September 25, 2012

Familiar name enters into Wyoming recruiting

The name Brett McFall is a anything but new for most Wyoming basketball fans. The former Olathe (Kan.) basketball star was recruited to Wyoming by Head Coach Larry Shyatt in 1997 and averaged 6.2 points per game during a productive four-year career in Wyoming.

Now, the Shyatt family is using that connection to recruit talent to Laramie once again.

McFall is now the head coach of Shawnee Mission South High School, which went 16-6 in Kansas Class 6-A play and ended its year just one win from a trip to the Kansas State Tournament. He said his team ended up second in the League to a squad that sent players to both Nebraska and Kentucky.

"We were very very young last year," McFall said. "We started a freshman, a sophomore and a couple seniors. We'll be young again, but they are hungry, talented and they are ready. We finally have the program where we want it. We want that bulls-eye on our back. We want to get everyone's best shot every year."

With the talent he has on this year's team. That shouldn't be a problem. McFall's 2012-13 squad features two sophomores who have already gotten the attention of a Wyoming program, which could have six scholarship positions open in its 2015 class.

Dainan Swoope is a 6-foot-1, left-handed combo guard who averaged 11.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game as a freshman in 2011. Swoope showed a very strong three-point shot, hitting on 49 percent of his shots behind the arch.

"He is a mid-to-high major recruit," McFall predicted. "In the summer he plays for MoKan Elite (AAU) and they were ridiculous. They won seven or eight tournaments they were in earlier this year and then four in a row later this summer. He was a big reason for that.

"He is very smooth," McFall said when describing Swoope's game. "He is a big-time shooter, but everything he does is smooth."

Swoope's partner in the MoKan backcourt this season was DeAngelo Bruster, a 6-foot sophomore slasher who played as a freshman last season for Raytown South High School outside of Kansas City. This season Bruster will join Swoope and McFall at Shawnee Mission South.

"He was in the 8-to-10 points per game range last year as a freshman," McFall said. "He plays with Dainan in the summer. They both just blew up and got onto people's radar.

"He is sneaky-long," McFall said. "He has long arms. He is another lefty. I use that word fluid with Dainan and left-handers just seem to be more fluid in their movement. That is the case with Bruster. But he is quick and explosive."

McFall said Bruster is more of a slasher who uses his athletic ability to get to the hoop and is known as a strong defender. McFall said Swoope is more of a pull-up jumper and three-point shooter.

While coaches cannot talk directly to high school sophomores yet, the fourth-year Shawnee Mission South coach said there was an excitement among his players that there was a college coach in the gym. He said Wyoming assistant coach Jeremy Shyatt came to watch an open gym this week and McFall thought that meant something to the sophomores.

"Wyoming is one of the first to say we really really like them and are going to watch them and that was worth something," McFall said. "I remember when I was playing and the first time you heard that college was there to see me it was very exciting. They felt the same way and they are intrigued to say the least about Wyoming."

The subject of Wyoming has come up plenty in McFall's conversations between he and his players, particularly Swoope. McFall said he still gets back to Wyoming twice-a-year for basketball camps he runs in Laramie and Thermopolis. He also talks at length about his experiences playing for the Brown-and-Gold.

"They have both heard stories from me," said McFall. "I've known Dainan since he was six years old. It is easy for me to share stories with him. If my kid wants to get to the next level I'll do whatever I can to help them. I think it would be neat if one of them would go there."

Joining Swoope and Bruster on the Shawnee Mission South team this year will be a couple of other players with Division I aspirations. Junior point guard Devin Newson averaged 8.7 points and 5.7 assists per game last year and is getting looks from lower level Division I and Division II teams. However, his height may cause schools to overlook his talent, according to McFall.

"He is only about 5-9," McFall said. "I think the only thing people might question about him is his size. He is going to play college basketball but it is a question about where he will get a scholarship.

At 6-foot-7, Josh Pedersen also stands out in a crowd. He has received scholarship offers from schools in the Division II Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) currently, but McFall doesn't think those schools will be his only choice.

"All these DI's that saw him over the summer are starting to come after him," McFall said. "Last year he shot 43 percent from the arch and hit his first 33 free throws in a row. He is what I call a sleeper. Whoever gets him is going to be real good. He was 6-foot-7 and 165. He is now about 195."

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