Tim Cairnduff signs with LSSU

Morley Stanwood senior to play basketball for the Lakers

MORLEY — The Lake Superior State University Lakers officially added a member to their men’s basketball team on Wednesday morning as Morley Stanwood senior Tim Cairnduff signed his letter of intent to play above the Mackinac Bridge next year.

Cairnduff signed on the dotted line with his mom, Nancy, and sister, Bailey, who plays basketball at Grand Valley State, standing at his side after a stellar senior season that saw him put up 19.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 4.2 steals per game as he led the Mohawks to the Class C district semifinals. Cairnduff’s high level of play earned him a spot on the Central State Activities Association (CSAA) all-league team this season along with a special mention from the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) in Class C.

SIGN HERE: Morley Stanwood senior Tim Cairnduff (center) signs his national letter of intent to play basketball at Lake Superior State on Wednesday. Cairnduff is surrounded by, from left to right, his mother, Nancy, Morley Stanwood High School principal Jamey Nelson, Morley Stanwood basketball coach Josh Bull and his sister,  Bailey. (Pioneer photo/Daine Pavloski)

SIGN HERE: Morley Stanwood senior Tim Cairnduff (center) signs his national letter of intent to play basketball at Lake Superior State on Wednesday. Cairnduff is surrounded by, from left to right, his mother, Nancy, Morley Stanwood High School principal James Nelson, Morley Stanwood basketball coach Josh Bull and his sister,
Bailey. (Pioneer photo/Daine Pavloski)

“One thing I’ve seen Tim do is truly develop every summer,” Morley Stanwood coach Josh Bull said. “He took a weakness of his game and made it stronger and I know coaches like to think their kids are always working out when they’re not around them, but it was never an issue…I don’t think the kid ever missed an open gym or a workout and he’s the one after practice shooting hundreds of shots. His hard work is what got him where he’s at.”

Cairnduff was also named as one of the 20 best free throw shooters in Michigan by BCAM for the last two seasons, giving him the opportunity to compete in East Lansing after shooting almost 90 percent from the free throw line.

“I shot something like 89 percent this year from the free throw line and I was in the top five of the state,” Cairnduff said. “I went down (to East Lansing) and made it to the second round and a kid shot 50 out of 50, another went 49 out of 50 and I shot 48 and got eliminated. It was a fun experience to go shoot with kids that are that good.”

One of the main factors that drew Cairnduff to LSSU was the team’s recent success in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).

“I bring good shooting (to LSSU) and I’m a good teammate,” Cairnduff said. “I don’t know…I just love to win. It’s what I bring.”

His penchant for winning is well-suited in Sault Ste. Marie as Cairnduff joins a Laker team that went 18-4 in the GLIAC and finished in first place in the north division. The Lakers took down Findlay in overtime in Missouri in the GLIAC tournament quarterfinals before falling to Drury in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regionals.

“They have a great program at the top of the GLIAC,” Cairnduff said. “Everybody wants to be a part of a program like that, so it just feels good. I like the coaches, I like the team, it’s just a great environment they’ve got going up there for them.

“It feels great. There’s a lot of pressure off my shoulders now so I can just go up there during the summer and work hard,” he continued. “It’s great to be a part of a program of that caliber. It’s just nice.”

“I think (LSSU) coach (Steve) Hettinga’s style and tempo of play really fits Tim,” Bull said. “If there’s a school that really fits Tim, with Coach Hettinga and Coach Kisner and what they’re trying to do, I think Tim is a great kid for their system. One comment I’ve got from other coaches is that he’s a smart player, he’s an experienced player and he’s a coachable player. He just has a natural knack to be in the right spot at the right time.”

The point guard is confident that he can not only make the transition from high school to college athletics, but also from being a Morley Stanwood Mohawk to becoming a Yooper.

“It’s different, that’s for sure,” he said. “But I know some people that are Yoopers that are good people, so it can’t be too much different.”

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