MARQUETTE, Mi. The Northern Michigan University Men's Basketball program has signed seven newcomers for the 2020-21 season. The list includes four total transfers and three high school standouts.
"I'm really excited about this class. We were able to bring in three very talented freshman and four transfers that bring a wealth of experience producing at the collegiate level," said Matt Majkrzak, NMU Men's Basketball Head Coach. "Our biggest need was adding shooting and all five guards we brought in made over 50 three-point shots in their last season. We also brought in two very talented 6'8 forwards that are perfect fits for how we play. The best part about all seven of these guys is their character and commitment to doing things the right way in the classroom, in the community, as well as on the court. They all come from great families that will be great additions to our Northern Michigan basketball family."
Max Bjorklund comes from Orono, Minnesota and tranfers in from Bemidji State University. While at Orono High School, he was a two-time all-conference selection and was named to the All-State Third Team in the 2016-17 season. Standing 6-2, Bjorklund has appeared in 45 games and has averaged 11.1 points per game during his two seasons with the Beavers.
Coach Says: "Max comes from Bemidji State where he averaged 13PPG. I've been fortunate enough to know Max for a long time and was an assistant at Bemidji when he signed there out of high school. Offensively he's another three-level scorer that attacks the rim while also making 54 threes at 42%. Max also got many of the toughest defensive assignments this past season and his familiarity of D2 basketball and our offensive system will help him be an impact guy from day one."
A 6'2 guard from Southfield, Michigan where he played at West Bloomfield, High School, Tre Harvey transfers in from Schoolcraft College. While at Schoolcraft, he was named Districts MVP and All-Region. Harvery was also named to the All-MCCAA First Team.
Coach Says: "Tre comes from Schoolcraft College (NJCAA) where he was the leading scorer (14PPG) on a 27-4 team that was a favorite for the national championship before the season got cancelled. Tre checks all the boxes we look for out of a point guard; being a winner, a great scorer, while also being unselfish and understanding how to run a team. He knocked down 73 threes at 39% this season while averaging 4 assists per game."
Connor Kasperbauer, a 6-4 guard, most recently played for Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 2019, he helped guide the squad to an NJCAA Division II National Championship and while earning honorable mention conference team honors. Missing all of the 2019-20 season, Kasperbauer averaged 25.9 minutes per game while averaging 9.6 points.
Coach Says: "Connor comes from Kirkwood Community College (NJCAA) where he was a key cog on their national title team in 2019. I coached against Connor (while he was at Kirkwood) and loved his IQ, length, and ability to stretch the floor. At 6'4 he made over 80 threes while shooting 42%. In addition to the shooting, he's a winner, that knows what goes into winning championships."
At 6'8, Connor McCance comes to the Wildcats from Montgomery, Illinois and Oswego High School. McCance was named the team's most improved player in both 2018 and 2019.
Coach Says: "Connor is 6'8 260 with very quick feet and brings a level of toughness and competitiveness that I just love watching and can't wait to coach. He is a throwback player that does all the little stuff to help his team win. Connor's biggest strength is his ability to control the paint on the defensive side of the ball with shot blocking and rebounding."
Sam Schultz comes from Aurora, Illinois and played for Oswego East High School. This past season, he was named the team's and conference's Most Valuable Player. Standing 6'7, he earned all-conference and all-area honors three times. He was named All-State Honorable Mention four times and leaves Oswego East as the school's all-time leading rebounder.
Coach Says: "Sam is a versatile 6'8 inside/outside threat that has a great set of scoring moves from all over the court. His offensive prowess is the first thing you notice but what really stuck out was his passion and will to win. Sam has a nose for the ball which allows him to be a great rebounder on the offensive and defensive end."
Carson Smith is a 6-1 guard and comes from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin where he played for Hamilton Sussex High School. Smith was an All-State Honorable Mention selection and earned Second Team Greater Metro Conference honors two times. He also helped guide the team to a 2018-19 conference championship and made one state tournament appearance.
Coach Says: "Carson was the 2nd leading scorer (15PPG) on arguably the best team in the state of Wisconsin. He's a tough player that has been very well coached and is used to playing against elite competition. He knocked down 57 threes at 40% during his senior year at Sussex Hamilton while often guarding the other team's best player."
Originally from New Brunswick, New Jersey, Letrell West is a 6-3 guard who scored 1,000 points for Saint Joseph High School and was named the GMC Hoops Player of the Year. He arrives at NMU after playing for Claflin University, an NCAA Division II program out of Orangeburg, South Carolina. At Claflin, West led the Panthers with 12.0 points per game and dished out a total of 60 assists on the season.
Coach Says: "Letrell comes from Claflin University (NCAA D2) where he was their leading scorer at 12PPG white also being 2nd on the team in assists and 3 rd in rebounding. Letrell is a versatile scorer that scores well on all 3 levels using his strength to finish through contact while still making 56 threes at 37%. He's another kid that has won at every stop and we feel like can come in and make a big impact from day one, especially with his familiarity with D2 basketball."
These newcomers come NMU to join a team that has made two consecutive appearances to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Semifinals. Last season, they upset top-seeded Ferris State University in the first round to advance.