CEDAR RAPIDS – You got the impression from Matt Lassen this Albany thing might not be a done deal after all.
The Linn-Mar wing was asked after his stellar game Tuesday night against Cedar Rapids Kennedy what it felt like to sign a Division I letter of intent in the fall. He revealed he actually hadn’t signed, yet, but had plans to in the spring.
Those plans are now off. Lassen has informed the Albany coaching staff he intends to play college basketball elsewhere.
“It was nothing they did wrong,” Lassen said. “I just want to stay closer to home. My family and friends are the important things to me, and I want to be closer to them.”
A 6-foot-5 shooter, Lassen is averaging 12 points for the Lions (8-8). He has been able to bounce back from a severe concussion suffered in an early season game last season that kept him in University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for a week because of bleeding in the brain.
He said it took him awhile to put that injury behind him.
“It wasn’t so much about being hurt, it was about getting hurt again,” he said. “I wanted to be out on the floor and stay out there and play the game I love to play. I’ve read a couple of books about mental toughness, and it’s helped me forget about all that and just play carefree and aggressive and attack.”
“A year ago, I think he was a shooter, and that’s what most people would guard him (for),” said Linn-Mar coach Chris Robertson. “His rebounding numbers are good. He’s one of our top rebounders, which is something he’s had to do. He’s defending a lot better, he’s defending one of the top players on the other team in games. He’s also getting into that mid-range game off the dribble now, too. He’s always been a 3-point guy, but he’s showing the ability to get into the paint a little bit. He’s long enough, so he can get shots off.”
Sounds like someone is going to be getting a good player. Lassen said Division II Minnesota State has offered him a scholarship, and D-I Nebraska-Omaha has some interest.
“A lot of people get caught in the whole Division I, Division II thing,” he said. “But I’m going to go where I’m the happiest and most comfortable.”
Mason scores his 1,000th point
— MFL/Mar-Mac senior C.J. Mason surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career in a 71-27 win last Friday against Elkader Central. Mason is averaging 18.5 points for the Bulldogs (15-2).
“It means a lot,” said Mason. “Especially since I never played varsity as a freshman, so I didn’t have four years. It’s nice to see my hard work has paid off.”
Mason is a 6-foot-4 left-handed wing who is being recruited by NAIA schools and junior colleges right now. His younger brother, Cody, is a junior and MFL’s second-leading scorer.
“We know how each other plays and where we’re at on the court,” C.J. Mason said. “It’s been fun playing with him.”
Tipton ends long losing streak
— Lucas Prokup had 21 points and brothers Matt and Scott Pelzer a combined 35 to help Tipton to an 80-77 overtime win over Midland last Saturday night, ending the Tigers’ 62-game losing streak.
Tipton’s previous win was Feb. 15, 2010, against Camanche, 62-50. The Tigers were 0-22 in 2010-11, 0-23 in 2011-12 and 0 for their first 16 games this season.