South Dakota State this week landed a tandem of basketball recruits - one for the men, one for the women, but under very different circumstances.
Reed Tellinghuisen is an upcoming senior at East Sac High in Lake View, Iowa. He’s also the quintessential Jackrabbits guard: long, versatile and a shooter. The 6-foot-6, 185-pounder averaged 25.3 points per game as a junior, leading Class 2A in scoring and spending his summers with the reputable Martin Bros. He also added 6.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals.
East Sac coach Todd Bontrager said that Tellinghuisen - whose dad, Larry, is the AD and an assistant coach - has long been an excellent 3-point shooter. But he’s improved his ability to finish inside the arc or dish when covered and is an emerging defender, one of the top shot blockers in the state last season at 3.2 per game. (Here’s his highlight reel and his stats.) Bontrager also vouched for his work ethic and classroom acumen.
And that’s how he ended up with offers from Albany, Belmont, Drake, Omaha and North Dakota State. (Northern Iowa offered a scholarship after a redshirt year, too.) SDSU gave him a tender in the spring, and it didn’t take long to accept. His familiarity with the school didn’t hurt - Tellinghuisen has been on campus a bunch of times as his older brother, Ross, is a sixth-year pharmacy student.
"I plan to help them out with the recruiting process," he said.
There are three spots left in the 2014 class.
Meanwhile, the SDSU women picked up a verbal that’s sure to be a talker: guard Lindsey Theuninck, an upcoming freshman at Mankato Loyola. Yes, an upcoming freshman, meaning she’s in the 2017 class and just finished middle school. But she’s already been a two-time all-city and all-conference pick, helping her team reach the state tourney last year and dropping eight 3-pointers in a game.
According to her dad, Loyola coach Rick Theuninck, SDSU first saw the 5-foot-7 point burst at the state tournament and then followed up with her summer coach at the Minnesota Fury. She played well at the Jacks elite camp and a tourney in Ames before really breaking out in Chicago while playing with a team of 2015s.
"We went out and visited and it was everything Lindsey had wanted," Rick said. "She wants something smaller, she wants us to be able to be there to watch games. A lot of things made it just the perfect fit."
And if it happened in two years, nobody would flinch. But this is believed to be the youngest verbal in SDSU basketball history - men or women – by about a year. (The women have had at least two commit at 15: Jessica Mieras and Kaitlyn Severyn.) It’s not, however, any sort of record. In April, a seventh-grader gave a verbal to Evansville, and the Minnesota girls basketball site GPrep.net already has rankings for players in the class of 2017. Plus, verbal are non-binding.
Rick Theuninck admitted this was never the plan, he called it “a crazy story.” Still, it wasn’t so crazy to pass up. Lindsey is all set to go at an NCAA Division I program that’s made the national tournament five years in a row, is a perennial top-10 team in terms of academics and is located in a quaint community 2.5 hours from home.
"We came to the decision as a family - why wait?" Rick said. "It’s what you want, it’s what you’ve been working for and it’s a perfect fit. Coach (Aaron) Johnston is a tremendous guy - he made us feel very, very welcome."
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.