Good news bloomed against the backdrop of a College World Series elimination this weekend, as the Vanderbilt men's basketball team inked their first recruit of the 2012 class Sunday afternoon. Kevin Bright, a 6'5" swingman from Germany, committed to the Commodores after visiting campus earlier in the week. The soon-to-be high school senior chose Vandy over Utah and Cal.
Bright is no stranger to high-level competition. He's a member of Germany's National Under-18 team and a standout player at the German Basketball Academy in Urspring. He's also had the chance to cut his teeth against top American high school competition, playing with the Academy at the City of Palms Classic in Florida last winter. There, he led his team to victory over Winchester County Day by scoring a game-high 22 points and adding four blocks.
An athletic wing who can play all three backcourt positions, he'll have a chance to make an immediate impact with the Commodores in 2012. Another European standout, Jeffery Taylor, will likely be collecting NBA paychecks when Bright steps on campus, opening a hole for the young slasher to fill. He'll join a rotation of young players that should include Top 100 prospects Dai-Jon Parker and Kedren Johnson as well as 2010 freshmen Kyle Fuller, Rod Odom, James Siakam, and Josh Henderson.
Like Taylor, Bright has earned a reputation for his defense. The German's lateral quickness and ability to get to the rim will make him an asset in SEC play. This defensive ability, paired with his big-game experience, should give the young athlete a veteran edge over other incoming freshmen in 2012. His Bundesliga B League stats suggest that he'll be well suited for Coach Kevin Stallings's style of play:
More analysis, along with some sweet video clips of Bright in action, after the jump...
Bright is efficient from the free throw line and isn't afraid to shoot from long distance. He went 10-21 from three-point range over the final three games of his season, putting up Alex Gordon-ian numbers from behind the arc. His style of play, combined with the Commodores' internationally-flavored roster and Vanderbilt's solid academics, created a strong fit between prospect and school.
Vanderbilt basketball has featured athletes from Poland, Australia, Sweden, Nigeria, and Cameroon in recent years, but Bright will be the team's first German-born player under Kevin Stallings. If you stayed with this article this long, you deserve some YouTube goodness as a reward:
Kevin Bright dunks (Und noch einmal!!!):
Game highlights: (Bright is #91, he makes a circus shot 15 seconds into the clip, a nice three 30 seconds in, etc.):
Bright looks like he'll be a great addition to the Commodore roster. He'll slide right into Jeffery Taylor's role as defensive stopper at the wing, and he'll be given plenty of room to grow under Kevin Stallings's tutelage. Look for the young German to be a fan favorite right out of the gate at Memorial Gym.
*Major thanks to Avinash at California Golden Blogs for digging up the footage of Bright, and kindly passing it along to us after he committed to Vandy yesterday.