Name: Will Regan
Hometown: Williamsville, NY
School: The Nichols School
Scout: 3-stars, #17 C
ESPN: 86, #58 PF
You maybe have noticed I don't do a whole lot of basketball recruiting stuff. I try to keep up with the ups and downs of the football process, and heaven knows I don't even do the world's best job of that; today's commitment (who I'll get to later this week) isn't even someone who's on the board, let alone in the blue section of it. But basketball? Except for the end of the process (which we're getting to today) and the big-picture stuff, I mostly ignore it. This is because I hate it. It's a shady world filled with shady characters trying to leech off of the process and the players, and the best coaches play the game and navigate the system only just enough to land the players they want and still stay clean as far as the NCAA rulebook is concerned. Football is a little different; there are a hell of a lot more players to keep track of, most of whom are no threat to endorse shoes at any point in their careers. It's not squeaky clean but at least you usually only have to deal with the player, his parents, and his school coach, and not with the added presence of a handler, wannabe agents, and AAU coaches.
Anyway, this is the point where I jump into the process: the exciting part. This is a little more exciting because Will Regan is Tony Bennett's first commitment as a Hoo, and one that goes a long way toward quelling any doubts about his recruiting ability. If you read my first Examiner.com article (warning: shameless self-promotion) you'd know I'm really, really pleased with this pickup.
The ratings are really kinda tthhbbppttt. Don't be fooled. One, Regan's due for a boost whenever they shuffle the rankings. He's performed well and made a name for himself at summer tournaments and camps, including, obviously, the NBA Camp in Charlottesville, otherwise Bennett wouldn't have pushed for him. Two, Regan's got offers from all sorts of quality places. Tournament schools like Michigan, Arizona State, Siena, Maryland. And places that have a tradition like Providence, Stanford, and St. John's. OK, so not the UNC's and Kansases of the world, but still.
And Regan dominates his high school competition. He averages a double-double, and not a chintzy one either, and turns in games with lines like, 32 points, 13 boards, 10 blocks. He joined some excellent company in winning Western New York Player of the Year honors as a junior (and by the way, last year, being the first sophomore in 14 years to be named to the first team there); how do Jonny Flynn and Christian Laettner sound as company to join in that category? Catch me if I'm getting ahead of myself, but Regan sounds ready to make the jump right now. That's probably just me drinking the Kool-Aid, but it's really delicious Kool-Aid and you should try some.
So what are the skills Regan brings to the table? One thing that jumps out at you in just about every scouting report - I'm not even going to bother linking anything because I'd have to link everything - is "fundamentally sound." Now, if you've read enough scouting reports on high school basketball players, you've probably alread picked up on the code: "fundamentally sound" usually means "slightly gumpy unskilled white guy." OK, but there's a grain of truth to the code, because there are no slightly gumpy unskilled fundamentally unsound white guys playing in a level of basketball higher than the Atlantic Sun Conference. So: plays decent defense, posts up well, makes the right passes, not going to suddenly blow by a defender and throw down a monster windmill dunk. The thing that should separate him from a lot of the competition, be his calling card if you will, is that he can shoot the three-pointer. How do we know? Because Michigan was all over Regan this winter. John Beilein will have all his guys outside the arc shooting threes. A 6'8" power forward who can knock down a three is exactly what he wants three of on the court at all times, and Michigan was recruiting him very hard. "Premiere big-man target" is high praise and that was as late as the end of March. It's a testament to Bennett's recruiting efforts that Regan spent the winter not really talking about UVA - Maryland, Michigan, and Stanford kept popping up - then somewhere between the beginning of April and end of May, we'd joined the conversation. Helped that Michigan landed a very similar player (Evan Smotrycz) ten days after that report, who blew up in a very big way shortly afterwards.
So I'm really jazzed, here. All hail Tony Bennett and whoever decided to build that wicked fancy beautiful new addition to Rouss Hall for the Comm-school, because that's where Regan will spend his classroom days. Terrific baller and zero worries about academics; there's nothing not to love about this. Great, great start to the class of 2010.
Afterword: if we could just get through one weekend without any more celebrity carnage, that'd be really awesome. The King of Pop was a shock and a half, but Billy Mays too? What did Billy Mays ever do to anyone? Cable TV is a less awesomer place for this. Commercials on ESPNUVA will never be the same again. It's a damn shame. Now there's nothing but Vince the Shamwow Guy to brighten things up. May there be a restaurant in Heaven that serves Big City Sliders and wipes the tables with OxiClean.
Here's a little YouTubeage: one for Billy (parody-style) and another for Jacko.