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What the Saben Lee commitment tells us about Bryce Drew

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While we're all excited about Bryce Drew, a lot of the nuts and bolts of how he's going to run the program remain to be seen. But his early recruiting tells us a lot more than you might think.

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I swear, at some point this summer I'm going to get around to watching some tape of Bryce Drew's Valpo teams and write about what I see here.

Until that happens, though, we have at least one early clue: his recruiting.

Tempe (AZ) PG Saben Lee committed to Vanderbilt on Monday.  Prior to that, Drew offered a scholarship to Nate Pierre Louis.  And, of course, Larry Austin Jr. came aboard as a transfer from Xavier last month.

It's not terribly surprising that Drew is emphasizing the point guard position on the recruiting trail; after all, with the departure of Wade Baldwin IV, Vanderbilt projected to be thin at the position over the next couple of years.  What's interesting is the type of players that Drew is recruiting to play the point.  Here, once again, is Saben Lee's highlight tape:

If you're paying attention, Lee isn't a big-time shooter.  At 6'1", he looks like a guy who's quick off the dribble and prefers to get into the lane, either scoring on the drive or creating for his teammates.  Larry Austin, likewise, is 6'0" and more of a distributor than a shooter.  Nate Pierre Louis was a bit taller at 6'3", but is also a guy who wants to get into the lane.

In other words: These aren't Kevin Stallings point guards.

Over his 17 years at Vanderbilt, Stallings displayed a pretty clear preference for point guards who could be better described as "combo guards."  That list includes Mario Moore, Alex Gordon, Jermaine Beal, Brad Tinsley, Kedren Johnson, Kyle Fuller, Eric McClellan, and Wade Baldwin IV.  (We can debate whether some of those guys were actually point guards whom Stallings was simply misusing, but that's not the point of this article.)  It was pretty clear that Stallings placed a greater emphasis on his point guard being an outside shooting threat, and probably less emphasis on his point guard's ability to create off the dribble, compared to a lot of coaches.  Stallings also seemed to prefer taller guys like Baldwin, McClellan, and Johnson at the position, though this wasn't necessarily universal.

Payton Willis was just going to be the latest in a long line of point guards who could pass for shooting guards if needed, and the fact that Drew has been emphasizing the point so heavily on the recruiting trail should make it fairly obvious that he views Willis as being more of a two than a one.  Drew certainly isn't alone in this view, either, and it's a lot of the reason why some of us were really concerned about the point in the coming year (aside from Willis also being a freshman, of course.)

So at the very least, we can tell from a month or so on the recruiting trail that Bryce Drew's offense is going to look very different from Kevin Stallings' offense.