Rice Inks Five to NLIs
Nov. 8, 2017
BOISE, Idaho – Boise State men’s basketball added another strong recruiting class Wednesday, as head coach Leon Rice announced the signing of four incoming freshmen and one junior college transfer to National Letters of Intent for the 2018-19 season. Prep standouts Riley Abercrombie, Jaycson Bereal, Mikey Frazier and Max Rice along with transfer Pat Dembley will join the Broncos next fall.
“We’re extremely excited about this recruiting class,” Rice said. “My staff did an amazing job of identifying five players that will be a tremendous fit for the Boise State basketball program. They all have great character, a love for the game and a work ethic that will make them successful both on and off the court.
“These five players provide us with a versatile group that complement each other’s skills and talents, which lays a strong foundation for the future of Bronco basketball.”
Riley Abercrombie | 6-8 | 205 | Houston, Texas (Clear Lake HS)
A 6-foot-8-inch playmaker, Abercrombie averaged 10.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game last year as a junior for Clear Lake High School. The Falcons finished the 2016-17 season with a 24-9 record and qualified to the UIL 6A Texas State Basketball Championship Tournament.
“One of the things that Riley has done around here at Clear Lake is set a great example,” said Clear Lake High School head coach Tom Penders. “Basketball is his job. He is amongst the most dedicated players I have ever had at this school or any other. Riley loves to get into the gym and work. Quite frankly, it’s what he does 24/7. He is a basketball maniac.
“Boise State can expect a very tough, classy kid that is not afraid to take and make a big shot. They will also see constant improvement from him throughout the years. The Bronco system is one that perfectly fits him.”
Holding offers from 15 other schools – including other recent NCAA Tournament participants in Iona, Northern Iowa and Richmond – Abercrombie is a coveted prospect who should impress Bronco fans with his versatility.
“I picked Boise State because I believe it was meant for me,” Abercrombie said. “I love everything they have there and I think I can help be a part of something great they’re building. I’m most looking forward to winning a lot of games in Taco Bell Arena and wearing the Blue and Orange.”
Jaycson Bereal | 6-7 | 190 | Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington HS)
“I chose Boise State because it chose me,” Bereal said. “Not only have I been a fan of Boise State athletics for a long time, but while I was on my visit I felt like I was at home and was accepted like I’ve been there my whole life. I look forward to building relationships with my teammates and coaches, and also having the support of the entire university behind me. I absolutely love being a Bronco and am going to represent the school with honor and a blue collar mentality.”
Bereal played for the Oklahoma Run PWP on the Under Armour Association circuit this past summer and averaged 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game on a team that featured six other Division I signees.
Playing for Booker T. Washington High School last year as a junior, he led the Hornets to a 17-7 record and an appearance in the 2017 OSSAA State Championship game. In addition, Bereal was named the Prep Hoops Top 250 EXPO Oklahoma 2017-18 Camp MVP last October prior to the high school season starting. Bereal was also a standout football player at wide receiver and garnered interest from Division I schools.
“Jaycson is a tremendous young man with unlimited potential as a basketball player,” Booker T. Washington High School head coach Conley Phipps said. “Boise State will love the athleticism and energy Jaycson will bring to Boise.”
“Pat has a tremendous feel for how to play,” Iowa Western Community College head coach Michael Johnette said. “He was a state champion in high school and he knows how to win basketball games. He’s very competitive and wants to win at every drill. Pat not only has tremendous feel and can see the floor, but on a night when you need 20 points, he can do that, and on a night when you need eight assists, he can do that, too.”
A proven winner that helped Iowa Western Community College to a 27-5 season, Dembley played his high school ball at Minneapolis North High School in Minneapolis, Minn. There he helped the Polars to a 29-5 record and the 2016 Minnesota Class A State Championship.
Dembley averaged over 14 points per game as a senior at Minneapolis North.
“I decided Boise State was the right school because of the vibe that I got when I was on campus and how honest the coaches were with me off the jump,” Dembley said. “I’m looking forward to playing in front of all the Bronco fans in Taco Bell Arena on game days more than anything.”
“The things that made me decide to be a Bronco were the great basketball program and the school being the right fit,” Frazier said. “I’m looking forward to being a Bronco and getting in the gym with my coaches and teammates.”
Frazier averaged 16.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game last season for East High School as a junior and was an All-Region 6 selection – one of the top regions in 5A and the entire state of Utah.
He played club ball for Exum Elite on the Adidas Gauntlet circuit against some of the other top prep players in the country.
“Mikey is the modern day big,” East High School head coach Mitch Smith said. “He can shoot the three, has great footwork on the block and is an exceptional passer. I compare him to LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs. He is a matchup nightmare for other teams. When he faces up on the block, it’s over because of his soft touch and footwork.”
Rice – a two-time First-Team 4A All-Idaho selection – averaged 18.5 points per game last year as a junior and was named the 4A Southern Idaho Conference Player of the Year. The Knights took third place at last year’s state tournament.
“Max has done everything for our team as a four-year letterman,” Bishop Kelly High School head coach Ryan Kerns said. “From coming off the bench to provide a spark as a freshman, to earning player of the year honors in our conference as a junior, he’s done it all. For all four years he has been an incredible competitor who works hard to constantly improve as a well-rounded player. Bronco fans can look forward to seeing his spark and his fire as a competitor, and a never-say-die attitude. He’s a guard who can score and also really distribute, and he will get better every year.”
Rice played his AAU ball this past summer for the Washington Supreme on the Under Armour Association circuit. He averaged 10.7 points per game on a team that featured six Division I prospects.
“I chose Boise State because of the winning culture,” Rice said.
Boise State will open the 2017-18 regular season Friday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. against Eastern Oregon inside Taco Bell Arena.
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