Before we dive into the recruiting update, here is the latest scholarship chart with Larry Austin Jr. added to the mix and Samir Sehic removed:
|2017||Nolan Cressler||Luke Kornet|
|2018||Riley LaChance, Matthew Fisher-Davis||Jeff Roberson|
|2019||Larry Austin Jr.||Camron Justice||Joe Toye|
|2020||Payton Willis||Clevon Brown||Djery Baptiste|
So, Vanderbilt projects to have 11 players on scholarship for the 2016-17 season, and with two seniors on next year's team Bryce Drew and staff will have four scholarships to give in the 2017 recruiting cycle. (Even if Alec Peters does wind up coming here -- and those rumors refuse to die -- since he'd only be on scholarship for one year.)
You can see one pretty obvious area of need: with Luke Kornet graduating and Samir Sehic having left the program already, the only big men projecting to be on the roster after next season are a pair of freshmen in Djery Baptiste and Clevon Brown. Even if, as is rumored, Drew is planning to go with more of a small-ball, 4-out/1-in approach, (a) you still need more than one guy who can play inside, and (b) that really just means a slight change in philosophy as to who you're recruiting at the four spot (less bangers, more long athletic guys who can stretch the floor.) So expect at least one of the available scholarships to go to a big man, and possibly two.
On that front, Drew may simply go after guys whom Stallings was already recruiting like Alabama PF Alex Reese. But another area of need -- point guard -- was sort of addressed with Austin. Whether that continues to be an area of need on the recruiting trail depends a lot on whether you think Riley LaChance, Camron Justice, or Payton Willis can handle the point.
But there's a new offer at that position as well in Jersey City (NJ) Roselle Catholic PG Nate Pierre-Louis.
Pierre-Louis is from the same high school that produced current Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe and South Carolina big man Chris Silva, and duly noted that he likes to RT fellow New Jerseyite Wade Baldwin IV. Rivals, ESPN, and 247Sports all peg Pierre-Louis as a three-star recruit -- though oddly, NBAdraft.net also has a profile for him, which is not something you often see for a rising high school senior who's rated as a three-star.
So, here is a YouTube video of Pierre-Louis dunking repeatedly:
Sure, I can live with that.