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MEN'S HOOPS: Two more to join 'Jacket hoop team

Two more players have verbally committed to join the University of Wisconsin-Superior men's basketball program. Ben Lindberg, a 6-foot-6 post player, has decided to play for his hometown university. Lindberg helped lead Superior High School to a ...

Two more players have verbally committed to join the University of Wisconsin-Superior men's basketball program.

Ben Lindberg, a 6-foot-6 post player, has decided to play for his hometown university. Lindberg helped lead Superior High School to a 20-3 record this season and a trip to the sectional finals. He was named a first team All-Lake Superior Conference selection, averaged 14 points per game, shot over 80 percent from the free-throw line and, despite his size, connected on 50 percent of his 3-point shots for the season.

"Ben is a great addition to our program," UWS coach Dave Buchanan said. "Ben not only gives our program excellent depth along the front line, but he also has potential to keep getting better. He consistently improved throughout his senior season and played his best basketball of the year in the post season. He played excellent in big games."

Buchanan also liked the fact that Lindberg is a winner.

"I like that Ben has experienced winning. Superior was 20-3 this year, and Ben played a major role in that success," Buchanan said. "He wants to stay home and help our program play at a championship level. His high school experience will help us get there. Superior coach (Dave) Kontny has done a great job building his program and it is exciting having one of his players join us. I think the community will be excited about watching Ben throughout his college career."

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Another piece to the rebuilding puzzle at UWS was put in place late Sunday night when Rice Lake senior Dan Culy announced he would be playing collegiate basketball for the Yellowjackets.

Ranked No. 25 among state seniors by Wishoops.net, Culy is the fourth Top 50 player to give second-year Superior coach Dave Buchanan a commitment to play for the Yellowjackets next season.

Culy joins Rhinelander's Jake Smith (No. 23), Altoona's Shane Manor (No. 33) and Mercer's Greg Roeder (No. 37) along with Superior's Ben Lindberg in Buchanan's highly impressive recruiting class.

"I sat down and put the pros and the cons on a sheet of paper and decided to go with Superior," Culy said. "I felt very comfortable with the academics and with the basketball program at Superior. I feel confident I can get into a medical school from Superior."

A 4.0 student who scored a 30 on the ACT exam, Culy had a banner season for Rice Lake. A skilled combination guard, Culy averaged just over 20 points per game for Rice Lake, which went 22-2 overall and won the Big Rivers Conference with an 11-1 mark.

"Dan is definitely one the pieces to our rebuilding puzzle," Buchanan said. "It's been a lot of fun to watch him develop since we first saw him in June of 2006 at the (Wisconsin Basketball) Yearbook Camp at Lawrence. He was playing his best basketball of the year at the end of the season.

"He makes everybody on his team better because he has a tremendous basketball I.Q. He has excellent vision and very, very good skills."

Culy said the chance to join Manor and the other incoming recruits at UWS was an important factor in his decision to select the Yellowjackets over Bemidji State, St. Norbert College and UW-River Falls.

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"I'm excited about where the program is headed," Culy said. "I think we can develop into a very good team and make it difficult for our opponents next season."

When Buchanan accepted the position at Superior last spring, he made it known he would make northern Wisconsin a priority in his recruiting efforts. He has obviously made good on that promise in landing Culy, Smith, Manor, Roeder and Lindberg.

"There is a considerable amount of talent north of Highway 29 when you look at Greg Roeder in Mercer, Jake Smith in Rhinelander, Culy in Rice Lake, Manor in Altoona and a guy like Marcus Helland in Baldwin-Woodville," Buchanan said. "We are very thankful a group of young men trust in what we are trying to do at UW-Superior. We are extremely excited to add Dan to our group of incoming players."

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