St. Cloud State University men’s basketball Coach Matt Reimer has been fortunate in more ways than one when it comes to recruiting new talent. The Huskies are welcoming four new players to the team this season, two of which graduated high school right in St. Cloud. Brindley Theisen, a 6-2′ guard who scored more than 1,000 points during his career at Cathedral High School, and Jake Mussman, a 6-5′ forward who played three sports in his lone year at St. Cloud Technical High School.
Both schools are located within a few miles of SCSU, and for Reimer it’s been a nice transition into his second season at the helm as his team now has three players from inside St. Cloud.
“We’ve been fortunate the last couple of years in getting guys like Andy Foley, Brindley Theisen, and Jake Mussman that are all good enough to play. It doesn’t happen very often where you get that many quality players that close together,” Reimer commented.
He wasn’t the only one happy to keep local talent close as Theisen was also excited to be attending SCSU.
“I can play in front of my family and friends, and I knew this was a successful basketball program and I just want to help continue that success,” Theisen said. “I think it’s easier because I’m in the dorms but only live 10 minutes away so I’m not homesick at all, and basketball has been a good distraction with all that comes with beginning your college life.”
While Theisen spent his entire high school career in St. Cloud, Mussman moved from Grand Forks, N. Dakota prior to his senior season in which he averaged 18 points, seven rebounds, and three assists for the St. Cloud Tech Tigers. Mussman’s dad Chris, is the quarterbacks coach for the SCSU football team, and while Jake played wide receiver last season for the Tigers he always knew basketball was his future.
“Basketball was the longest season of all my sports, going from November to March, and I never got sick of it. I never didn’t want to go to practice,” Mussman said.
Although he was only in Minnesota for a year prior to his commitment to play basketball at SCSU, Mussman had an inkling of where he wanted to go when he received a recruiting letter from a rival school.
“When I was a sophomore or junior I got a letter from the University of Mary (ND) that had ‘Giant Killers’ written on the top and a picture of Halenbeck Hall in the background, talking about how they upset the #20 ranked team on their home court, and I thought, I want to play for the giants, not the giant killers,” Mussman said.
A rich tradition is also what eventually drew Theisen to the Huskies as he was noticed by Reimer at a young age, when the now coach was the recruiting director for the Huskies.
“You could tell when he was a freshmen in high school he had all the qualities you’re looking for. He’s a tough hard-nosed kid, very skilled and athletic. Right away I knew he was going to be good enough to play for us,” Reimer commented.
Adding Theisen to the roster was a no-brainer in Remier’s mind, and although the season is over a month away he sees the local freshman making an impact early, which is key given the team’s leading scorer from last season, Jordan Poydras, transferred to Division I Utah Valley University during the off-season.
“Brindley is obviously a great shooter, but people will come to appreciate that he will work on all parts of his game. He’s someone that makes everyone around him a better player, and that’s hard to find,” Reimer said.
The Huskies begin play on November 13th when they travel to Missouri to play two games in the MIAA Conference Challenge. They once again will be led by junior guard Scottie Stone, who averaged 14 points last season. But with such a young and inexperienced squad, it’s still unknown who will fill Poydras’ spot and help lead the Huskies through the NSIC.