There were no surprises for Butler, Indiana or Purdue on the first day high school basketball recruits can make their commitments official and sign their scholarships. Here's a look at those recruiting classes:
No college basketball program has defied recruiting rankings more than Butler. Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack and Ronald Nored were not in the Rivals 150 of 2008, and two years later they helped the Bulldogs reach the NCAA championship game.
Nonetheless, two ranked recruits -- Rene Castro, a guard ranked No. 145 out of Massachusetts, and Nolan Berry, a 6-10 forward ranked No. 131 out of St. Louis -- and Andrew Chrabascz (pronounced SHRAB-iss), a 6-7 Matt Howard-type post player out of Rhode Island, in the 2013 class might help the Bulldogs return to the NCAAs.
Butler has one other offer out to 6-3 guard Darius Thompson, Murfreesboro, Tenn., who is also considering Murray State and Middle Tennessee State. His high school coach said he might wait until spring to pick a college.
Chrabascz, a Portsmouth, R.I., native who played on the same Boston summer team with Castro, said he became a Butler fan while watching Howard play. All three signees said they were influenced by Butler's runs to NCAA championship games in 2010 and 2011. Castro said he would have been less interested if Butler had been in the Horizon League instead of the Atlantic 10.
Five of Indiana's six recruits in the class of 2013 signed national letters of intent on Wednesday. The sixth, Troy Williams, tweeted early in the day that he plans to sign his national letter on Monday in his hometown of Hampton, Va.
The ones that did sign Wednesday are: 6-6 forwards Devin Davis of Warren Central and Collin Hartman of Cathedral, 6-9 power forward Noah Vonleh of New Hampton (N.H.) School, 6-10 center Luke Fischer from Germantown, Wis., and 6-4 shooting guard Stanford Robinson from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.
Before Vonleh committed to the Hoosiers on Saturday, IU's class was already hovering around the top 10 nationally by most recruiting services. But with Vonleh, ranked No. 7 in the nation by rivals.com, the Hoosiers jumped into the top three nationally. Both Rivals.com and Scout.com ranked IU's class No. 3 on Wednesday, behind Kentucky and Kansas.
Vonleh, in a live chat from New Hampton shortly after his signing Wednesday, said IU coach Tom Crean and assistant Kenny Johnson simply recruited him the hardest of any school.
"They told me about how they work with their players in practice in skill development and then I went to their practice and that was exactly what they did,'' Vonleh said. "I'm looking forward to going to Indiana and making an impact.''
As expected, Purdue signed a three-man class: Fort Wayne Northrop guard Bryson Scott, Lawrence North forward Basil Smotherman and St. Charles, Ill., West guard Kendall Stephens (St. Charles, Ill.). Coach Matt Painter said the class helps fill a need for swing-type players that can play either big guard or small forward.
"We have the positions we need, but they're also the right fit because they fit at Purdue," Painter said. "They not only give us a chance to win because of their abilities as basketball players, but as people, their backgrounds, and families. We think we got the total package with these three guys."
The 6-5 Stephens is ranked 59th nationally in the Class 2013 by Rivals.com, the highest for a Purdue signee. Painter said he's already a good shooter but needs to work more at putting the ball on the floor. The 6-1 Scott is rated a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and is 80th nationally. He's expected to play a lot on the point at Purdue even though the Boilermakers look like they have a good point guard for the future in freshman Ronnie Johnson.
Painter said the Purdue coaching staff will start the 6-7, 215-pound Smotherman at a wing spot and help him develop a mid-post game like former Purdue great Robbie Hummel. But Painter added he could see Smotherman developing into a power forward type.
Here's a look at the in-state boys basketball commitments to Division I colleges:
|V.J. Beachem||6-7||New Haven||Notre Dame|
|Brock Cosey||5-9||South Bend Riley||Chicago State|
|Mike Crawford||6-5||Tipton||Saint Louis|
|Devin Davis||6-6||Warren Central||Indiana|
|Alex Etherington||6-6||Hamilton Heights||Kansas State|
|Franko House||6-6||Concord||Ball State|
|Zak Irvin||6-6||Hamilton Southeastern||Michigan|
|Demetrius Jackson||6-1||Mishawaka Marian||Notre Dame|
|Markese McGuire||6-3||Elkhart Memorial||Illinois-Chicago|
|Cole Murray||6-7||Delphi||Northern Kentucky|
|Jake Raspopovich||6-0||Merrillville||Texas Pan-American|
|Mike Schlotman||6-2||Munster||William & Mary|
|Brenton Scott||6-1||Fort Wayne Northrop||Indiana State|
|Bryson Scott||6-1||Fort Wayne Northrop||Purdue|
|Basil Smotherman||6-6||Lawrence North||Purdue|
|Justus Stanback||6-8||West Lafayette||IUPUI|
|Leo Svete||6-5||Penn||Western Michigan|
|Trevor Thompson||6-10||Ben Davis/St. John's (Wis.)||Virginia Tech|
|Austin Torres||6-6||Penn||Notre Dame|
|Zavier Turner||5-9||Pike||Ball State|
|Tony Wills||6-3||Ben Davis||Illinois State|