Posted On: 01/19/18 5:00 AM
Oskaloosa has a ton of talent, and is among the front-runners to win na 3A state title this season, senior Jarad Kruse is one of the guys leading the charge.
A 6-foot-4 wing, with a diverse set of skills, Kruse will be crucial to the Indians’ success the rest of this season, but that won’t be the end of his hoops career.
He’s got two scholarship offers, William Penn and Grand View. Local NAIA William Penn offered after his junior season and Grand View recently offered in December.
“I’m also getting a lot of looks from D3s around the state, like Central, Wartburg and Loras,” said Kruse.
“I’m just looking to get as much interest from different schools as I can, visit a few places and see what the right fit is. And hopefully, I’m looking to make my decision a few weeks after basketball ends.”
You can catch Kruse getting up and throwing down some slams this season, which seems to be a theme in Oskaloosa of late. He’s added that dimension to his game recently.
“What I’ve focused on most is athleticism, I’ve been getting up a lot more and throwing down a lot more dunks, and just running the floor a lot better than last year,” said Kruse. “That’s led to a lot of easy baskets and overall just better play.”
The senior leader is enjoying a major role with the top-ranked Indians, and is averaging a team-best 15.3 points per game.
“This year, they’re looking for me to provide a lot for leadership,” said Kruse. “I’ve been with the program for four years, so I’ve just been showing the younger talent what we need to do to get prepared for game day.”
And after starting the season 9-0, with some narrow wins, the Indians have come out of the break with a bang, knocking off previously unbeaten Norwalk 87-53, then beating Pella and Indianola by an average of 36 points.
Kruse credits some tough scrimmages over the break, against some of 4A’s best squads, for the uptick in production.
“It was good to take a little time off and get back to practice. What really helped us what that we scheduled scrimmages with Waukee, Dowling and Iowa City West. It really helped to see those types of teams that we don’t get to see during the regular season,” said Kruse.
All three teams came to Oskaloosa, Kruse said the Indians lost to Dowling and Iowa City West, and even though they weren’t able to technically keep score, he says they beat Waukee.
Now, the ultimate goal of a state title seems more realistic than ever, and March is right around the corner.
“The main goal is to win a state title, that’s been our goal since day one,” said Kruse. “I think we’ve got a really good shot at doing that.”