Just a few hours after seeing power forward Juwan Morgan pick Indiana, Vanderbilt fans received some good news in the form of a commitment from a 6-foot-11 center.
Djery Baptiste, who attends Prestonwood Christian Academy in Texas and plays for the same Texas Titans AAU program that produced current Vanderbilt big man Damian Jones, verbally committed to Kevin Stallings’ program Wednesday night. The news was first reported by Jerry Meyer of 247 Sports.
“Well, I fell in love with the whole program, especially Coach Stallings. He can develop big men and has a lot of patience. But also the main reason I chose Vanderbilt is the education. I want to be a diplomat after I play basketball. Vanderbilt gives me a chance to be great as a basketball player and be great in life. The environment is great there, and Nashville is an unbelievable city.”
Baptiste made two official visits before deciding to commit to Vanderbilt, visiting the SEC program over Labor Day weekend and making a stop at UConn this past weekend. A native of Haiti, Baptiste attended Prestonwood during the second half of the 2013-14 school year after transferring in from the Episcopal School of Dallas.
Baptiste is the third commitment in the Class of 2015 for Vanderbilt, joining shooting guard Camron Justice and small forward Joseph Toye. With Vanderbilt having three front court players entering their senior season, adding another body was something the coaching staff needed to do on the recruiting trail.
Baptiste is a bit raw offensively, but with Jones (11.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg in 2013-14) and Luke Kornet (4.0, 2.3) returning in 2015-16 Vanderbilt’s newest commitment will have the time needed to further develop his skill set.