Back in the fall, the Vanderbilt Commodores signed a three-man recruiting class of guards Saben Lee and Maxwell Evans and big man Ejike Obinna. That class currently ranks 42nd nationally per 247 Sports.
At the time, we were curious whether Bryce Drew was done with the 2017 class or if the Commodores would add another player, or perhaps a transfer, with the remaining available scholarship. That question mark became bigger with Camron Justice leaving the team at midseason, freeing up an additional scholarship in the 2017 class.
We have an answer: no, they’re not done. Per Rivals’ David Sisk, Vanderbilt will be hosting French big man Olivier Sarr on an official visit at tonight’s game against Texas A&M at Memorial Gym.
At Valparaiso, the Drews have been kind of notorious for recruiting overseas, so it’s no surprise that Drew is targeting Sarr. Sarr competed for France at the FIBA U17 World Championships in 2016, averaging 13.7 minutes per game and 4.4 ppg for the French team. But he’s got size at 6’11” and 225 pounds, and at the very least he’d add another long body to the mix next season. Sarr’s been on a tour of the States for his official visits this month and, per our sister SB Nation site California Golden Blogs, he’s got a top four of Vanderbilt, Cal, UCF, and Wake Forest.
On the other hand, Joe Fisher would have fun pronouncing this guy’s name:
Sandro Mamukelashvili is another name that Vanderbilt is looking at. The 6’11”, 230-pound forward out of Montverde Academy by way of Georgia (the former Soviet Republic, not the Peach State) is more of a stretch-4 in the mold of Luke Kornet and could coexist with a guy like Obinna or Djery Baptiste.
It’s fairly clear, aside from the fact that Vanderbilt isn’t done with the 2017 class, that Drew doesn’t feel comfortable going into 2017-18 with Djery Baptiste and Ejike Obinna being the only players taller than 6’8” on the roster. Look for the staff to add at least one in the spring signing period.