The summer evaluation period is over, and we’re now about three months away from the fall signing period. The coaches have started to narrow their prospect lists, and prospects have started to narrow their lists of schools. One player who’s been a Vanderbilt target for a while, 7-footer Victor Uyaelumno, has Vanderbilt in his top 8.
So far, Uyaelumno only has one official visit set, to Tennessee on September 23.
Another big man that Vanderbilt is in on is 6’10” Ejike Obinna out of Virginia Academy. Obinna named Vanderbilt in his top 6 and has yet to set a date for an official visit; he’s already scheduled visits to Clemson and Florida.
Ejike Obinna is honored & grateful for each coach that recruited. Final 6: Clemson Florida Okla Texas A&M Vanderbilt & VA Tech #GlorytoGod— Ray Matthews (@3Rayz) August 1, 2016
And a couple of point guards -- Jerald Butler out of Fort Lauderdale (FL) Calvary Christian and Maxwell Evans from Houston (TX) Bellaire — listed Vanderbilt in their top 10.
I would truly like to thank every school who has recruited me.After sitting down with my family here are my TOP 10 pic.twitter.com/3HWAHuvbSx— Maxwell Evans (@max3evans) July 24, 2016
A few words about these top 10 lists: they don’t mean a whole lot. With three months until the signing period, no rising senior is considering that many schools. Each prospect only gets five official visits, and as a general rule, if a prospect won’t come for an official visit on the school’s dime, he’s probably not going to come play for you either. So these guys will be narrowing their lists some more over the next month or two. And particularly in the case of Evans and Butler, Vanderbilt already has a commitment from Saben Lee and has Nate Pierre-Louis coming for an official visit on September 1 for the South Carolina game. Vanderbilt’s not going to take more than two guards in the class, so if Pierre-Louis commits, the others won’t be coming.
There isn’t a whole lot of other news. Bryce Drew and staff continue to be in heavy pursuit of Indiana big man Jack Nunge, who’s been a known target since he took an unofficial visit in June.
Bryce Drew (Vandy) watching Jack Nunge for the second time today. Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois, SEMO, Indiana Wesleyan also here.— Trevor Andershock (@INBBallSource) July 22, 2016
And one more offer to report in 6’8”, 205-pound PF Chase Johnson out of Ripley, WV:
We can also report an offer for a 2019 prospect, James Wiseman, who’s currently rated as the #15 prospect in the class of 2019 by ESPN:
Wiseman plays at Ensworth High School in Nashville, and he’s a five-star recruit at 6’9” and 215 pounds. It would be coaching malpractice if Vanderbilt didn’t pursue him. He also plays for the same travel team as 2018 targets Darius Garland and Tim Finke.
One obvious theme that’s emerging in the 2017 class is that, as we expected, Bryce Drew is targeting point guards and big men, and hasn’t stopped with the Saben Lee commitment. There’s been little pursuit of shooters and wings (at least in the 2017 class) and that likely has to do with the logjam of players at those positions (Matthew Fisher-Davis, Jeff Roberson, Joe Toye, Riley LaChance, Camron Justice) that should leave the Commodores in good shape beyond 2017.
We’ll continue to have updates as recruiting season keeps moving along.