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Vandy420
08-21-2007, 08:29 AM
http://nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=57306

Highly coveted hoops recruit to sign with Vandy


Festus Ezeli, a 6-foot-11, 250-pound center from Marysville, Calif., verbally committed to the Vanderbilt basketball team Monday and was expected to sign a letter-of-intent Tuesday, The City Paper has learned.

He will be eligible to play during the 2007-08 season but is expected to redshirt. He will be one of six incoming freshmen in VU's class of 2007.

Ezeli, a native of Nigeria, graduated from high school in his native country at age 14, then moved to California, where he has recently been attending a community college. He became a hot commodity this summer while playing for the AAU NorCal Pharaohs.

Florida, Ohio State and UCLA were among the schools interested in Ezeli. Vanderbilt had one available scholarship this year, which worked in its favor. Ezeli had stated publicly that he was considering a year in a prep school before enrolling at an NCAA school next year had he not been academically cleared by the NCAA.

Rivals.com this summer ranked Ezeli as the nation's 138th-best prospect for the class of 2008.

"Festus is real defensive minded as he really knows how to play post defense, but I think his offensive game has evolved," Ezeli's AAU coach, Jason Barton, told Rivals.com. "We have worked on a lot of back-to-the-basket moves, and obviously with his athleticism Festus is able to get a lot of offensive boards for dunks and things like that."

Joining Ezeli as Vanderbilt newcomers this season will be center Andrew Ogilvy of Canberra, Australia; guards Keegan Bell of Hazel Green, Ala., and Charles Hinkle of Los Alamitos, Calif.; and forwards Darshawn McClellan of Fresno, Calif., and Andre Walker of Flossmoor, Ill.

XPS
08-21-2007, 09:52 AM
Congrats...

kentubbybasketball
08-21-2007, 11:11 AM
Stallings keeps adding guys late, but whenever a coach does that I really trust that he's made a great decision, becuase why even offer a scholly that late if he can't contribute at some point in his career. Good pickup for Vandy. This gives Vandy some balance in terms of classes to because you hate to have two centers in this class and then be stuck with having to replace both Ogilvy and Festus at the same time down the road.

XPS
08-21-2007, 11:37 AM
Florida, Ohio State and UCLA were among the schools interested in Ezeli

Let me add, that sometimes this can be misleading, of course the writer from Nashville will try and found out what big names sent a letter to the recruit, so that will make Vandy look like they beat the big boys for a recruit in a head to head heated battle, the interest level could have only been one phone call or one letter, but no where did it state that any of the big programs had offered, still this is a great pick up for Vandy, coach Stallings is doing a great job...

VandyChuck
08-21-2007, 11:44 AM
Florida, Ohio State and UCLA were among the schools interested in Ezeli

Let me add, that sometimes this can be misleading, of course the writer from Nashville will try and found out what big names sent a letter to the recruit, so that will make Vandy look like they beat the big boys for a recruit in a head to head heated battle, the interest level could have only been one phone call or one letter, but no where did it state that any of the big programs had offered, still this is a great pick up for Vandy, coach Stallings is doing a great job...

http://www.yardbarker.com/college_basketball/articles/Ohio_State_and_Florida_Offer_Festus_Ezeli/21345


Ohio State and Florida have recently offered 2008 center prospect Festus Ezeli. He currently is attending a Community College in California and will decide if he will go to prep school or to a D1 college.

Festus holds offers from UCLA, California, West Virginia, Florida, Ohio State, and a few others.

http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/news?slug=rivals-148430&prov=rivals&type=story_recruiting


Ezeli has several options to look at and some are quite willing to take him in this fall. "Florida, DePaul, Vanderbilt and Pepperdine are some schools that would like to have him this fall," said Barton. But the interest runs deeper then that for Ezeli's future as Cal, Ohio State, Oregon State, UCLA, West Virginia and Creighton have all offered him for the following season and possibly for 2007.

kentubbybasketball
08-21-2007, 01:43 PM
Thanks Chuck for that clarification.

One thing about this that shocks me is that this is a JUCO player from a community college. Both Vandy and Harvard have picked up a JUCO player... which is odd. Harvard and Tommy Amaker got Cem Dinc earlier this year.

VandyChuck
08-21-2007, 02:11 PM
Thanks Chuck for that clarification.

One thing about this that shocks me is that this is a JUCO player from a community college. Both Vandy and Harvard have picked up a JUCO player... which is odd. Harvard and Tommy Amaker got Cem Dinc earlier this year.

well, his situation is kind of different. Graduating high school at 14...

GoCommies
08-21-2007, 02:14 PM
Thanks Chuck for that clarification.

One thing about this that shocks me is that this is a JUCO player from a community college. Both Vandy and Harvard have picked up a JUCO player... which is odd. Harvard and Tommy Amaker got Cem Dinc earlier this year.

Exactly. He graduated high school at age 14, but wanted to play basketball in college, and obviously, no one would take him at that age, even though he was smart enough to get into school as a 14 year-old.

So he took classes at a JUCO instead of a regular college so as not to burn any eligibility.

kentubbybasketball
08-21-2007, 02:18 PM
GoCommies... welcome to the board here. The Vandy contingent is very respectable here. I can't think of one Vandy fan here that isn't class, especially Chuck (one of the best founders of this board). Seems like you're be another fine addition to the board here of Vandy fans that are really astute (go figure with Vandy though). It's good to hear you guys getting good news and the national media is catching on, and while you hate to lose 4 times in a row to anybody you don't mind it being a team that you respect.

Here's the link to the national article:

Kevin Stallings is having quite a two-week stretch.

The Vanderbilt head man watched his son, Jacob, one of the top high school catchers in the country, commit to baseball power North Carolina about 10 days ago. Then he received some big news last night when 6-foot-10, 250-pound Nigerian native Festus Ezuli signed scholarship papers to become a Commodore despite heavy interest from heavy hitters such as Florida and UConn.

``We think he’s got a tremendous future,” Stallings told FOXSports.com. “Obviously, a lot of other people did, too.”

Ezuli has spent the last few years in Sacramento, but he hasn’t played any organized basketball of any kind in his life prior to playing AAU ball this past summer.

That’s what has Vandy so excited.

``He’s going to progress offensively at a pretty good rate,” said Vanderbilt assistant Dan Muller, who first saw Ezuli at the Reebok Camp in July and spearheaded the big man’s recruitment over the past two months. “He’s never been taught. I think he can become a dominant post player in our league within the next two or three years.”

That would explain why many of the big boys were all over Ezuli. Florida gave chase. So did UConn, Boston College, West Virginia and even Ohio State. This is a legitimate post player who runs the court well, rebounds, blocks shots, has good hands and is only going to get better.

``He’s going to have a chance to continue his career beyond college,” added Stallings. “But he’s got a lot to learn and we’ve got a lot to teach him.”

The plan is for Ezuli to sit and redshirt this season so he can develop and be ready when he steps on the court.

He graduated from high school before he arrived in the U.S. at the age of 14. He spent one year at Jesuit High in Sacramento before taking classes at a local junior college part-time.

``He’s 17 and he’s never lifted a weight in his life,” Muller said. “He’s just physically gifted.”

Now Stallings can envision a frontline a couple of years from now that includes talented Aussie Andrew Ogilvy and Ezuli.


http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/goodmanonfox/2007/08/21/VANDYS_STALLINGS_HITS_DOUBLE

govandy0620
08-21-2007, 04:50 PM
This class will be one to remember. And about Ogilvy and Festus being the same year, even if Festus didn't redshirt, I would bet money that Ogilvy doesn't make it to his senior year.

joehogjoe
08-21-2007, 04:52 PM
Congrats...
hey you stole GG's post.

kentubbybasketball
08-21-2007, 04:53 PM
I figured someone would say that about Ogilvy, but I think he'll stay at Vandy all four years. I can't see him leaving early for the NBA for some reason. I think he's gotten quite a bit of hype and for good reason, but he could suffer from having too much hype (like happens to players all the time, where they have good years but it's not good enough compared to their hype... see Joe Crawford).

msudawg4life
08-21-2007, 04:56 PM
Little early to be talking NBA about a kid that was signed late by a school in the SEC like Vandy....

kentubbybasketball
08-21-2007, 05:00 PM
Ogilvy wasn't signed late.

msudawg4life
08-21-2007, 05:03 PM
My bad bro...thought this thread was about Festus Ezeli...just realized your post was about a diff player....gosh ktubb....why can't you EVER stay on topic :P btw..what's up...I've been awall a few weeks...got married and then went on my honeymoon...back to the real world now...hehe.

GatorMan32
08-21-2007, 05:04 PM
Congrats to Vandy, but we didn't offer someone to bring them in late. Not taking anything away from the kid. I assume he is talented if Vandy is after him. Just doesn't really fit with what is going on in our recruiting or the team this year and for him to get offered without anyone hearing about it is unlikely. By the time our 2008 class is finished, it pretty much counts on no additional room being needed.

kentubbybasketball
08-21-2007, 05:04 PM
Congrats on the marriage, 4life. I just moved back to school Friday and have been out of comission since. I'm starting my senior year... 8 more months of school... I'm excited to finish up, but I'm really excited about your marriage. I hope you're really happy and that you guys have a great life together... I do feel sorry that you're wife has to put up with you though. jk, bro.

msudawg4life
08-21-2007, 05:07 PM
hehe....I think what she gets from me is quite ok with her...if you know what I mean. :)

Senior huh?.....well enjoy it all you can because next year you are bottom of the ladder again....

kentubbybasketball
08-21-2007, 05:11 PM
hehe....I think what she gets from me is quite ok with her...if you know what I mean. :)

If you're talking about what I think you're talking about I really feel for her.:rotf:


Senior huh?.....well enjoy it all you can because next year you are bottom of the ladder again
kentubby is never at the bottom of anything. I make my presence known. jk. I'm really kind of nervous, but I think I might have a couple of jobs lined up, so God always has been and will continue to be great to me.

govandy0620
08-21-2007, 05:17 PM
Congrats to Vandy, but we didn't offer someone to bring them in late. Not taking anything away from the kid. I assume he is talented if Vandy is after him. Just doesn't really fit with what is going on in our recruiting or the team this year and for him to get offered without anyone hearing about it is unlikely. By the time our 2008 class is finished, it pretty much counts on no additional room being needed.

Are you saying he wasn't offered by Florida?

georgiaguy31015
08-21-2007, 06:53 PM
Congrats Vandy.

Vandy420
08-21-2007, 07:17 PM
Congrats to Vandy, but we didn't offer someone to bring them in late. Not taking anything away from the kid. I assume he is talented if Vandy is after him. Just doesn't really fit with what is going on in our recruiting or the team this year and for him to get offered without anyone hearing about it is unlikely. By the time our 2008 class is finished, it pretty much counts on no additional room being needed.

He was offered by Florida. Vandy and Florida were 2 of only 4 or 5 teams that were offering him for 2007, the rest were offering 2008 trying to get him to take a year of prep ball. But no one had heard much b/c the NCAA just cleared him to be eligible this year a couple days before he came on his official to nashville. Everyone was expecting a verbal while he was on campus and got worried when we didn't hear anything. He waited a week, until the last minute b/c he had to be enrolled by tommorrow to come to Vandy, and committed yesterday for this years class. They received his signed scholly today so he can enroll and be on campus tomorrow.

He will redshirt this year to get used to school and get up to speed. But will be a great practice player matching up against Ogilvy. He will make an impact this year but for our players. Then next year you'll have:

Andrew Ogilvy 6'11" 250lbs C
Festus Ezeli 6'11" 255lbs C
Charles Hinkle 6'5" 210lbs G/F
Jermaine Beal 6'3" 210lbs G
George Drake 6'4" 210lbs G
Keegan Bell 6'1" 180 lbs G
Andre Walker 6'7" 210 lbs F
Darshawn McClellon 6'6" 220lbs F
JeJuan Brown 6'7" 232lbs F
Shan Foster 6'6" 205lbs F/G
Alex Gordon 6'0" 170lbs G
Alan Metcalfe 6'9" 265lbs F
Ross Neltner 6'9" 238lbs F


That is a pretty good roster. I think Stallings has a very good core of talent on the roster now and is deep everywhere. Vandy is going to be very good in the coming years.

The state of TN is going to be tough with UT, Vandy, and Memphis.

govandy0620
08-21-2007, 07:27 PM
How about that that Robinson-Duncan remake with Ezeli and Ogilvy in the middle?? Im so excited just thinking about it.

XPS
08-21-2007, 08:49 PM
I would bet money that Ogilvy doesn't make it to his senior year.

Vandy will be lucky to get 2 years out of him...

XPS
08-21-2007, 08:56 PM
http://kentucky.scout.com/a.z?s=48&p=8&c=1&nid=3244806

http://kentucky.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?Sport=2&pr_key=65310

Neither of these links even mention Fla...

XPS
08-21-2007, 09:03 PM
http://kentucky.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?Sport=2&pr_key=65310

GatorMan32
08-21-2007, 09:23 PM
Are you saying he wasn't offered by Florida?

I am but not because I want to be a jerk. I am just saying it because Florida's name is being thrown around. I'll put 95% confidence with 5% for anything can happen. People who know me know I rarely put 100% on anything because stranger things have happened. But again, we want to sign 2 more in 2008 and have a number of guys lined up that our coaches really want. Seems strange they would take a guy you have to redshirt because he is not going to be ready in such a short time when they have priority targets on the board for 2008, no? Also, I know people intimately close to the program who mentioned a couple of possible late additions to the 2007 class at various times and this kid's name never came up once. I am not knocking the kid. I am sure he has plenty of talent because Vanderbilt is building into a strong program again and you all have a very good coach. But when Florida's name is being used and I am almost 100% positive we never offered the kid, I will mention as much.



He was offered by Florida. Vandy and Florida were 2 of only 4 or 5 teams that were offering him for 2007, the rest were offering 2008 trying to get him to take a year of prep ball. But no one had heard much b/c the NCAA just cleared him to be eligible this year a couple days before he came on his official to nashville. Everyone was expecting a verbal while he was on campus and got worried when we didn't hear anything. He waited a week, until the last minute b/c he had to be enrolled by tommorrow to come to Vandy, and committed yesterday for this years class. They received his signed scholly today so he can enroll and be on campus tomorrow.

He will redshirt this year to get used to school and get up to speed. But will be a great practice player matching up against Ogilvy. He will make an impact this year but for our players. Then next year you'll have:

Andrew Ogilvy 6'11" 250lbs C
Festus Ezeli 6'11" 255lbs C
Charles Hinkle 6'5" 210lbs G/F
Jermaine Beal 6'3" 210lbs G
George Drake 6'4" 210lbs G
Keegan Bell 6'1" 180 lbs G
Andre Walker 6'7" 210 lbs F
Darshawn McClellon 6'6" 220lbs F
JeJuan Brown 6'7" 232lbs F
Shan Foster 6'6" 205lbs F/G
Alex Gordon 6'0" 170lbs G
Alan Metcalfe 6'9" 265lbs F
Ross Neltner 6'9" 238lbs F


That is a pretty good roster. I think Stallings has a very good core of talent on the roster now and is deep everywhere. Vandy is going to be very good in the coming years.

The state of TN is going to be tough with UT, Vandy, and Memphis.

You speak rather surely on something I would find it hard to believe you know better than me on... who Florida offered or seriously recruited to come in last minute. Again, this isn't a matter of doubting talent. Its a matter of other plans for limited scholarships and I find it extremely difficult to believe nobody in Gator circles mentioned this kid as a possible last minute addition when it'd greatly change the other situations. It is highly unlikely but again, I am willing to leave a percentage for anything could happen in life.

govandy0620
08-21-2007, 10:26 PM
http://www.yardbarker.com/college_basketball/articles/Ohio_State_and_Florida_Offer_Festus_Ezeli/21345

Maybe he wasn't offered by Florida this year. But either way, he would have been snatched up by UCLA, OSU, or UF next year so I'm glad we got him this year.

XPS
08-21-2007, 10:45 PM
http://www.yardbarker.com/college_basketball/articles/Ohio_State_and_Florida_Offer_Festus_Ezeli/21345

Maybe he wasn't offered by Florida this year. But either way, he would have been snatched up by UCLA, OSU, or UF next year so I'm glad we got him this year.

Nice link and that settles that, Stallings and Vandys future is bright...

govandy0620
08-21-2007, 11:27 PM
Nice link and that settles that, Stallings and Vandys future is bright...

It was Chuck's..

Dawg
08-21-2007, 11:58 PM
Congratulations, Commodores.

Vandy420
08-22-2007, 09:01 AM
He has said that Florida offered for this year. Are you calling him a liar? I think he would know better than you.

VandyChuck
08-22-2007, 12:07 PM
Gatorman...

I don't blame you for being a little reluctant to belive that Florida offered. there's really no hard evidence, and I'm kind of like you with baseball recruiting...it's not a snobby way of thinking, but i know exactly what you're thinking ("If he went THERE and not HERE, we must not have offered because we are the BEST option out there") But I'll throw this out...Coach Stallings was on the radio yesterday, and he said that Florida was interested in getting him for THIS COMING SEASON. And knowing Stallings, and knowing (for a stone cold fact) that he considers Billy D to be his closest friend of all SEC coaches (and vice versa from what I'm told), he wouldn't say that unless there was at least SOME truth to it.