MITCHELL, S.D. – The first portion of Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball coach Shane Murphy’s recruiting class for the 2013-14 season has a distinctly local flavor to it.
Headlined by Kimball/White Lake standout Jesse Taylor, three of Murphy’s first four recruits for next season are from within a 50-mile radius of Mitchell, and all four come from South Dakota. Along with Taylor, Mitchell’s Cole Morgan, Bridgewater-Emery’s Clayton Dye and Northwestern’s Landon Fischbach all signed to compete with the Tiger men’s basketball program starting in the upcoming school year.
Taylor comes to Dakota Wesleyan from Kimball High School after a successful prep career with the Kiotes and the Kimball/White Lake WiLdKats. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 18.7 points and seven rebounds per game as a senior while leading his team to a 16-7 record and a district title. He shot 45 percent from the field, 71 percent from the line and also averaged 3.5 assists and 3.1 steals per game on his way to being named The Daily Republic’s player-of-the-year.
Taylor, who earned six varsity letters in high school, graduates as Kimball’s leading scorer with 1,804 points in his career. He also holds the school record for steals (260), 3-pointers, assists (305), rebounds (782), free throws and blocks (141) in a career. He earned Class B All-State honors as well as all-conference accolades and was the conference MVP as a junior and senior. He also lettered five times in track and four times in basketball and was a member of the ‘A’ honor roll.
“Jesse is a great kid – exactly the type of kid we’re looking to add to our program,” Murphy said. “We’ll look for Jesse to hit some open shots and score for us next year. We’re excited to have him in a Tiger uniform.”
Morgan joins the Tigers after two seasons of varsity basketball for the Mitchell Kernels. The 5-10 guard averaged 9.5 points per game as a senior and shot 44 percent from the field – including 40 percent from long range – as well as 83 percent from the free-throw line. Morgan, who plans to major in sports management, was a member of the National Honor Society at Mitchell High School.
Dye, a 6-2 guard/forward, played four years of varsity basketball for Bridgewater-Emery. He averaged 20.8 points per game as a senior and led the team with 436 points. He also had 200 rebounds, 59 steals and 36 assists and shot 42 percent from the field. As a junior the Emery, S.D. native averaged 16.3 points per game and had 186 rebounds for the Huskies. Dye earned all-conference and all-region awards for basketball. He also lettered four times in football and track, and earned all-conference accolades in football.
Fischbach, a Mellette, S.D., native, earned four varsity letters for Northwestern High School. He averaged 15 points and 13 rebounds per game and recorded 11 double-doubles while shooting 56 percent from the field. The 6-6 forward earned all-conference honors as a sophomore, junior and senior. He also lettered three times in football and four in track and earned all-conference football honors. Fischbach is a member of the National Honor Society.
Taylor, Morgan, Dye and Fischbach join a program that went 14-17 overall and 9-11 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference in 2012-13. Dakota Wesleyan loses six seniors to graduation, including four players who played at least 18 minutes per game.