On Monday night, Brookfield Central High (Wisc.) Riley LaChance became the the third Vanderbilt commit in the last month. He announced his decision via Twitter:
The 6-foot-2 point guard picked the Commodores over Creighton, Minnesota and Iowa, who last week landed a commitment from his Ray Allen Select teammate, Brady Ellingson. This past season at Brookfield Central, he averaged 20.9 points, three assists and two steals per game
“I couldn’t be more excited and happy to play for a guy like coach (Kevin) Stallings,” LaChance told Mark Stewart of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday night. “I feel extremely honored to get this opportunity. I couldn’t be more excited. I’m almost speechless right now.”
He joins a pair of four-start commits in Vanderbilt’s Class of 2014. St. Joseph High (N.J.) shooting guard Wade Baldwin became the first on Sept. 1, followed by Charlotte Christian School (N.C.) guard Matthew Fisher-Davis. LaChance is a three-star point guard, ranked No. 147 overall in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.
Illinois will be shorthanded in its front court for the time being, as during the team’s media day Thursday head coach John Groce announced that sophomore forward Leron Black is out due to injury.
Black will undergo surgery Friday to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, and he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to six weeks. A return after four weeks would have Black back on the court just before the Fighting Illini open their season November 13 against North Florida. Any longer and the Memphis native would wind up missing some game action.
Black averaged 5.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in just under 15 minutes of action per game as a freshman. He’s one of the players expected to contribute in the front court for the Fighting Illini, who lost their best interior defender and second-leading rebounder in Nnanna Egwu at the end of last season (guard Rayvonte Rice, who led the team in rebounding, is also gone).
In addition to Black and junior Maverick Morgan, Illinois adds redshirt freshman Michael Finke and grad student Mike Thorne Jr. (via Charlotte) to their front court rotation.