With her phone “blowing up” with calls and texts since the new month began, Bradley Central’s Rebecca Reuter decided it was time to put an end to the madness,
“As of Aug. 1, the NCAA allows coaches to make unlimited calls and texts to recruits. Things went crazy,” related the 6-foot-2 basketball standout Saturday. “I had already made up my mind, so I decided to go ahead and make it official.”
With numerous schools wanting her to bring her hoop skills their way, Reuter made the call to Murfreesboro Saturday morning to confirm she will accept a scholarship offer to play for Middle Tennessee State University.
“I knew it (MTSU) was where I wanted to go, so I wanted to go ahead and take the pressure,” she remarked. “I loved the (MTSU) coaching staff. I wanted to play in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve gone seven of the last eight years.”
Reuter becomes the second Bearette to make a NCAA Division I commitment this summer as “Twin Tower” teammate Brooke Copeland announced last month she will be playing in the Southeastern Conference at the University of Florida.
Both Reuter and Copeland will be back at Bradley Central this week to begin their senior years as the pair are also standouts on the volleyball court as well as the hoop hardwood.
After averaging a double-double last season with 11 points and 10 rebounds an outing, Reuter had been weighing her collegiate options and had recently narrowed her numerous offers, including a dozen from Division I schools, down to just five — MTSU, Western Carolina, Appalachian State, Furman and Lee.
“I loved Appy State. It was so beautiful up there, as well as Western Carolina and Furman. Lee is where both my parents went, and I love it over there. They are doing some exciting things with stepping up to NCAA Division II,” commented Reuter, who shot 52 percent from the field and blocked more than 60 shots this past season. “They are all beautiful schools with good programs, so it was a hard choice.”
“I wanted to go somewhere not too far away from home,” she explained. “MTSU its only a couple of hours away. The campus is not to spread out. The apartments for the basketball players are just a half mile off campus. I will have my own place with my own bathroom and my own walk-in closet,” she joked.
“They (MTSU) are also changing conferences, so that is exciting. It means a lot more travel will be involved,” Reuter said in reference to the school’s switch from the Sun Belt Conference to Conference-USA beginning this fall.
Coach Rick Insell’s Lady Raiders went 25-8 this past season, winning their seventh Sun Belt championship in the past 10 years. MTSU made its fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, but drew national finalist Louisville in the opening round of March Madness.
With the Lady Raiders losing a trio of key post players after the upcoming season, Reuter felt like it would be a good time to join the squad.
“Coach Insell is having to replace three post players and has already said the freshmen coming in (for the 2014-15 season) will have a good shot at a lot of playing time and even possibly a chance to start,” she stated.
Insell enters his ninth season in Murfreesboro with an impressive 199-62 record, making him the winningest coach in school history. His winning percentage of .762 ranks eighth among active NCAA Division I coaches.
A 1977 Middle Tennessee graduate, Insell built a high school girl's basketball dynasty at Shelbyville Central High School, guiding the Golden Eaglettes to a record 10 TSSAA Class AAA state championships and two USA Today national championships (1989, 1991), compiling a sparkling 775-148 (84.0 percent) ledger during his 28-year tenure.
He was named the USA Today National High School Coach of the Year following both national titles and was also tabbed the Converse National High School Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1992.
Reuter has been playing for her dad, Jason, the last three years at Bradley, helping the Bearettes to an amazing 88-11 record, winning three straight Region 3-AAA championships, plus earning a berth in the TSSAA State Tournament last March.
“This is almost bittersweet,” declared the elder Reuter. “It’s a relief to have this (the decision) done. I’ve gone through the recruiting process before as a coach, but it’s something totally different to do it as a parent.”
“I feel real good about her going to Middle (MTSU). Coach Insell is a great coach and it is a first-class program all the way,” the father/coach commented. “MTSU is a Top 35 program in the nation and only getting better.”