Utah State men’s basketball signs former Idaho player of the year

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State men’s basketball coach Stew Morrill announced Wednesday that Mitch Bruneel (brew-kneel) has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete for the Aggies beginning in the 2011-12 season. Bruneel will have three years of eligibility remaining. Bruneel, a 6-5, 205-pound forward from the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) earned honorable mention Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Region 18 honors as a freshman as he averaged 10.0 points and 5.2 rebounds, while shooting 46.8 percent from the field (130-278), 31.0 percent from three-point range (13-42) and 69.5 percent at the free throw line (98-141). “Mitch is an exciting addition to our program and it’s a huge bonus that he has three years to play,” said Morrill. “Mitch is a big wing that brings both skill and toughness to the court. He is an excellent student with very high character and we know he will be successful in all aspects of being a student-athlete at Utah State.” During his one year at CSI, Bruneel scored in double-figures 18 times, including four 20-point games and four double-doubles as he helped lead the Golden Eagles to a 33-4 record and a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championship. Bruneel also scored in double-figures twice during the national tournament, earning NJCAA all-tournament team honors. Along with winning the NJCAA National Championship, CSI also won the SWAC Championship, Region 18 Championship and District I title during the 2010-11 season. “Mitch does a little bit of everything and he does it all very well,” said Steve Gosar, College of Southern Idaho’s head coach. “Mitch has good size and athleticism, he shoots the ball well, and is a good finisher around the basket. The fans at Utah State will love his work ethic.” Bruneel prepped at Eagle (Idaho) High School where he was named the 2008 Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year following his senior season when he averaged 23.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. He also earned first-team all-state honors in 2008 as he was the top scorer in Idaho. Following high school, Bruneel served a two-year LDS Church Mission in the Philippines. Bruneel will be the third Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year to play for Morrill at Utah State joining current Aggie forward Brady Jardine (Twin Falls) who won the award in 2006 and former Aggie forward Spencer Nelson (Pocatello) who was named Idaho’s Player of the Year in 1997. “I chose Utah State because it is a good program that gets great support from its fans,” said Bruneel. “Knowing that you are going into a winning program is always nice and my goal is to work hard and do whatever I can to help keep that winning tradition going.”- USU –

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