NIXA, MO - Nixa junior Austin Ruder has made an early decision on his college choice, verbally committing to Missouri State Wednesday morning. The News-Leader's Matt Schoch first reported the story Wednesday afternoon.
"Me and my family are very happy with the decision," said Ruder. "I’m looking forward to staying close to home and playing for coach (Paul) Lusk. He was very straight forward with me on my unofficial visit, and I like that."
"He's a tremendous shooter," said Osborne. "Whether it's off screens or jump shots he's an unconscious pure shooter. He's the kind of shooter college coaches love. I think he'll do very well in the Valley."
Ruder averaged a team leading 18.2 points per game for the class 5 runner-up Eagles last season. Ruder has been hot on division-1 coaches list since his freshman year. He has also garnered attention while playing for MO-Kan Elite AAU team.
Davidson was also high on Ruder's radar, but being a life long Bears fan, he is excited to contribute.
"I hope to bring a shooting presence on the floor, be tough defender, and hopefully in time some leadership on the court."
Ruder had a tremendous state tournament last season, but the Eagles fell in the class 5 championship to McCluer North, something that weighs heavy on Ruder's mind.
"That’s obviously the goal for next year," said Ruder on winning the state championship. "I’m going to work hard to build up my body up, get more physical and be ready for next year."Ruder's teammate Jalen Norman is also receiving heavy D-1 interest, but Osborne said he has not yet narrowed down his final choices.