UNI Signs Three Guards

April 12th, 2007

Cedar Falls, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball team has signed three guards for next season, UNI head coach Ben Jacobson announced today. Joining the Panthers for the 2007-08 campaign are 6-1 point guard Matt Culliver (Omaha, Neb./Iowa Western Community College), 6-4 shooting guard Jonathan Montgomery (Chicago, Ill./Lincoln Park High School), and 6-2 point guard Drew Lundberg (Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna High School).

Culliver averaged 11.7 points, 4.7 assists and 2.8 steals per game at Iowa Western this past season, while earning second team All-Region XI honors. A two-year starter for the Reivers, he averaged 10.4 points and 4.8 assists per game as a freshman, and earned honorable mention All-Region XI accolades. A 2005 graduate of Omaha (Neb.) Bryan High School, he earned all-state honors as a senior, while leading the state in scoring at 25 points per game.

Culliver had his sophomore season at Iowa Western cut short after suffering a knee injury in February 2007, but he is expected to be at full strength by the start of the 2007-08 season. Culliver will have two seasons of eligibility at UNI.

“Matt is a high-energy player,” Jacobson said. “He has an infectious personality and leadership skills that will be very good for our program. In high school, he was a big-time scorer. The past two seasons at Iowa Western have seen him really develop his point guard skills and become a better all-around player. Matt is a terrific fit for us.”

Montgomery averaged 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists per game this past season for Lincoln Park High School. He is ranked as the 20th best 2007 recruit overall in Illinois, and the fourth best shooting guard, by Chicago Hoops.com.

He was a four-year starter for Lincoln Park, which competes in the rugged Chicago Public League. Montgomery helped lead the Lions to a 23-6 record this past season, including claiming the championship of the prestigious Big Dipper Holiday Basketball Tournament in Illinois.

“Jon is a tough, hard-nosed player,” Jacobson said. “He’s very versatile and has a great understanding of how to play. Playing in the fiercely competitive Chicago Public League will prepare him well for life in the Missouri Valley Conference. Jon will have an opportunity to impact our program immediately.”

Lundberg was a four-year starter for Owatonna High School, earning first team all-conference honors three times, and was twice honorable mention all-state. As a senior, he averaged 21.2 points per game, while shooting 51 percent from three-point range, which is the 8th-best total in Minnesota high school history for season three-point percentage.

Owatonna posted a 25-3 record and claimed the conference championship last season. Lundberg scored 1,565 points and had 427 assists during his career, both school records.

“Drew had a tremendous senior season,” Jacobson said. “He has great passion for basketball and is constantly working to improve. Drew has a great feel for the game and we look forward to his development at the point guard position.”

Culliver, Montgomery and Lundberg join 6-10 forward Brent Barz (Johnston, Iowa/Johnston High School) and 6-6 forward Lucas O’Rear (Nashville, Ill./Nashville High School) as UNI’s 2007 class. Barz and O’Rear inked during the November, 2006, signing period.

“My coaching staff did a tremendous job putting this recruiting class together,” Jacobson said. “We feel good about the quality and character of this group. All five players really want to be Panthers and we’re very excited to get them on campus. Our fans are really going to enjoy this recruiting class.”