Boys basketball: Savageau’s recruitment picks up with a college commitment coming soon
Osakis senior guard Daniel Savageau tormented opposing teams at the Class AA level in Minnesota boys basketball for almost four seasons, but it’s taken college programs into the spring of his senior year to really get serious about recruiting him.
“I was kind of (wondering why) too,” Savageau said on April 14. “I’ve seen a lot of people entering the transfer portal, so I don’t know if that has to do with it a lot. Some guys are transferring, but it’s kind of weird.”
Teams at all levels of college basketball experience turnover in the spring with so many players choosing to move on to different programs. That opens some roster spots that coaches are looking to fill, but Savageau understands what is likely at the heart of what has taken schools a while to extend offers.
“I’m 5-foot, 11-inches on a good day,” he said. “I think that’s probably the No. 1 thing. Going to summer camps and summer programs from those teams, they say I have the athletic ability. It’s just the size that’s a factor. At that level, everyone is so much more physical.”
At that height and 150 pounds, Savageau has never been the biggest player on the court. He has used that as motivation over the years and finished his career second all time in scoring at Osakis with 2,020 points.
“I’d say it makes me play scrappier,” Savageau said. “I’m smaller obviously than most of the guards, but I can play scrappy. I can get in their head a little bit by how I play.”
In the last month, some college coaches are starting to take a chance on Savageau being able to adjust to the size at the Division II level. Bemidji State University out of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference recently extended a partial scholarship offer to Savageau.
Minnesota Crookston out of the NSIC has also offered him a spot on the team as a preferred walk-on with a chance to earn a scholarship with his play in the coming year. Mayville State University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school in North Dakota, has also offered a scholarship.
“I’ve had several coaches call,” Savageau said. “It’s overwhelming a little bit trying to make a decision soon. I do some research about the schools, but it’s been awesome to hear from them.”
Savageau used a quick release, constant energy in moving with and without the ball and a great handle on his dribble to set up teammates and himself for opportunities despite being the focal point of every team’s defensive plan in recent years. He averaged 21.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.5 steals per game as a senior this winter after shooting 41.5% from three and 81.2% from the free-throw line.
Savageau was able to get on campus in a limited capacity at Mayville State a few weeks ago before the COVID-19 pandemic shut almost everything down completely. He can’t do that right now with a tour at Bemidji State, but he’s been on the Beavers’ campus a couple times before. Coaches from Bemidji also hosted a Zoom chat with him recently to go over their program.
“Any level of college basketball is tough to play at,” Savageau said. “Hearing from the NSIC schools, that’s a top level of competition right there. Just knowing I could play at that level, it feels pretty good.”
Other schools are also showing interest, but Savageau is ready to make a commitment soon. He said he will likely make a decision on his college choice in the next week, with the spring national signing period opening up on April 15.
No matter what school he chooses, he is eager to represent the Osakis community and show his future coaches he can be an impact player at the college level.
“Wherever I go, I’m going to have a chip on my shoulder,” Savageau said. “I have everything to prove and nothing to lose, I guess. Coming from Osakis, a smaller town, wherever I go it’s going to be bigger, and I got to represent the town.”