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November 25, 2006

Minnesota big is an ISU priority

The stock of Princeton (Minn.) class of 2008 center Jared Berggren has been steadily rising over the course of the past year. Coming into his sophomore year, the 6-foot-10, 225-pound Berggren may not have been well known, but his steady progression throughout last season and sensational summer playing with the Howard Pulley AAU team have paid dividends in the form of scholarship offers.

"I'm not sure how many total offers, but I kind of have it narrowed down to four or five schools," reported Berggren. "Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa State, Purdue and Creighton, that is probably my top five right there. I'd say Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa State are my top three and all pretty close."

Berggren has visited each of his top three in the past couple months, mostly in conjunction with home games for those schools' football teams. He has made numerous stops at Minnesota this fall, partly because the Gophers' campus is located just under an hour from his home. He made a visit to Iowa State just over a month ago.

"That was in October, I think," said Berggren of his ISU visit. "I came down and watched them practice for a little bit and went to a football game and hung out with the players a little bit. I really like the coaching staff there. I didn't have a lot of time to meet with the players, but from the little time that I did, they seemed to be guys I could really get along with."

Berggren is not looking to stretch his timetable out very long before making a decision, so when he took his trips this fall, he knew what to look for in order to form a foundation for making his college selection.

"I think a lot of it is the coaching staff I'll be playing for and the players I'll be playing with," said Berggren. "Then, someplace close to home where my family can come see me play."

Berggren noted that each of the schools he has it narrowed down to is within the range that he feels is close enough so him family can see him play. After a few more visits, Berggren could be ready to make his decision.

"It's still a little bit up in the air, but I think I would like to get it done and make my decision sometime during this season or maybe next spring," Berggren said. "I just plan on making a few more visits. I'll probably go back to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa State again for a basketball game. I'll see how it feels and if it feels right, I'll make my decision."

In his sophomore season, Berggren averaged 11 points and six rebounds a game, but he saw his stat line increase from the beginning of that season to the end. Now heading into his junior campaign, Berggren continues to see improvement.

"I'm just working at being more dominant around the hoop," he said. "I've also been working on extending my range on my mid-range jump shot."


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