Blake Brinkmeyer Adds SeMo Offer

Class of 2018 forward Blake Brinkmeyer (IA) picked up a Southeast Missouri offer Thursday.

The offer marks his third D1 offer (UNI, North Dakota, Southeast Missouri).

Air Force offered Brinkmeyer the following day.

“It really started last year,” said Brinkmeyer’s father Blain Brinkmeyer.   “After a Jerry Mullen Tournament we got an immediate offer from North Dakota.  Then we went on a visit to Northern Iowa (and they offered).”

This month Brinkmeyer turned heads all three AAU weekends.

“He played really well in Milwaukee,” said Mr. Brinkmeyer.  “That sparked interest.  And then the offers came after last week.”

West Des Moines, Iowa is home to Brinkmeyer’s Valley High School.

Blake Brinkmeyer offers that attractive height in the 2018 class.  More than one national analyst has commented on how weak the 2018 bigs are as a whole, meaning more colleges are fighting for fewer good players like Brinkmeyer.

Brinkmeyer’s game is adaptable.  He is certainly a frontcourt player, not a wing.  Unlike some bigs, Brinkmeyer is very springy.  He can change locations quickly.  If Southeast Missouri wants to play a zone he could operate at the base or wing.  Defending man-to-man he would thrive on an OVC center or secondary big.  Standing 6-foot-7 he might appear on the shorter edge of the parameters for a big, but his spring helps him play bigger or smaller as the situation calls.

Class Size

At a minimum, Southeast Missouri Head Coach Rick Ray will want to bring in three players in the 2018 class.  Transfers or early departures could escalate that number even higher.  Astutely, the staff is casting a wider net this July and they have a legitimate shot at most of their targets.

Frontcourt targets include: Brinkmeyer (IA), Parker Braun (KS), Jal Bijek (IA), Elijah McNamara (OH).

While De’Torrian Ware (KY) handles the ball a decent amount, he is kind of a combo forward.  The sturdy wing probably will get some touches on the low blocks in college.

AAU Success

Brinkmeyer runs with Kingdom Hoops, an AAU program based out of central Iowa.  Several of their top players find D1 homes, but the program typically caters to players from almost all high schools in the Des Moines area.

Kingdom Hoops tends to operate 3+ teams per age group, which enables the program to tutor and development an enormous pool of players.

“It has been a great experience,” said Mr. Brinkmeyer.  “We never played AAU before last year.  We always just played with the high school team.  We would travel to Omaha.  Nothing in the July.  The HS coach at Valley said you need to step up your game a little bit.  Kingdom Hoops has been wonderful.  They encouraged him.”

Brinkmeyer’s AAU career is hours away from ending.  What next?

 

“At this point it is still new enough and there have been four offers that have been made,” said Mr. Brinkmeyer.  “We need to sit back and look at the options.  We just want to see how it is going to shake out.”

Brinkmeyer just turned 17 a week ago.  His body is still maturing, which is a tantalizing fact to consider.

Coach Ray had a great year last year at Southeast.  The program is on the upswing.  We want to see what is the best move.  We don’t know yet.  (Blake) doesn’t know yet.”

While the OVC is a wonderful landing spot for Brinkmeyer’s talent, size, and skills most of the conference remains ignorant to the budding forward.

“To my knowledge Southeast is the only OVC school to have contact with Blake,” said Mr. Brinkmeyer.  “They are the first and only OVC school.”

Don’t expect swift movement on the Blake’s decision.  The offers are still coming in and visits could be several weeks away.

“With 4 offers I don’t think the wise move is to whittle it down yet,” said Mr. Brinkmeyer.  “He wants to be somewhere that is a good fit.  I don’t expect him to make a decision (any time soon).  There  has been a lot of contact from MVC schools, schools in Ohio, etc.  We are expecting some other stuff.”

The thinking is that Blake and family will spend the fall touring college campuses.  They want to see what the pertinent schools are like on a “football Saturday.”   These are optimal times to enjoy the college experience surely.

College team practices are another preferred opportunity for Brinkmeyer observation.

“We would like to pick up some practices and see how they operate,” said Mr. Brinkmeyer.

There are certain to be more schools competing with Southeast Missouri for Brinkmeyer.  Southeast Missouri moved in at a good time though.

“He was elated to hear about it,” said Mr. Brinkmeyer.  “It was fun to talk with the coaches.”

 

Talent Pool

As one of the westernmost OVC programs, Southeast Missouri tends to evaluate and sign more Midwest and north Midwest players than their conference peers.  For example, Brinkmeyer competed this month in Wisconsin, Kansas, and Kansas City.

Fewer than half of the conference sent players to those events.  Most of the OVC coaches scour Atlanta, Louisville, Indianapolis, Florida events with a sprinkling of Texas and a heavy dosage of JuCo events.

The net result is that SeMo, EIU, and SIUE tend to recruit from a different pool of bigs, while much of the conference claws over Memphis, Louisville, and southeastern prospects.

Look at the SeMo roster:  Justin Carpenter (IL), Isaiah Gable (OH), Milos Vranes (ND-based JuCo), Mark Laros (MO-based JuCo).

The 2018 class of bigs look similar geographically.

Will it prove profitable?

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