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Doyle commits to South Dakota State

Logan Doyle went high to grab a rebound in a game against Red Wing last December. (Echo Press photo by Eric Morken)

Alexandria power forward Logan Doyle didn't need long to decide where he would play his college basketball once he got the offer he was looking for.

Doyle had South Dakota State University near the top of his list after they started showing interest. It took Doyle just 24 hours after Jackrabbits' head coach Scott Nagy sent a scholarship offer his way before he called back to tell him how excited he was to play for SDSU starting in 2013.

"It was one of the happier days of my life," Doyle said. "That was the one I was waiting for. Once it happened, I took a day to talk it over with my family, and we just decided I couldn't wait to commit."

Doyle was sold on the school and the basketball program after his unofficial visit there a few weeks ago. He played pick-up ball with the team and talked about the program with guys like former St. Cloud Tech and current SDSU star Nate Wolters.

The only difficult part of the process was telling the other schools that recruited him that he wouldn't be going to their schools. Doyle appreciated all of them after starting the summer with no offers and ending up with 10 before he made his final decision.

"It was really tough," he said. "Even telling the Division II teams I wasn't going to go there. I'm probably speaking for the majority of college athletes who are recruited at a high level; it's not a fun time. I know it's part of the process, but it is hard when you build up good relationships with coaches."

In the end, he couldn't turn down a chance to play Division I for the defending Summit League champions. The Jackrabbits jumped onto the national scene last year as Wolters became a household name among big-time college basketball fans. He averaged 21.2 points, 5.9 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game as a junior on his way to leading SDSU to its first Division I NCAA tournament berth.

The Jackrabbits were one of five Summit League teams to play in a postseason tournament. That was tied for the third most among mid-major conferences in the country. The chance to play in a strong league in the Midwest was part of the draw for Doyle.

"Just being able to go and play a high level of competition every game [is exciting]," he said. "The Summit League, there are no games off where you are able to play a team that you can expect to just run over. It's great getting to travel across the Midwest and play in other great arenas. I wanted to play at the highest level I could, and I definitely will be doing that in the Summit."

Doyle said it was enjoyable, but he is glad to have the whole recruiting experience behind him. Now he can focus on what he thinks can be a special senior season in Alexandria.

The Cardinals went just 10-16 overall and finished last in the Central Lakes Conference at 4-12 in 2011. They do return their top two scorers from that group in Doyle (13.2 PPG) and John Vogeler (11.8 PPG). Doyle believes there are others around them who are ready to make the team competitive at the varsity level.

"I think we have kids who are really interested now," he said. "David Krivanek, he's really improved this summer and shown what he can do...Brandon Bistodeau, Chase Kohler, I'm proud of the underclassmen. [Last year's] sophomores, I think that class can be something special. They went all in. They've done everything that the coaches and upperclassmen have asked them to do."

They will be looked upon to help shoot teams out of the zone defenses that are likely coming Alexandria's way this winter. That's how teams tried to keep the ball out of Doyle's hands last year.

"I know we're going to have to really work on that offense leading up to the season," Doyle said. "I would assume 80 percent of the teams will zone us in the CLC...but David can really shoot the three, Brandon Bistodeau, John Vogeler. If they can hit shots it will really make it hard for the other teams."

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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