UNI hoops picks up late commit from Twin Cities guard

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CEDAR FALLS — The Northern Iowa men’s basketball team has picked up a late verbal commitment.

Guard Tywhon Pickford of Maple Grove (Minn.) High School will play for the Panthers beginning next season, according to his Twitter account. Pickford averaged 21.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this past season for a school that finished third in Class 4A at the Minnesota state tournament.

He is considered a recruiting sleeper because of a left knee injury that halted his junior season and much of his recruiting. He has recovered from that injury, a torn meniscus.

“He’s extremely under the radar,” Maple Grove Coach Nick Schroeder told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in January. “Every college coach I talk to says somebody is going to get a steal.”

Pickford will join Waverly-Shell Rock center Austin Phyfe in UNI’s 2016-17 recruiting class. He would be the Panthers’ 13th and final scholarship player, which affects former Cedar Rapids Xavier wing Adam McDermott.

He transferred from North Dakota to UNI this past year with an understanding he would eventually be considered for a scholarship. McDermott red-shirted this past season because of the transfer.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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