UH men's hoops gets prolific scorer
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Dayton Morinaga
Perhaps fittingly, Riley Luettgerodt wants to make a name for himself with the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team.
Luettgerodt, a high-scoring wing player, said yesterday he will play for the Rainbow Warriors next season.
"I kind of feel like some of the other bigger schools should have given me a look, but Hawai'i is the one that really stood out when it came down to it," he said. "And that's going to be perfect for me. I get to come in with a chip on my shoulder, along with the rest of the team, trying to prove that we can play with anybody."
Luettgerodt, who is 6 feet 5 and 210 pounds, averaged 26.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game last season as a sophomore at Chemeketa Community College (Ore.). He shot 51 percent from the field, 43 percent from 3-point range, and 83 percent from the free-throw line.
He led the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges in scoring and was selected the most valuable player of the NWAACC Southern Division.
"It's all legit," Chemeketa head coach David Abderhalden said. "He's not just a shooter or a slasher. He's a scorer. He has great all-around skills and can put the ball in the basket in a lot of different ways."
And for the record, his last name is pronounced LOOT-guh-roat.
"My name has been butchered every way all my life," he said. "It's a good thing my first name is easy."
Luettgerodt put his name in the Chemeketa record book when he scored 53 points against Lane Community College (Ore.) in January.
"That game showed just the kind of player he is," Abderhalden said. "He was 17 of 25 from the field, 5 of 8 from 3 (point range). He did everything within our offense. It wasn't like he went one-on-one on every possession and put up 50 shots."
Luettgerodt said: "I'm confident with my game because I feel like I can knock down open shots and create my own shots when I need to."
Abderhalden said Luettgerodt played both shooting guard and small forward during his two seasons at Chemeketa.
"He's strong enough to handle the 3 (small forward) and athletic enough to play the 2 (shooting guard)," Abderhalden said. "The most impressive thing about him this year was that he put up all those points facing double-teams and all kinds of defenses geared to stop him."
The NWAACC is the same league that produced former 'Bows Mark Campbell, Michael Kuebler, Chris Botez and Kris Groce. Botez also played under Abderhalden at Chemeketa.
Luettgerodt led the state of Oregon in scoring as a senior at Putnam High. Hawai'i guard Dominic Waters also played high school basketball in Oregon, and was on a summer league team with Luettgerodt.
"I talked to Chris (Botez) and Dominic a lot on my visit there and they both said that I would love Hawai'i," Luettgerodt said.
Mississippi State, Oregon, Oregon State and Providence were among the programs that showed interest in Luettgerodt, but Hawai'i and Montana recruited him the hardest.
"I have nothing against Montana," he said. "It's just that Hawai'i felt like a better fit for me."
Abderhalden said: "If there's such a thing as flying under the radar while putting up all those points, he did that. Some schools probably didn't think he could do it on the (NCAA) Division I level, so that's going to make him even more dangerous next year. I think he's going to prove a lot to the schools that overlooked him."
It helped Hawai'i that Luettgerodt visited Honolulu last weekend, when the sun was shining.
"Everything was so beautiful," he said. "I remember driving around the island and every where we went, the beach was right there."
Luettgerodt said he will send his official letter of intent to Hawai'i today. Until the letter is approved by UH officials, the UH coaches cannot comment.
Luettgerodt will be a junior next season and will have two seasons of eligibility.
He will be the fourth recruit to sign with Hawai'i for next season. The others are 7-foot center Todd Follmer, 6-2 point guard Todd Lowenthal, and 6-8 forward Alex Veit.
Reach Dayton Morinaga at firstname.lastname@example.org.