Assistant coach Yanni Hufnagel was hired from Harvard to help step up Vanderbilt's recruiting game. So far he's doing a hell of a job.
Hufnagel helped the Commodores land their third commitment for 2014 on Monday, getting a "yes" from four-star point guard Riley LaChance of Brookfield, WI. LaChance is rated in ESPN's top 100 high school players and comes in at 147 in Rivals.com's national rankings. He's the third guard that the Commodores have added in this season's recruiting class.
The 6'2" point guard is a smart player who combines a solid shooting game with crisp passes from the point. He has the ability to get to the lane behind a strong first step, but also possesses the instincts to pass out of trouble and find the open man for an easy basket. Most importantly, he can be the catch-and-shoot three-point threat that Vanderbilt teams have traditionally needed to compete with the best teams in the SEC.
He'll need to improve defensively in order to be a true two-way player for this team. LaChance will have to add muscle to handle the league's bigger guards, and he's not an A+ athlete, which could lead to some growing pains once conference play starts in his freshman year. Fortunately for Vandy, he's got the reputation of a tenacious worker, and he should stand to make this team better from the day he sets foot in Memorial Gym.
LaChance's commitment will help shore up a recruiting class that hasn't been limited by Vanderbilt's southern location. So far the Commodores have verbal pacts with players from Wisconsin, New Jersey, and North Carolina. That's a great start for a team that has had some recent problems getting high-profile players to come to - and then stay at - Vandy.
Here's how the 'Dores projected depth chart might look in 2014-2015 if they retain their three current recruits and don't lose any players outside of graduation: