen High School
Sartell-St. Stephen: Contributing member of a Sartell-St. Stephen High School team that made its first appearance in the state tournament in school history in 2013… St. Cloud Times All-Area selection averaged more than 12 points and four rebounds per game to assist the Sabers to a Section 8-3A Championship and a 17-13 overall record… Posted 23 points, six assists, three steals and shot 9-for-16 (56.3%) from the field in the section championship game… Named to all-area honorable mention as a sophomore and junior and All-Central Lakes Conference Team as a sophomore, junior and senior… Posted the single season assists record at Sartell-St. Stephen his junior season… Voted team MVP as a junior and senior… Named CLC Player of the Week and Metro Sports Commission Player of the Week during his career… Three-sport athlete lettered in basketball, football and track.
Personal: Born Aug. 12, 1994… Son of David and Dana Fischer… Undecided on an academic major at BSU.
Michael Jacobson • G • 6-5 • 180 • Wishek, N.D. • South Border High School
South Border High School: Named District 6 Player of the Year after averaging 16.8 points per game and more than seven rebounds and two assists per contest for a 14-11 South Border High School team… Jamestown Sun All-Area First Team, All-South-Central Conference… Finalist for Region 3 Player of the Year and was an all-state nominee… Totaled 1,472 career points to establish a new school record… Recorded 14 double-digit scoring games, which included eight 20-plus point performances… Posted six games with 10 or more rebounds… Posted six double-doubles, three of which came in the final three games of the season (all Region 3 tournament games)… Netted season-high 30 points and pulled down season-best 14 rebounds in a two-overtime thriller against Strasburg/Zeeland to send the Mustangs to the Region 3 championship game… Knocked down 29 3-pointers and posted a 35.4 percentage from beyond the arc… Selected to the North Dakota Lions All-Star Basketball Game… A three-sport athlete, earned varsity letters in basketball (four), football (four) and track (four).
Personal: Born June 24, 1994… Son of Michael S. and Lenora Jacobson… Undecided on an academic major at BSU.
Scott Litchy • G • 6-2 • 175 • Avon, Minn. • Albany High School
Albany High School: Totaled 22.1 points per game for Albany High School as a senior and earned Associated Press All-State Third Team honors… Eclipsed 1,000 career points for the Huskies… Became all-time leading scorer as a senior and owned the 3-pointers made record at Albany High School as a junior… Named all-area, Granite Ridge Conference Player of the Year, all-conference first team and Sub-Section 6AA All-Tournament Team… Knocked down 36 3-pointers and shot 32.7 percent from long range… Team captain added more than four rebounds per game and totaled more than 40 assists and 40 steals… Scored in double-figures in ever game as a senior, which included eight 25-plus performances… Following his senior season, his teammates named him team MVP, offensive player of the year and defensive player of the year… The three-sport athlete has earned varsity letters in basketball (four), baseball (four) and football (three)… Away from the playing field, he was President of the Letterman’s Club, a member of the National Honor Society, Captains and Leaders and on the Honor Roll.
Personal: Born Sept. 10, 1994… Son of Robert and Eileen Litchy… Proposed sport management and/or business management major at BSU… Cousins Justin Stommes played basketball at Eastern Kentucky University and plays professionally in Germany, Vicki Braegelmann played volleyball at Minnesota Duluth and was named Division II National Player of the Year, Kelsey Stommes was a NJCAA Division III All-American in volleyball at Ridgewater Community College.
Cody Risseeuw • G/F • 6-5 • 235 • Clinton, Wis. • Clinton High School
Clinton High School: Broke Clinton High School’s 56-year old career scoring record Dec. 14, 2012 (previous record, 1,125 points by a 1956 graduate) and finished with more than 1,500 points at the prep level… As a senior, named All-Area Player of the Year and Rock Valley South Player of the Year after guiding the Cougars to a league title and a 17-7 overall mark… Earned first team all-area and all-conference laurels in 2013… Led the Rock Valley South Conference with 20.2 points per game… Scored in double-figures in all 20 games, which included three 30-plus performances… Led the team with 13.5 points per game as a junior… Named first team all-conference four consecutive seasons and helped lead CHS to three conference titles… Earned nine varsity letters, four in basketball, four in baseball and one in football… Two-time all-conference performer in baseball.
Personal: Born Oct. 12, 1994… Son of Brian and Tracie Risseeuw… Intends to major in sports medicine or business finance at Bemidji State.
Shane White • F • 6-6 • 215 • Rhinelander, Wis. • Rhinelander High School
Rhinelander High School: Named WBCA Division 2 All-State Honorable Mention in 2013 after guiding Rhinelander High School to a conference championship, second consecutive regional championship and a 20-3 overall record… Posted 15.1 points per game to rank third in the Great Northern Conference and was awarded GNC Player of the Year and First Team All-GNC for his efforts… Finished first in blocks (25), second in total rebounds (91), fourth in steals (30) and fifth in assists (36) and field goal percentage (57.1%)… Selected to participate in the WBCA Division 2 All-Star Game June 15… As a junior totaled 16.7 points, 9.4 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game for a 17-7 Hodags… Named NewsChannel 7 Basketball All-Star and first team all-conference as a junior and a senior… Two-sport athlete earned three varsity letters in basketball and two in baseball… Member of the National Honor Society and Student Council… Earned Senior Academic Award (given to student-athletes who earned academic letters every semester of high school career).
Personal: Born Dec. 7, 1994… Son of Keith and Cynthia White… Proposed pre-physical therapy major at BSU… Brothers, Keith Jr. (WR, 2005-09), and Chet (LB, 2007-11), played football at Michigan Tech.
The Beavers posted an 18-12 overall record in 2012-13 to rank fifth all-time in wins in the 91-year history of the program. After losing its head coach, the nation's player of the year and an all-region point guard, the expectations of BSU from outsiders was dim. The league coaches pegged the Beavers to finish tied for 12th in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Bemidji State proved it was worthy to battle in one of the nation's toughest conferences and finished the 22-game league schedule with a 13-9 mark to finish as the No. 3 seed in the NSIC North. Boschee set the BSU record for most wins by a first-year head coach, as the Beavers made a run to the NSIC/Sanford Health Men's Basketball Tournament Championship – their first-ever run to the championship game. Bemidji State fell to No. 7 Minnesota State University, Mankato, 73-68 in the contest to fall just short of an automatic bid to the NCAA Central Region Tournament.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s basketball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUHoops or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/Bemidji-State-Basketball or facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).