Zac Olson is the second junior college signee to ink with the Golden Eagles during the current recruiting cycle.
The University of Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball program announced the signing of Zac Olson (G/F, 6-5 225, Waterville, Minn./Lake Region State College). Olson will have three years to compete for the Golden Eagles beginning during the 2019-20 season. Olson joins a Minnesota Crookston class that includes; Ebrima Jassey Demba (G/F, 6-7 200, Birmingham, England (Monroe College (N.Y.), Reed Miller (G/F, 6-6 205, Appleton, Wis./Kimberly H.S.), Tyrese Shines (G, 6-3 190, LaGrange, Ill./Lyons Township H.S.), and Quintin Winterfeldt (g, 6-4 195, Waupun, Wis./Waupun H.S.).
“I am very excited to welcome Zac to the Golden Eagle basketball family,” said Head Coach Dan Weisse. “Zac is a versatile player that can do many things well. He fits our system and we can put him in different situations. Zac can step out on the perimeter and shoot or we can put him in screening situations. He is very unselfish and will mesh with our current players very well. I’m looking forward to coaching Zac for the next three years.”
Olson continues Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball’s mission to find the best player in the region and great fits for the program. Olson joins fellow Minnesota-native Brian Sitzmann (R-So., G, Savage, Minn.) on the roster. The Golden Eagles also have four players from Wisconsin, one from Illinois, one from Iowa, one from North Dakota, and one from Michigan. Region players make up the majority of the Minnesota Crookston men’s basketball roster.
“During the recruiting process with Minnesota Crookston, I was most impressed with how much the coaches made me a priority and the commitment they made to get to me to come be a Golden Eagle,” Olson said. “I believe my style of play is a perfect fit for the system they run at Minnesota Crookston. I see myself as a player who will go out and do whatever needs to be done to win a game. I plan on going out and giving my all for Coach Weisse. Coach has told me about the talent the Golden Eagles have returning for the upcoming season and with the new recruits coming in we have a chance to be better than last year, and I expect nothing less. I have goals set to help the team make it back to the Sanford Pentagon and want to build on the team’s historic season last year.”
Olson is the second junior college signee to ink with the Golden Eagles during the current recruiting cycle. He joins Jassey Demba, who signed with Minnesota Crookston earlier this spring out of Monroe College in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Olson will compete for playing time at the wing positions for the Golden Eagles with Jassey Demba, along with returnees Malcolm Cohen (Sr., G/F, Detroit, Mich.), and Sitzmann. In addition, the Golden Eagles have also added Miller and Winterfeldt who can play on the wing. Olson will give the Golden Eagles the ability to go inside-out, with a strong perimeter shot.
Minnesota Crookston is looking to build on the best season in program history, as they ended with an over .500 record for the first time ever going 17-16. Their 9-13 mark in conference play was the best all-time. In addition, the Golden Eagles win over Augustana University, the 2016 NCAA Division II National Champion, was the first win in school history in the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament. The Golden Eagles played in the quarterfinals of the tournament at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, S.D., eventually losing to Winona State University.
The Golden Eagles return several key pieces, including Cohen, Javier Nicolau (Sr., F/C, Castellon, Spain), and Sitzmann. Minnesota Crookston also brings back the program’s All-Time leading scorer in Harrison Cleary (Sr., G, Oak Creek, Wis.), who led the nation in free throw percentage for the second-straight year. He is a two-time All-NSIC First Team pick. In addition, he was a D2CCA All-Central Region Second Team pick, as well as an ABCA All-District Second team selection. Cleary is third all-time in NSIC history in scoring. He has amassed over 2,000 points in his career. Minnesota Crookston also brings back Ben Juhl (Jr., G, Clive, Iowa), and Chase Johnson (R-Jr., F/C, La Crosse, Wis.) who were key players on the 2018-19 team.
The student-athletes listed as having signed a National Letter of Intent or Offer of Admission to play men’s basketball at the University of Minnesota Crookston have been verified by the Minnesota Crookston compliance office once they sign the National Letter of Intent or once the student-athlete has accepted an Offer of Admission for Minnesota Crookston.
Zac Olson (G/F, 6-5 225, Waterville, Minn./Lake Region State College)
Olson played one season at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, N.D., after transferring from University of Mary. Olson redshirted his one season at UMary. At Lake Region, Olson averaged 12.2 and 4.4 rebounds per game as a redshirt freshman for the Royals. Olson has a strong outside shot, shooting 35.1 percent from beyond the arc. He was a 75.9 percent shooter from the charity stripe. Olson started all 30 games, averaging 25.9 minutes per game. He notched a career-high 29 points, including five three-pointers, in a win over Gillette College. Olson tallied 21 points in a win on the road at Miles Community College. He had 19 games where he scored in double figures for the Royals. Olson helped Lake Region to a 19-14 mark on the 2018-19 season. As a prep, he competed at Waterville-Elysian-Morristown High School. Olson was a three-time All-Area Player of the Year and was a four-time first team all-conference player. He was a two-time team MVP in high school. He led Waterville-Elysian-Morristown H.S. to four Gopher Conference championships. As a junior, Olson averaged 24.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. As a senior, Olson tallied 25.1 points and 10.4 rebounds per tilt. In his prep career, Olson scored 2,185 points and secured 1,024 rebounds. He holds the school records for points, rebounds, and blocked shots at Waterville-Elysian-Morristown H.S. He also competed in football and track.
He is the son of David Olson, and Lanette and Jeff Ayers. Born Dec. 22, 1998. He is undecided on a major. His full name is Zachry Olson. His step brother Colin Ayers wrestled at Augustana. His step brother Brady Ayers wrestled at South Dakota State.