Click here for coach Lofton’s thoughts on the recruiting class
Kearney, Neb. – Nebraska-Kearney head men’s basketball coach Kevin Lofton announced today that Myles Arnold and Thomas “TJ” Fritz will play for the Lopers this upcoming season.
The guards are the second and third recruits to date, following forward Darrian Nebeker (West Jordan, Utah/Snow College) who came aboard last month. Arnold (6-1, 165 lbs.) has three years of eligibility remaining with Fritz (6-3, 180 lbs.) having four. Arnold hails from Fontana, Calif., with Fritz coming in from Wamego, Kan. Lofton noted UNK will add more players later this spring.
After taking a redshirt year at Odessa College (Odessa, Texas) in 2018-19, Arnold starred at Lake Region State College in Devil’s Lake, N.D., this past season. He was second on the Royals in assists per game (3.6) while ranking third in both scoring (13.1) and steals (1.3) and fourth in rebounds (5.1).
Arnold was especially hot down the home stretch, reaching double digits in the last eight games. He had six 20-point efforts during the winter including a season-best 26 in a loss to Miles (Mont.) C.C. Finally, Arnold made 71% of his free throws and sunk 36 threes over 27 games.
At Summit High in California he averaged 16 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game as a junior. Shooting 48% from the field Arnold’s play helped the SkyHawks post a 20-9 record. He then spent 2017-18 at The John Cooper School in Tomball, Texas. Arnold earned first-team all-league and second-team all-area and all-region honors after tallying 20 points and seven assists a night. The Dragons reached the state playoff for the first time in seven years.
A lefty, Fritz was among the leading scorers (all-classes) in Kansas during the 2018-19 season. He spent last winter at Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, one of the top prep powers in the country. The post graduate Buffaloes play a national schedule, facing other prep schools and junior colleges.
Offered a preferred walk-on spot by Kansas State in January, Fritz was 43 of 68 (63%) over a six-game stretch from the three-point line this season. He erupted for 44 points in one contest, going 12 of 21 from downtown.
As a senior for the Wamego High Red Raiders Fritz led Class 4A in scoring (22.4) while also supplying 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists a night. He sunk 67 threes over 20 games and won a slew of honors including being named The Manhattan Mercury All-Flint Hills Player of the Year and tabbed Class 4A all-state by multiple outlets.
Prior to Wamego, Fritz played for his father, Steve, at Riley County H.S. in Riley, Kan. His mother, Suzie, is currently the head volleyball coach at Kansas State and like Steve was a college student-athlete.
UNK went 16-13 (10-9 MIAA) this past season, qualifying for the MIAA Tournament in Kansas City, having two four-game win streaks and recording victories over NCAA Tourney qualifiers Rogers State and Colorado School of Mines. The seniors on this year’s roster were guard Chase Winchester and forwards AJ Jackson, Kyle Juhl, and Morgan Soucie.