Hey guys! Let’s forget we have a football team for a minute! Did you know that the basketball early signing period starts in just 48 days? Or that basketball season is, wait for it, 50 days away?
New men’s basketball coach Bryce Drew has gotten off to a strong start on the recruiting trail. In June, Drew added Tempe (AZ) point guard Saben Lee as his first recruit as Vanderbilt’s head coach. And in August, Houston combo guard Maxwell Evans joined the fold. With those two recruits, 247 Sports currently ranks Vanderbilt’s 2017 recruiting class as the #31 class in the country.
But Drew isn’t done yet. Vanderbilt still has two scholarships available, and the Commodores are still looking at a dearth of big men on the 2017-18 roster with Luke Kornet graduating. Djery Baptiste and Clevon Brown are the only guys projected to be on the roster who qualify as “big men.” So it’s pretty clear just what he’s going to be targeting.
But first, we have news on a couple of targets we reported on earlier. In the case of Roselle Catholic (NJ) point guard Nate Pierre Louis, it was pretty much a fait accompli that he wouldn’t be coming to Vanderbilt once Evans committed, just because there was almost no way Drew would take three guards in the 2017 class. Pierre Louis made it official a couple of weeks ago: he’s going to get his het wet.
Blessed to say I have committed to Temple University pic.twitter.com/RHE8z4aIo7— Pending....™ (@Nate_PL) September 10, 2016
And, Newburgh (IN) power forward Jack Nunge is headed to Iowa:
So with that out of the way, let’s get down to business.
Bryce Drew and staff have been putting on the full-court press in recent weeks for Florida 7-footer Victor Uyaelunmo, who took an official visit the weekend of the MTSU game and then got an in-home visit from the coaching staff last week:
So now, Uyaelunmo announced on Twitter that he’s making his decision on Friday. Reports are that he’s deciding between Vanderbilt, USC, and Tennessee.
And if that’s not enough, Drew and staff are hosting another big man this weekend:
2017 6'9" Ejike Obinna of VA Academy has official visits set for Oklahoma on 9/16 and Vanderbilt on 9/23. #9 in @VantageHoops Rankings— Jack Herron (@jwherron10) August 29, 2016
Ejike Obinna is a 6’9”, 220-pound center from Ashburn (VA) Virginia Academy, by way of Nigeria. (You’ll notice this is a theme...) 247 Sports has him rated as a three-star recruit and the #15 center in the class of 2017. He’s already taken official visits to Clemson, Florida, and Oklahoma, and Vanderbilt is his last scheduled official visit. There’s some advantage to that as Drew will get to make the last pitch. Obinna doesn’t have a decision date set that we know of.
And, next weekend Atlanta power forward Victor Enoh will make his official visit:
My guy 2017 PF Victor Enoh has 4 official visits set: Oklahoma St (next weekend) Vanderbilt (Oct. 1) Arkansas (Oct. 7) & Oregon St. (Oct 14)— Augusta Power (@PowerAugusta) September 15, 2016
247 Sports thinks Enoh is very likely to end up at Arkansas, though we’ll see. Drew has shown himself to be a good closer on the recruiting trail as he’s gotten commitments on the spot from both Lee and Evans when they came for unofficial visits.
It’s not entirely clear if Vanderbilt will take two more players in the 2017 class or just one. Drew might consider leaving a scholarship available for a possible transfer or just an unexpected roster need in the spring. But even with a late start, Drew’s first recruiting class at Vanderbilt is shaping up pretty well.