Isaiah Zierden, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound guard from who averaged 18.8 points per game last season, has committed to Creighton after visiting the Omaha campus this past weekend.
He is the second BSM standout to make a college choice in the last four days, joining Sanjay Lumpkin, who .
Zierden, who is one of Minnesota’s top players in the Class of 2012, is also one of the nation’s top outside threats. He made 20 three-pointers in five games at the Nike Peach Jam in Augusta, South Carolina, last month—the most of any player. Zierden also led the event in free throw percentage, making 18 of 19 (94.7 percent) from the charity stripe.
He was one of three players to score 31 points in a contest as he made five three-pointers to lead the Howard Pulley AAU program to a 94-79 win over CIA Bounce in the opening game. Teammate Tyus Jones of Apple Valley also scored 31 points in a game.
The outstanding outside shooter picked Creighton over offers from Manhattan, Wofford, George Mason and Jacksonville, and interest from schools such as Virginia Tech, Penn State and Pepperdine.
Zierden comes from a basketball family. His father, Don, is an assistant coach for the NBA’s Washington Wizards. Don Zierden previously served as the head coach of the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA, and as an assistant with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons. Due to the NBA lockout, he was able to watch his son play in the Nike Peach Jam.
St. Louis Park Patch caught up with Isaiah Zierden to learn the latest on his college choice:
St. Louis Park Patch: You visited Creighton this past weekend with your father. What was your impression of the campus?
Isaiah Zierden: I thought it was really nice. I went down there last year and got to see the whole campus, but me and my dad got to walk around the campus a little bit more and got to see everything. I thought that it was a real nice little campus.
St. Louis Park Patch: You have been playing in the Howard Pulley Pro-Am Summer League against college and pro players. Do you think that helps you to get ready for more physical play?
Zierden: I think that it helps us from that physical standpoint and we have practices some days, so that helps us with our skill work. Now, we get both, playing in this Pro-Am, which is really good for us going against adults.
St. Louis Park Patch: They don’t have football at Creighton, which means basketball is even bigger at the school. Was that something that appealed to you?
Zierden: Oh, yes. That was something that really attracted me, because I heard that the fans were just great. I have always wanted to go play in front of great fans. That is what every kid dreams about, so I liked that.
St. Louis Park Patch: The Missouri Valley has produced teams that have done well in the NCAA tournament in the past like Northern Iowa, Creighton, Wichita State and Bradley. Was that a big draw?
Zierden: It is a great conference. My old teammate (from Howard Pulley), Marvin (Singleton), plays for Northern Iowa, so I’ll get to see him a couple of times, so that will be fun. It is a great conference.
St. Louis Park Patch: What was the main reason you decided to commit?
Zierden: I went down there to look one last time to see how I would fit in and where they could see me to get to know the guys a little better. When I got down there, I talked to Coach Mac (Greg McDermott) a little bit and got to talk to a couple of the coaches and they introduced me to the players. The players were great and the coaches were just as nice, so I thought that it was a great fit and I felt very comfortable. I felt that this was the spot for me.
St. Louis Park Patch: Did you notify the other schools that were recruiting you?
Zierden: Yes, unfortunately, I had to do that. That was pretty hard. They were all pretty good about it, so that made it a little easier.
St. Louis Park Patch: Do you feel a weight off your shoulders after the announcement?
Zierden: It feels really good to be done. The excitement of me committing makes me want to work that much harder. It is exciting.
St. Louis Park Patch: Did you like the recruitment process? Was it fun at first or did it get old after awhile?
Zierden: At first, you feel really excited, but then when you see what really goes on, it is not as exciting. It is stressful, actually. I am glad to have it done.
St. Louis Park Patch: What things are you going to be working on leading up to the season to continue to improve as a player?
Zierden: I am going to hit the weight room pretty hard. I am going to get a program or schedule set with that. I am going to keep working on my game, my ball-handling and my mid-range. Hopefully, that will get me ready for playing at Creighton.