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.”