Wilber finalizes 2013-14 recruiting class with Detroit native

Matt Wilber

MITCHELL, S.D. – Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball coach Matt Wilber put the finishing touches on his 2013-14 roster Monday morning when he announced the signing of Detroit native Branden Robinson.

Robinson, a guard, comes to DWU with three years of eligibility remaining after one season at Oakland Community College in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The signing of Robinson brings the recruiting total up to 12 for the coming season for the Tiger men’s basketball program.

Robinson, who can play both the shooting and the point guard, adds college-level experience to the Tiger roster. As a freshman, played behind two guards that both signed with high-level NCAA schools after their two seasons at Oakland. The 6-foot-1 guard played prep basketball at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Detroit.

“Brandon adds depth to the back court. He has a lot of energy and he’s a good kid – he’s excited to be here,” said Wilber, who is beginning his first season as the Tigers’ head coach. “He’s going to be a team-first guy and he’ll get the ball to people that need it.”

Of the Tigers’ remaining 11 recruits, 10 come in with freshman eligibility and one is a sophomore. Eric Warkenthien, a Woonsocket, S.D., native, comes to DWU with three years of eligibility remaining after taking two years off from basketball. The 2011 Woonsocket High School graduate earned five varsity letters for the Redmen and finished his high school career with 1,496 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists and 231 steals. He earned Class B All-State honors in 2011 and all-conference accolades in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He also lettered five times in track and three in football. The 6-3 guard was named all-conference as a sophomore, junior and senior in football and qualified for the Class B state track meet three times.

Jon Vorwald joins the Tigers from Worthington, Minn. The 6-3 guard earned three letters and was a two-year starter for the Trojans. He earned all-conference and third team all-area honors as a senior. Vorwald also lettered three times in both football and track.

Nate Widow will be a freshman this season and comes to Dakota Wesleyan from Dupree High School. The Eagle Butte, S.D., native earned two letters and was a two-year starter for the Tigers. He averaged 25 points, five rebounds and two steals per game. He earned all-conference, all-district and all-tournament honors as a junior and senior and finished his high school career with 1,157 points. He also lettered twice in cross country.

Falcon Albers is a Newell, S.D., native who attended Red Cloud High School. The 6-3 guard averaged 16 points and seven rebounds per game as a senior and shot 46.5 percent from long range. He earned all-conference accolades as a senior and was selected to the South Dakota All-Star game. Albers also lettered four times in both football and track, and participated in the state track meet in the long jump. He was a member of the honor roll.

Jesse Brace is a 5-10 guard from Montevideo, Minn. He averaged 17 points, five rebounds and three assists in his senior season. He earned al-conference accolades and helped his team to a conference championship in 2011-12. He also lettered three times in tennis and was a three-time all-conference selection and a participant in the 2011 state tennis tournament.

Jaylen Uthe comes to DWU from Presho, S.D. The 5-9 guard is a Lyman High School graduate that averaged 14.8 points as a senior. He scored 952 points in his five-year varsity career, including 163 career 3-pointers. He earned all-conference honors as a senior. Uthe also lettered six times in cross country and four in football. He earned all-conference honors twice in cross country and placed at the Class B state track meet. He was a member of the honor roll and National Honor Society.

Kellam Karst, a 6-3 forward from Plankinton, S.D., joins the Tigers after averaging 12 points and six rebounds per game in his senior season. He shot 54 percent from the field and 74 percent from the line and earned all-conference accolades as a junior and senior. Karst also lettered three times in golf and two in football, and was an academic all-state selection in golf, basketball, football and baseball.

Other signees for Dakota Wesleyan this season are Clayton Dye (Emery, S.D.); Landon Fischbach (Mellette, S.D.); Cole Morgan (Mitchell, S.D.) and Jesse Taylor (Kimball, S.D.). The Tigers start the 2013 season Nov. 4 at the Corn Palace against Trinity Bible College.

“A big thing for us is every kid who was supposed to return is returning. All the guys came back after the (coaching) transition,” Wilber said. “They’re excited about the year, and I’m cautiously optimistic because of the level of competition we face every night in both our conference and nonconference schedule.”