Djery Baptiste to Vanderbilt

4_2916790By JACK LeGWIN

Djery Baptiste committed to Vanderbilt Wednesday night. He chose the Commodores over UConn.

Listed at 6-foot-11, 245 pounds, Baptiste brings a huge presence down low to the Commodores, who earlier Wednesday missed out on 6-8 Juwan Morgan when he chose Indiana.

Ranked No. 89 in the class of 2015, Baptiste is a raw talent who averaged 2.8 points, and 3.3 points per game this summer for the Texas Titans on the EYBL circuit this summer alongside of Texas A&M commits D.J. Hogg and Tyler Davis, as well as Mickey Mitchell.

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Shelton Mitchell to Vandy

Oak Hill (Va.) Academy point guard Shelton Mitchell committed to Vanderbilt on Friday, head coach Steve Smith told SNY.tv.

The onetime Wake Forest commit also considered Missouri.

“He had a great visit an he really likes Coach [Kevin] Stallings,” Smith said. “He’s a pass-first point guard with the ability to break down the defense and create offense for himself or a teammate.”

Mitchell is ranked No. 88 in the class of 2014 by 247 Sports.

Mitchell joins point guard Riley LaChance, shooting guards Wade Baldwin and Matthew Fisher-Davis and small forward Jeff Roberson in Vandy’s 2014 class.

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Riley LaChance to Vanderbilt

Riley LaChance, a 6-foot-2 point guard from Brookfield (WI) Central, committed to Vanderbilt Monday night.

“Just made the best decision of my life officially committed to Vanderbilt University!! So excited to be apart of the Commodore family!!!” he Tweeted.

LaChance also considered Iowa, Minnesota and Creighton.

“I think one of my strengths is playing off ball screens and that’s one thing they do,” LaChance told Scout.com. “They run a lot of them. I think that was a big thing for me. I think I fit perfectly in their offense and I fit perfectly under coach [Kevin] Stallings. I really look forward to playing for him.”

LaChance joins 6-3 St. Joe’s-Metuchen shooting guard Wade Baldwin and 6-5 Charlotte, N.C. two guard Matthew Fisher-Davis in Vandy’s 2014 class.

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Wade Baldwin Makes the Call for Vanderbilt

Wade Baldwin of St. Joe’s-Metuchen (N.J.) is one of the top shooting guards in the Class of 2014. He had cut his college list to Vanderbilt, Minnesota, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Pitt. In this Player Blog, he makes his college call.

The recruiting process started for me in my freshman year of high school with my first NCAA Division I offer.

Since then, it has been an incredible journey being recruited by some of the top academic and basketball schools in the country.

It was humbling to have weekly discussions with coaches who all wanted my talents on their team.  It made me strive to become a better player each year and work on many facets of my game. To read more of this story, click here

Even Without Festus, Vandy Wins Legends Classic

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Turns out the Vanderbilt Commodores don’t need Festus Ezeli to win a tournament after all.

Behind a combined 27 points from John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor and a clutch jumper by Brad Tinsley with 4.5 seconds left, Vandy won a tight contest over previously unbeaten Oregon State, 64-62, to capture the Legends Class Monday night at the Izod Center.

“We want to win championships and this is the start, so we got it and we’re feeling good,” Jenkins, a 6-foot-4 junior guard, said after being named tournament MVP. To read more of this story, click here

Pinkston, Lamb May Sign Late; Complete New York-Area Signing Day Roundup

With the NCAA early signing period for basketball beginning on Wednesday, several top New York-area stars are still mulling their decisions and may sign late, while others appear on the verge of announcing.

JayVaughn Pinkston, a 6-foot-6 forward from Bishop Loughlin considered the top prospect in the Big Apple, hasn’t picked a school yet and may or may not sign late.

“We cannot say definitively,” New Heights athletic director Kimani Young said Wednesday morning. “There’s still a possibility that he commits early.

“He’s still going through the recruiting process even as of this week to figure out if he’s decided 100 percent where he wants to go to.”

Pinkston, who recently led New Heights to the is8 championship by scoring a combined 59 points in the semis and finals, will choose from among Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Tennessee and Marquette. To read more of this story, click here

Rod Odom Now Headed to Vanderbilt

Rod Odom has decommitted from Arizona and is now headed to Vanderbilt instead.

“Yes,” the 6-foot-8 Long Island native wrote Monday in a text message. “It’s a better fit for me academically and its closer to home.”

Odom, ranked No. 88 overall in the Class of 2010 and No. 19 among small forwards, initially committed to Arizona earlier this month.

Odom, out of Concord (Mass.) Middlesex, called Arizona head coach Sean Miller Sunday night and told him he had changed his mind and would no longer be headed West.

“I knew that he had a conversation with Coach Miller last night,” Rod Odom Sr. said Monday. “But I know that a couple weeks  ago he mentioned that he was having mixed feelings. It was a real tight race between Vanderbilt and Arizona.

“I said, ‘Listen, if you feel the same way in the next couple weeks you need to get on the phone with Coach Miller and you guys need to talk’ and I guess he made that call yesterday.”

Odom initially chose Arizona over Vanderbilt, Boston College, West Virginia and Harvard.

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