Notre Dame men's basketball: Vasturia chooses Irish
A 6-foot-5, 185-pound junior shooting guard from St. Joseph’s (Pa.) Prep, Vasturia knows well of the area prep players - be it Ryan Ayers, Matt Carroll or Rob Kurz - who have found their way from the Delaware Valley to flourish in South Bend.
During a day off Monday from school, Vasturia wondered if he might be the next in line to follow in those Philly guys’ footsteps. Believing that everything about that possibility felt right, Vasturia committed late that morning to play for Notre Dame.
“You hear about it and they’re proud of it,” Vasturia said of the Philadelphia pipeline, which also includes former Irish point guard and current assistant coach Martin Ingelsby, who recruited Vasturia. “You see all the guys from my area go out there and play and have some success, that’s always a good sign.
“Those guys are the guys who have helped pave the way for me, so that’s pretty cool.”
Vasturia, who earned all-conference honors as a sophomore for St. Joseph’s coach Speedy Morris, formerly of LaSalle University, averaged 19.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists last winter.
“He told me this weekend that his heart was set on going to Notre Dame,” Morris said of Vasturia, who also held offers from the area’s Big Five schools as well as Georgetown and Virginia. “He’ll fit in really well. He’s a very solid basketball player.”
Morris first noticed that when Vasturia attended his basketball camp as a sixth-grader. He also served as sixth man as a freshman at St. Joe’s.
“He’s kept getting better and better every year,” Morris said.
How would Vasturia, considered a three-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com., describe his game?
“A tough, unselfish player who can knock down some shots, just try to win some basketball games,” he said.
Vasturia’s college potential falls under the umbrella of “basketball player.” He might play both guard spots and maybe even some small forward. It may matter more how his game, not his position, fits the Irish program.
“You get a big combo guard who has a great combination of swagger and skill,” said ESPN senior national recruiting analyst Dave Telep. “He’s just a throwback, old school, hard-playing guy who’s going to wind up being a really good college basketball player.”
A player that doesn’t really care what conference he might call home. There’s a good chance that Notre Dame won’t be in the Big East when Vasturia arrives in the summer of 2013, but that’s OK, even if it means he might not get back in front of the Philly folks as often as he should.
“The Big East would be just kind of a plus,” he said. “It’s not going to take away from the kind of school Notre Dame is and the tradition - that’s still the most important thing.”
Telep believes Vasturia will remind Irish fans a lot of Carroll and another guy who played his prep ball in the Philadelphia area, albeit across the Delaware River in New Jersey, before finding his way to Notre Dame via Maryland for one special season (2002-03) - swingman Dan Miller.
“More than anything else, you can just trust him as a basketball player,” Telep said. “That’s a very rare trait and Mike Brey has had a lot of guys like that.
“Vasturia is a very low-maintenance kid. He’s going to want to earn his minutes and play basketball games. It’s pretty simple.”
Vasturia is the second current prep junior to commit to Notre Dame. He joins swingman V.J. Beachem from New Haven (Ind.) High School. Both will sign their respective letters of intent in November 2012. Under NCAA recruiting regulations, Brey cannot comment on either prospect until that day.
“You always get a little nervous when a school adds a lot of underclassmen, but Beachem and Vasturia are solid guys,” said Telep, who believes Notre Dame’s junior class of commitments may be just as good as the seniors, considered among the nation’s Top 20, who will sign next week. “These guys can play.
“They fit the mold of Mike Brey-type of guys.”
The commitments of Beachem and Vasturia leave Notre Dame with one scholarship to offer a current prep junior.
Staff writer Tom Noie: