Following an official visit the final full weekend of October, Minnesota center Brock Bertram has committed to Buffalo and head coach Nate Oats, joining Quate McKinzie, Jalen Harris, and James Jones to round out Oats' impressive first full recruiting class.
Bertram was named Second Team All-State by the Minnesota Associated Press in 2015 and is a consensus three-star recruit. He benefits from playing with a pair of bigtime teammates at Apple Valley High School and the Howard Pulley AAU team in Gary Trent, Jr. and Tre Jones, brother of current Minnesota Timberwolves and former Duke point guard Tyus Jones, but averaged 13 points a game in his own right as a junior in Apple Valley's state championship season. The Eagles also won a state title in 2013 with Bertram in the lineup.
The consensus among recruiting sites was that Brock chose between five offers: Buffalo and Miami of the MAC, Green Bay, LaSalle, and Texas Tech, but in interviews over the summer he's reported interest with a handful of Big Ten schools, Cal, and Creighton, as well.
Make no mistake: Bertram is a serious get for Oats and UB. If he's truly 7-0, he'd be Buffalo's first seven footer since Andrew Atman and first true center since Mitchell Watt. He's flown under the radar a bit despite his high-profile teammates, and no one seems to have complete info on him without a paywall. Still, he's rating anywhere from a top 50 to a top-25 center nationally in the class of 2016 and is universally considered a top-five overall recruit in Minnesota this year.
With Bertram - who I move to immediately start calling "The Big Apple" - in the fold, UB should ink a well-rounded class of four during the early signing period in just a few weeks. We'll have more to say about the class at that time, but it's a fine start to Oats' tenure and should be a cornerstone of the program going forward.
Apple Valley Holds Off Champlin Park For 4A Boys State Title " CBS Minnesota
Brock Bertram finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Tre Jones scored 12 more to help Apple Valley hold off Champlin Park 64-61 and claim its second 4A boys state championship in the last three years on Saturday night.
Class 4A state basketball final centers around battle of the bigs - TwinCities.com
Apple Valley's Brock Bertram and Champlin Park's Theo John knew this day was coming. They sensed it last summer when they played together on an AAU club team. Saturday night, friends will be adversaries.
Granite City Classic: No Tyus? No problem
After losing perhaps the greatest point guard in state history, Apple Valley seems to have landed on its feet.