Commitment boosts Vanderbilt basketball's effort to replenish

Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 10:07pm

Vanderbilt men’s basketball coach Kevin Stallings and the 2012 signing class got a much needed boost Thursday night.

Three-star recruit Sheldon Jeter announced on Twitter that he planned to sign with the Commodores.

The 6-foot-7, 210-pound small forward out of Beaver Falls, Pa., chose Vanderbilt over Penn State, Wisconsin, Seton Hall and South Carolina. An all-state selection, Jeter averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds as a senior and finished his career with 1,489 points.

He is expected to sign a national letter of intent in the coming days. He’ll be the third member of the Commodores’ signing class, joining small forward and Germany native Kevin Bright and shooting guard A.J. Astroth out of Tampa.

Vanderbilt still has three scholarships to give, if it so chooses. The final signing date for the spring period is May 16. 

“We’re trying to do all we can for next year,” Stallings said earlier this week. “At the same time that we’re trying to do all that we can for next year, we’re also trying to keep an eye on the big picture and keep an eye on the future. So we’re not going to take someone this year just because it gives us the appearance of filling a need if we think we can help ourselves more with that need later.”

The Commodores had fallen short on several prospects, including Clarksville Northeast standout Alex Poythress (Kentucky) and Wake Forest transfer Carson Desrosiers (Providence).

Stallings can’t talk specifically about recruits but said there was a transfer — presumably Desrosiers — considering Vanderbilt. But because the transfer would have to sit out a year, Stallings and his staff are heavily recruiting a high school junior “we have a chance to get and we could get very soon.”

“We think for the long term betterment of our program that we are better to off to go the high school kid route even though they both would be able to play at the same time,” Stallings said.

Vanderbilt lost its entire starting five and top reserve along with 88.1 percent of last year’s scoring to graduation this spring. While Stallings said fielding a competitive team in 2012-13 is important, he won’t sacrifice the program’s future for immediate roster size.

“As easy as it is to get wrapped up in the here and now,” Stallings said, “I think we’ve always done a good job of looking in the distance and making sure we’re doing right by the program and the big picture. We’re not going to forsake that approach because that is something that has been very good to us.”

5 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 5/4/12 at 6:03

This is a good time for some Vanderbilt fans to consider two things. (1) Give up your tickets and winter in Florida (2) Give up your tickets and use the money to buy lottery tickets.

By: brain13 on 5/4/12 at 6:22

Rasputin just wants your good seats. Coach Stallings and his staff got their Rivals 150 player and came away with yet another solid class. The 'Dores will be young and hungry next year, and it will be fun to watch this bunch grow. Jeter just gives the Memorial faithful more to cheer for next season.

By: rldavenport@com... on 5/4/12 at 6:47

brain 13: How is it a "solid recruiting class" yet? Do you not remember that part of the problem this year's team had was a horrid bench? We got almost no production from the bench, especially from Rod Odom. Depth is going to be a necessity next year, so Stallings need to sign at least 2 more players.

By: dangerlover on 5/4/12 at 6:48

Agreed. Rasputin doesn't know a damn thing about sports. He's just a grumpy old man.

By: vandy36 on 5/4/12 at 8:01

rldavenport@com: It is a very solid recruiting class........a playmaker from Germany that not many know much about, so he isn't getting the hype. Unless you follow recruiting closely you probably wouldn't know anything about him. (THink you fall into this category).....got a good guard prospect in AJ Ashtroth....and a top150 player in Jeter.......solid class.

Why would you need 2 more players in this class? This was widely considered a very thin class....with not many top prospects.......why waste schollies on players that are not considerred worth the schollie? Why have 5 players in the same class again, so in 4 years we will be replacing the entire class like this past year? Use your brain and go after your top targets in the 2013 class, which is widely considerred much deeper than the 2012 class. Spread out the schollies so you are not having to rebuild the entire roster over again like this year.

Just like Stallings tated in this article......look toward the future and don't panic like you are suggesting. Why take a kid we would not normally even offer when there are alot of kids in the next class that could help alot more?