Taylor Bruninga

Illini Bluffs senior forward Taylor Bruninga was offered a scholarship from Illinois State coach Dan Muller in January, but Bruninga didn’t make an official visit to ISU until this past weekend.

He left campus with good news.

Bruninga’s original offer was to walk-on at ISU and pay through his first year and then have four years of paid tuition. Muller told Bruninga his scholarship was upgraded to a full four years starting next year.

“Coach Muller is a great guy,” the 6-foot-7 Bruninga said. “On the floor, he’s going to push you to be your best, but what I like about him is off the floor he seems like he wants to turn me into a great person.”

Bruninga also credited associate head coach Luke Yaklich.

“Coach Yak is one of the coolest assistants I know in the country,” Bruninga said. “I don’t think I know a more genuine, funny guy.”

Bruninga, who averaged 33.4 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game as a senior, was named First-Team All-State in Class 2A by The Associated Press. He holds offers from fellow Missouri Valley Conference schools Northern Iowa and Loyola.

Bruninga believes he would fit well in Muller’s offense and enjoyed playing with some of ISU’s players this weekend.

“Phil Fayne really impressed me,” Bruninga said. “He has so much energy on the court. The whole team played well as a unit; ISU doesn’t really have anyone trying to be the main star of the show. I think I fit well with their system and what they’re trying to accomplish.

Bruninga has recently gained interest from the University of Illinois and hopes to take a non-official visit to Champaign. He said staying close to home will have a big impact on his decision.

Bruninga has one visit remaining at Loyola this upcoming weekend. He plans to make his decision before the end of April.

JOSH TOLENTINO is a senior journalism major and Sports Editor at The Vidette. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JCTSports

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