Bowling Green, Ky. — Western Kentucky University head basketball coach Ken McDonald announced Friday that Sergio Kerusch (pronounced care-OOSH) inked a National Letter-of-Intent during the spring signing period and will be eligible for the 2008-09 season. A transfer from Itawamba (Miss.) Community College, he will have three years of eligibility remaining.
He’s the third member of the Hilltoppers’ recruiting class for next season, joining guards Anthony Sally and Jameson Tipping.
A 6-foot-5, 215-pound guard/forward who originally hails from Memphis, Tenn., Kerusch averaged 18.9 points and nine rebounds per contest, shooting 65.4 percent from the floor — which ranked 19th in the country — and 79 percent at the foul line, while helping the Indians to a 30-4 finish and a berth in the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament. In three games at the event, Kerusch averaged 21.7 points including a 24-point, eight-rebound effort in a 22-point victory over Georgia Perimeter College.
An all-region selection, he also posted 24 points and 10 rebounds in a 68-47 victory over Mississippi Delta in the championship contest of the region tournament. Kerusch averaged 18.7 points per contest to help lead ICC to its first state title in 46 years, raising that figure to 22 points per outing in the region tourney.
The Indians, who began the year 20th in the NJCAA rankings, finished fifth in the final regular-season poll.
“Sergio is a multiple-position player that brings incredible energy to our basketball team. His enthusiasm is contagious — he’s fearless and loves to rebound the basketball,” McDonald said. “He had a great year with one of the top junior-college programs in the country. Sergio is coming from a well-coached system, so I think that he will make a seamless transition to the Division I level.
“I’m very excited that he will be with our program for three years.”
As a senior at Overton High School, Kerusch earned all-district honors after averaging 25 points and 12 rebounds per game while helping the Wolverines to a 22-10 finish. A four-year letterwinner, he also averaged 22 points and 14 boards per outing his junior season. OHS recorded a 24-6 record that season.
The Hilltoppers are coming off a season in which they finished 29-7 while reaching the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1993. They were 16-2 in the Sun Belt Conference, sharing the East Division title before claiming the league tournament championship with three wins in three days. WKU was ranked 22nd in the final ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll.