Vitaliy Shabel provides perspective on Arizona State commitment

Vitaliy Shibel became Arizona State's third commitment in the 2016 class within days of visiting the school officially last weekend.

With its third commitment of the 2016 class, Arizona State continued a theme of having early interest pay future dividends. 

This time the Sun Devils cashed in with Ukrainian 6-foot-9 power forward Vitaliy Shibel, who is attending prep school at Lee Academy in in Maine. 

"When I first came to Lee (last year, ASU) coach (Rashon) Burno was one of the first coaches who came to see me," Shibel said. 

Even though he began generating a lot of interest from an assortment of colleges across the country, Burno and ASU head coach Bobby Hurley convinced Shibel to take his first official visit to see the Sun Devils. 

Two days after the conclusion of the visit, Shibel decided to pledge the Sun Devils even without seeing Boston College, Indiana, Georgia Tech, Tulsa or any colleges that had been actively recruiting him. 

"I think I can have good playing time at ASU, besides this I like coaching staff in ASU and think this will be really good for me to play on this level," Shibel said. "I like what they care about (their) players, liked their practice. Coach Hurley was one of the best point guards in the (NBA) league, he tries to give players his experience.

"Coach showed me arena where ASU plays home games, practice facility, dorms and educations establishments. I watched the game versus Washington. It was a lot of fun. I liked everything."

Earlier in the 2015 recruiting class, the Sun Devils were similarly ahead of the curve on Seattle Rainier Beach 6-foot-7 forward Sam Cunliffe and Grundy (Virginia) Mountain Mission School 6-foot-9 center Jethro Tshisumpa. 

ASU offered Cunliffe before other Pac-12 programs and ahead of his impressive off-season that catapulted into the Top-100 national rankings including on Scout, where he ranked No. 81 nationally. Tshisumpa had no offers before ASU proffered one, and not long before he led the NBPA Top-100 Camp with blocked shots and became the No. 75 overall recruit int he country. 

Shibel played for Ukraine in the U18 European Championships over the summer. Through eight games in the event, Shibel averaged 10.3 points and 5.8 rebounds, while also connecting on 7 of his 13 three-point attempts. 

"I am a 6-foot-9 stretch power forward that can really stretch the floor and knock down threes," Shibel said. "I like transition game because of my quickness and also ability to put the ball on the floor. I believe that i could defensively guard multi positions, players on perimeter and inside type of players."

ASU will lose seniors Willie Atwood, Gerry Blakes and Eric Jacobsen after this season and is scheduled to return nine scholarship players. That means the Sun Devils are projected at one spot under the maximum allotment of 13 scholarships in any given year for 2016-17, assuming all recruits qualify and there is no attrition. 


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