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VOL. 43 | NO. 20 | Friday, May 17, 2019

VU’s Stackhouse has resume to lure top recruits

By Chip Cirillo

Updated 10:57AM
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Jerry Stackhouse has excelled at the highest levels of basketball.

Vanderbilt’s new coach played in the NBA for 18 seasons where he was a two-time all-star. He also was a star at the University of North Carolina, the NCAA’s third-winningest program with six NCAA national championships and 2,261 victories.

That gives him an enticing appeal in recruiting.

“Your top players, they’re not thinking college,” says Jerry Meyer, 247 sports director of basketball scouting. “They’re thinking NBA, and college is just a step they either have to or need to take on that journey.

“So when you have a coach like Stackhouse, who has a great NBA pedigree and history, I think it’s a huge recruiting advantage.”

A coach like Stackhouse could put a highly touted prospect on the right path to the NBA.

“The kids are coming up trying to be pros, and maybe if you’ve been a pro it gives them a sense of confidence that you can help get them there,” Meyer adds.

Stackhouse, who replaced the fired Bryce Drew on April 5, is off to a good start in his rebuilding efforts and already has three signees in Dylan Disu, Scotty Pippen Jr. and Jordan Wright.

Disu, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Hendricks High School in Pflugerville, Texas, is a 247 Sports three-star prospect.

He also had offers from Georgia Tech, DePaul and Illinois.

“He’s well-regarded and he’s (No.) 126 in our 247 Sports composite,” Meyer says. “He has some size and athleticism and I think the guy could develop into a very good college player.”

Pippen, a 6-foot point guard, is the son of former Chicago forward Scottie Pippen, who led Chicago to six NBA titles along with Michael Jordan.

“I think Scotty Pippen has a lot of potential,” Meyer acknowledges. “Obviously the lineage is there and I think he’s coming into his own. Sort of a late bloomer.”

Pippen’s dad was a point guard in high school before switching positions after a growth spurt in college at Central Arkansas.

The younger Pippen averaged 16.3 points and 4.6 assists for Sierra Canyon High School in California last season.

“He’s a good, solid three-star player,” Meyer adds. “Maybe you could say he’s kind of like a Jordan Bone-type who came on the scene late on the national level. He’s regarded as a good player, played on a quality travel team on the Nike circuit.”

Bone is a Tennessee point guard who has entered the NBA draft.

Wright, a 6-6 guard, averaged 19.1 points, eight rebounds and six assists per game for The Dunham School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He led his team to the 2018 state championship.

Notre Dame guard D.J. Harvey, who averaged 10.7 points last season, transferred to Vanderbilt this month.

He will sit out this season due to transfer rules.

“I think that was pretty significant to pull a player like that here at the last second,” Meyer says. “He was already having a good college career, so I think they’re going to be expecting a whole lot from D.J. Harvey.”

Kenyon Martin Jr., one of Pippen’s teammates at Sierra Canyon, committed to Vanderbilt on May 5. They led Sierra Canyon to its second consecutive state title in the open division last season.

Martin is a 6-6 power forward whose father played the same position in the NBA for 15 seasons.

Next year will probably be a better indication of what Stackhouse can do on the recruiting trail.

“I think the real noise is going to be made in that 2020 class,” Meyer says.

Most players for this year’s class signed in the fall when Stackhouse was still a Memphis Grizzlies assistant coach.

“So he gets the job and he’s way behind the eight ball,” Meyer adds. “He’s still starting a little late on 2020, but that’s much better and now he can start focusing on that class and 2021, and get on more of an equal footing with the programs that have stayed intact.”

Meyer says recruiting will be one of Stackhouse’s strengths.

“He has a presence, he has something to sell,” Meyer points out. “Vanderbilt is a great institution. It’s in a great city. There are a lot of positives to sell with Vanderbilt. Stackhouse understands that.

“I think he’s a very genuine guy, I’ve never heard anything negative about him. Frankly, I think he’s going to do everything well. I think it’ a great hire by Vanderbilt.”

The Commodores (9-23) are coming off their worst season in school history after becoming the first team in 65 years to go winless (0-18) in the Southeastern Conference.

“They’re going to start from scratch and I don’t think it’ll be a factor,” Meyer says. “It’s going to be a whole new ballgame over there next year.”

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