BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University head women’s basketball coach Mike Curfman announced his NCAA early signing period class Thursday, as he inked four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play for the Beavers beginning the 2013-14 season. Curfman has signed 21 student-athletes during the early signing period in his eight seasons at BSU.
Committing to BSU are three players from Minnesota and one from Colorado and two signees have previous connections to Bemidji State. The 2012 early signee class includes Cassie Baalke (F, 5-7, Loveland, Colorado), Allison Cordes (G, 5-7, Roseville, Minn.), Katelyn Miller (F, 5-11, Waseca, Minn.) and Hanna Zerr (G, 5-10, Shakopee, Minn.).
“I’m really excited about these early signees because of the amount of athleticism and intensity they play with,” Curfman said. “I think we have done a good job addressing needs at the guard, wing and forward positions. I’m anxious to see what they can do in a Bemidji State uniform next year.”
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
Cassie Baalke • F • 5-7 • Loveland, Colorado • Thompson Valley High School
Thompson Valley High School: A three-sport athlete at Thompson Valley High School, Baalke averaged 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game as a junior to rank third on the team in both categories… Helped guide the Eagles to the second round of the 2012 4A State Tournament with a team-best 11 points (3-for-6 from beyond the arc), four steals and three rebounds… Scored in double-figures on five occasions as a junior, which included a 17 point performance Dec. 7 against Berthoud… Also added a season-high eight steals in the contest against Berthoud and compiled 64 steals to finish second on the team… Totaled 11 blocks to rank third and 27 assists to finish fourth on the squad… In her first three seasons on varsity, Baalke has complied a 51-25 record and made three state tournament appearances… A four-year letter winner and state participant on the girl’s soccer team, Baalke also assumed kicking duties on the Eagle football team.
Personal: Born June 17, 1995… Daughter of Trent and Beth Baalke… Proposed psychology major… Both Trent (’87) and Beth (Buckingham) (‘88) attended Bemidji State and were student-athletes… Trent, now the general manager for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, was a two-time all-conference football player and was honored as an Outstanding Alumni in 2011… Beth was a women’s basketball player at BSU and was enshrined into the Bemidji State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011 as a member of the 1986-87 women’s basketball team that went to the NAIA national tournament after a 25-3 overall and a perfect 12-0 record in conference play.
“The thing that is most impressive about Cassie is how hard she plays,” Curfman said. “Her stats prove how well-rounded she is and how she can impact the game in so many ways. The unique side story of adding Cassie and Hanna is that both their mothers played at Bemidji State together at a successful time in program history.”
Allison Cordes • G • 5-7 • Roseville, Minn. • Roseville High School
Roseville High School: Cordes posted 7.1 points per game as a junior and helped guide Roseville High School to a share of the Suburban East Conference title with a 16-2 record, an overall record of 24-4 and a No. 8 ranking in Class AAAA Section 5…Totaled 200 points in 28 games played to finish fourth on the Raiders… The lefty scored 10 or more points six times… Established a season-high 18 points in a 66-41 win at Woodbury Jan. 20 and tallied 17 points in a 74-37 win Jan. 5 against Cretin-Derham Hall… Added 11 points in a section victory against Irondale March 1… Played in 12 varsity games as a sophomore… A standout on the girl’s cross country and track teams, Cordes is an all-state and all-conference runner… Ran a 15:15:40 at the 2012 Section 4AA Championship to finish 15th and placed 67th at the State Cross Country Championships to lead the Raiders with a time of 15:17:50 on the 4000-meter course… A member of the state title 4x800-meter relay team in 2010… Member of the National Honor Society, A Honor Roll, has earned academic letters and the MSHSL EXCEL Award.
Personal: Born May 7, 1995… Daughter of Scott and Jill Cordes… Proposed mathematics major.
“Allison has tremendous ability defensively and was one of the best defensive guards I saw this summer. She is also a good offensive threat, but her athleticism will help us on the defensive end,” Curfman said.
Katie Miller • F • 5-11 • Waseca, Minn. • Waseca High School
Waseca High School: Miller has earned 11 varsity letters as a member of the girl’s basketball (4), volleyball (4) and softball (3) teams at Waseca High School… On the court she is a three-year starter… Garnered all-area first team, all-conference and was named the team’s most valuable player as a junior… Last season, Miller guided the Bluejays to a 10-14 record and led the team in points (12.1 ppg), rebounds (7.3 rpg), assists (2.3 apg) and steals (2.9 spg) while playing the center position… Earned an all-conference and all-area nod following her sophomore season… Three-year starter and 2012 captain of the Bluejay volleyball team and a two-year starter on the softball team… Member of the National Honor Society, A-Honor Roll, has earned three academic letters and was named Exchange Club Student of the Month.
Personal: Born July 16, 1994… Daughter of Jim and Jodi Miller… Proposed nursing major… Mother, Jodi, competed for three seasons on the women’s swimming team at Mankato State University.
Miller signing article from Waseca County News - http://www.southernminn.com/waseca_county_news/sports/article_556b2256-e8a7-513d-a0a7-e75df89b45bf.html
“The intriguing thing about Katie is her ability to play multiple positions,” Curfman said. “She is very well-rounded and I think she has the talent to play inside and outside. Katie has a motor that just doesn’t quit. She is a relentless player.”
Hanna Zerr • G • 5-10 • Shakopee, Minn. • Shakopee High School
Shakopee High School: Zerr made the varsity team at Shakopee High School as a freshman and was named a starter as a sophomore… Totaled 276 points in 23 games (12.0 ppg) as a junior to lead the team and finish 11th in the conference… Helped the Sabers post a 16-11 record last season and earned All-Pioneer Press West Metro Honorable Mention and All-Missota Conference honors… Recorded 14 double-digit scoring games, which included three 20-plus point performances… Posted a season-high 26 points on two occasions against North St. Paul Dec. 6 and at Waconia Dec. 9… Went on a mid-season run with double figure point totals in nine of 10 games to average 13.3 points per game during the stretch… As a sophomore, competed in 26 games and racked-up 304 points (11.7 ppg) to sit second on the team… Added 2.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game… Away from high school competes on AAU summer teams where she has earned all-star and all-tournament team awards… An honor roll student, Zerr is a Leadership and Ethics Workshop leader.
Personal: Born Dec. 21, 1994… Daughter of Jeff and Kim Zerr… Mother, Kim (Babula), holds the career assist record (843) at Bemidji State after a four-year playing career from 1983-87 and was enshrined into the Bemidji State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011 as a member of the 1986-87 women’s basketball team that went to the NAIA national tournament after a 25-3 overall and a perfect 12-0 record in conference play… She also ranks first in career steals with 293 and 11th in career scoring with 1,137 points.
“I’m very impressed with the way Hanna plays,” Curfman said. “She knows how to pass and has great vision on the court, but also has the scoring and finishing ability at the point guard position. She lives in the gym and is always trying to make herself a better basketball player. She has a lot of potential and we are excited she is coming to be apart of our program. Her mom, Kim, had a lot of success as a player here and I know Hanna is striving to do the same.”
For more information on the Bemidji State women’s basketball program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BemidjiStateWBB or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BemidjiStateWomen’sBasketball 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).