Arenz, Fouse Sign NLIs to Play at Green Bay
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - After welcoming six out-of-state newcomers to his roster for the 2011-12, head coach Brian Wardle is excited to add two top-10 players from the state of Wisconsin to the team in 2012-13. Wardle announced on Wednesday that Nick Arenz (Onalaska, Wis.) and Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) have both signed National Letters of Intent (NLIs) to play their collegiate basketball at Green Bay.
"I couldn't be happier to add two more winners to the program in Jordan Fouse and Nick Arenz," Wardle said. "We needed skill and high basketball IQ guys in this class, and we got two of the best in the state. Both are versatile guys that bring skill in areas that we need.
"It was a great class for in-state recruiting this year, and we put an emphasis on it and capitalized on it. We found the right fits for what we needed and wanted. We are going to continue to recruit Wisconsin kids and hopefully have success."
Both players come from programs that have won at a high level during their careers. Fouse and St. Catherine's won Division 3 state championships in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. He scored 18 points in the state title game in 2010 and also led the Angels to a runner-up finish in 2011. Onalaska High School was 11-0 in games Arenz played in 2010-11 and finished his sophomore season with a 20-6 record.
Arenz is a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward from Onalaska High School. He is ranked in the state's top-10 by WisSports.net and ESPNU. The forward averaged 14.4 points per game as a junior in 2010-11 before suffering a season-ending knee injury. He was named Associated Press Honorable Mention as a sophomore after averaging 13.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Fouse, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound player from St. Catherine's High School, has the ability to play both forward positions and is also ranked among the state's top-10 players by WIsSports.net and ESPNU. The all-around player averaged 15.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game as a junior while helping his team to the state championship game in Division II. Former Phoenix player and current color analyst on Green Bay radio broadcasts Cordero Barkley also played for head coach Bob Letsch at Racine St. Catherine's.
"This is an exceptionally strong class, if you look at our state," said Mark Miller, WisSports.net. "Our top-11 are all Division I kids and we are looking at upwards of 15 Division I kids, and Green Bay got two of the top seven. Getting those two really, really good players is an indication that Green Bay wants to recruit Wisconsin and will continue to do so moving forward. Things are really optimistic and positive for Green Bay. These two guys that are coming in will be outstanding additions to the Green Bay program and represent Wisconsin very well."
Hometown: Onalaska, Wis.
High School: Onalaska
AAU Team: Wisconsin Playground Warriors
: "He is guy who has a great feel for the game and a very good passer. He can score inside and out with his big, strong body and good touch. He can play either frontline guy. He is a winner on one of the best teams in the state and has a leadership and maturity about him which I think helps all his teams win."
Craig Kowal, head coach, Onalaska High School: "Nick is extremely skilled for a big kid. As a sophomore he shot almost 90 percent from the free-throw line and a high percentage from three. He has tremendous feel and is a great passer out of the post. He has the ability to play both inside and out. He has about as high a basketball IQ as any kid I have ever coached. He is an intelligent player who because of that makes other people around him better. I really think Green Bay is a great fit for him from a school standpoint as well as a basketball standpoint. I think coach Wardle's system fits his skill set really well and it will be a tremendous fit for both Nick and the Green Bay Basketball program."
Richie Davis, head coach, Wisconsin Playground Warriors: "He has really put in time to his rehab, not just going through the motions but really dedicating himself to coming back stronger. He is not really into all the individual stuff. Ever since he has come into our program in the eighth grade he has been all about winning and that is what makes him an attractive kid. He is a big, physical kid that has the ability to do a lot of things. He will be able to score in a variety of ways, but one thing about Nick is he shoots the ball very well all the way out to the arc. That will be a valuable asset to the GB staff as they look at ways to include Nick in the offense. He has always been a good rebounder. He is a kid that doesn't just stand and watch. He will go get the ball out of his area and that will be a great trait to have in the Horizon League. He and his mother and father are excited so obviously it is a great day for Nick and for Green Bay Basketball."
Mark Miller, WisSports.net: "Unfortunately Nick only played in 11 games last season, but when I saw him play prior to his injury I thought he was playing the best basketball of his career. He was doing a lot of little things. He was passing well out of the high post, he was scoring down low, he was converting at the free-throw line and he was rebounding at both ends of the floor. When he has been healthy he is really, really good and is going to be a four-year varsity player for a really good program. He does the little things to help teams win whether it be rebounding, diving on the floor for a loose ball, making the extra pass, converting inside or making free throws."
Hometown: Racine, Wis.
High School: St. Catherine's
AAU Team: Playground Elite
: "Jordan brings a versatility and has an unbelievable feel for the game. He is a great passes and ball handler and a good scorer. He is very skilled in different areas and brings more size and length to our program. Overall, he is a perimeter type forward who is a stat stuffer in all different categories - blocks, steals, assists, points, rebounds. That is what is exciting about him, and he is a proven winner."
Bob Letsch, head coach, Racine St. Catherine's: "He is a player that has so much upside going into college. He has the ability to play both the three and the four at the college level. I just filled out something for the [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel] that asked what position he played and I put the 1,2,3,4 and 5. In high school he can play all five positions. That is how good he is. When I had him in camp as a freshman I could not believe how well he saw the court. He sees people all the time and so well that last season I told him to get the rebound and push it himself. He is a great kid, a very quiet kid that has a very supportive family. He wanted to stay around the area, and I think it is a good place for him and a good fit for him. Cordero loved it up there."
Ike Wilson, head coach, Playground Elite: "Jordan is a really hard-working, coachable kid. He brings a lot to the table because he does so many things on the court and does what it takes to win. Their winning at St. Catherine's has a lot to do with what Jordan brings to the table. It is a great fit for you guys and for him. I think Jordan is a major steal for Green Bay. It is going to be great for Green Bay to have a kid like Jordan in the program because he can play multiple positions. Playing for Coach Wardle is going to help Jordan excel to be one of the next best players in that conference. Green Bay is going to be great for him because of the system they play and how coach teaches the guys to play hard."
Mark Miller, WisSports.net: "He is extremely skilled. He can handle the ball, shoot the ball, rebound and block shots. He is one of the best passing big guys around and is a very unselfish player. He has been a big part of a state championship team in 2010 and a state runner-up team in 2011. He is a very versatile, athletic, strong and highly skilled player who has a tremendous upside. I think Jordan is going to be one heck of a player for Green Bay whose best basketball is in front of him. He has improved every year in a dramatic fashion under one of the best coaches in our state's history."
Green Bay opens its 2011-12 schedule on Friday, Nov. 11 against University of Mary at 7 p.m. at the Resch Center.
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