Schafer gives SMSU verbal commitment

Southwest Minnesota State University men’s basketball coach Brad Bigler continues to add players to his 2014 recruiting class, most recently picking up a verbal commitment from one of North Dakota’s top prizes.

Bismarck, N.D., High School shooting guard Taylor Schafer is the latest prep hoopster to declare his interests to play for the Mustangs well in advance of November’s National Signing Day.

Schafer, who stands 6-foot-1, helped lead the Bismarck Demons to a second-place finish in the North Dakota Class A boys state basketball tournament in March and was named to the All-Tournament team as a result. He scored 14 points and drilled three 3-pointers in a 73-54 loss to Fargo, N.D., Shanley in the championship game, while hitting three free throws with under a second to play to get his team to the final game in the first place.

Schafer noted that along with the connection he felt to the school and the community during his visit, the opportunity to play in SMSU’s up-tempo offense that rewards active guard play.

“I love how they spread the floor and let you play,” Schafer said. “I like the hard-nosed defense, that blue collar kind of defense is what I like.”

Schafer averaged 14.1 points per game during his junior season, as the Bismarck Demons finished the year with a 16-9 record. He also shot 92.3 percent from the free throw line on the year.

Of the six guards currently on the SMSU roster for 2013, only one is an underclassmen.