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Ryan Wedel is in his first year as a graduate manager for the Drake basketball team, but is no stranger to the program, having been a member of the team for the past three seasons. The unquestioned leader on and off the court, and a captain last season, Wedel will have the opportunity to continue building on the foundation he has set for the team's future success.

"I have the highest respect and admiration for Ryan," said head coach Mark Phelps. "He was my first recruit as a head coach and set the standard for excellence, passion, commitment and work ethic for our basketball program in his three years here. He was born to play and coach the game, and I am thrilled that he begins his coaching career here at Drake.

"Ryan will be an invaluable asset to our program, as he has instant credibility with our players, coaches, administration and everyone in the Drake community. His high-level basketball IQ, experience as a player, commitment to excellence and competitive fire will add immediate value to every part of our basketball program."

After a redshirt year in 2008-09 that followed his transfer from Arkansas State, Wedel stepped into the Bulldogs' lineup in 2009-10 and earned Missouri Valley Conference All-Newcomer honors. He played in all 64 games (63 starts) in his two seasons of play, and his 137 three-point baskets are eighth-most Drake's career list.

"I am excited about the opportunity to continue to be a part of the Drake men's basketball program," Wedel said. "I am looking forward to the chance to work more in-depth with the coaching staff."

A two-time second-team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete, Wedel averaged 11.0 points per game and posted a 3.24 grade-point average, earning his bachelor's degree in management and marketing. His steady leadership on the floor produced a 112-85 assist-to-turnover ratio, as he selflessly switched from point guard to off guard midway through his junior season, and back to point guard midway through his senior campaign.

Wedel posted a top-10 mark for three-pointers in each of his two seasons of eligibility, dropping 66 in 2009-10 (T-10th) and 71 in '10-'11 to tie for seventh. He made three or more three-pointers in a game 13 times in his career and twice drained a career-high six triples.

Wedel scored in double figures in 37 of his 64 games, and topped 20 points seven times. His career high of 29 points came in a spectacular showcase on senior night, Feb. 23, 2011, as the lone senior on the Drake squad drained five three-pointers in the Bulldogs' 87-69 win.

In his final season Wedel started all 31 games and either led or shared the team lead in scoring 10 times. The Bulldogs' second-leading scorer (10.9) and team leader in assists (61) and three-pointers (71), he shot 40.3% (71-176) from behind the arc.  Wedel ranked third in the conference in three pointers and seventh in three-point shooting percentage.

In his junior season of 2009-10 he averaged 11.1 points per game and ranked second in the MVC in steals with 51 (1.5 per game).

Prior to his arrival at Drake, Wedel was a two-year starting point guard at Arkansas State, where he led the Sun Belt Conference in three-point baskets in 2007-08 with 90, second-best on the school's single-season list. He averaged 15.1 points per game to earn third-team all-conference honors.

In two years at Arkansas State Wedel played in 63 games and averaged 12.8 points on 43% shooting from the field, including 40% accuracy from three-point range (175-438). As a true freshman in 2006-07 Wedel made 85 three-pointers, fifth-best in the Sun Belt Conference and most by a freshman in school history.

Wedel was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Kansas in 2006 after scoring 25.6 points per game with 6.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists to cap a career in which he led his Minneapolis High School squad to record of 87-14 and three final four appearances in the Kansas Class 2A state tournament. Wedel was featured on ESPN's SportsCenter after scoring 25 of his school-record 46 points in a 2:02 span against Southeast-Saline as a senior, going 7-7 from the field, including six three-pointers.

Michael Ryan Wedel was born July 30, 1987 in Minneapolis, Kansas.