The Dakota Wesleyan University men’s basketball team recently added a big piece to its recruiting puzzle.
The Tigers landed a commitment from Langford Area standout Mason Larson, who is a lanky and athletic forward that had a host of NCAA Division II schools recruiting him. The 6-foot-7, 205-pound Larson received interest from Northern State University, Augustana University, St. Cloud State University, Southwest Minnesota State, University of Sioux Falls, Minnesota State-Moorhead and Black Hills State University. NAIA’s University of Jamestown was also recruiting Larson.
But in the end, Larson picked the Tigers after recently visiting DWU and attending its game on Nov. 15 against Dordt College at the Corn Palace. He committed to DWU on Sunday.
“I went down and visited and loved it,” Larson told The Daily Republic. “They have got a good program down there. I love what they are doing. I love their guys.”
The versatile Larson brings a unique skill set to the Tigers. A first-team Class B all-state pick last season, Larson averaged 17.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, blocked 63 shots and hit 27 3-pointers. He also recorded 86 assists, 59 steals and countless slam dunks.
“I see myself fitting in there because I like to shoot the ball,” Larson said. “I like to score the ball and I just like to stretch the floor and get after it.”
DWU coach Matt Wilber also envisions Larson’s versatility translating to college, but added he will have to come in and earn minutes next season.
“He fits in good with a motion-type system,” Wilber said. “I think he’s a good passer. I think he’s a good shooter. I think he’s a good ball handler. So the way that we play, you would see him probably playing all over the floor.”
Wilber had been monitoring Larson’s recruitment since his freshman season and always ensured him he would have a spot if other places didn’t pan out.
“As the recruiting process went on with Mason, we had a good chance to go out and pitch to him what our program has going on and how he can fit in here and it worked out really well,” Wilber said.
Larson’s recent visit cemented his plans and he was also able to see how his future teammates play on the court together.
“Watching (DWU sophomore guard) Ty Hoglund play is always exciting to see how passionate he is and see how good of a teammate and leader he is,” Larson said. “It looks like it would be so easy to play with him, but all those guys look like they play so well together and they just have a bond that looks different than a lot of teams I’ve seen.”
Larson, also an all-state football player, is leaning toward majoring in business at DWU. Larson joins Sioux Falls Christian’s Koln Oppold, Sioux Center, Iowa’s Tyus Arends and Dell Rapids’ Jeffrey Schuch as DWU commits for the 2018-19 season.