ECU, Butler, Fordham Get Verbals

East Carolina, Fordham and Butler each received commitments Thursday afternoon. Guys are beginning to pop after a busy July period.

William & Mary kicked off a rash of commitments on Thursday morning when it accepted a verbal from David Schneider, the son of a former college head coach. The Tribe has three verbals on the year.


The Butler Bulldogs scored a nice commitment from Louisville (Ky.) Male guard Forrest Smallwood. The 6-foot-5 Smallwood averaged 15 points a game as a junior.

"He's got a lot of weapons," Male head coach Tom Crews said. Smallwood ran with Eddie Ford's Kentucky All-Stars last period. He entertained offers from Eastern Kentucky, Wright State and Gardner Webb, among others.

Smallwood committed to the Bulldogs after making an unofficial visit earlier in the week.


The East Carolina Pirates are off to a good start in August. The staff accepted a verbal commitment from Fayetteville (N.C.) Jack Britt standout John Fields on Thursday.

The 6-foot-9, 205 pounder picked the Pirates over VCU, UNC-W, Winthrop, UNC-Greensboro, Western Carolina and North Carolina A&T. Fields averaged 19.1 points as a junior.

"Coach Stokes was real aggressive and I think he'll be real good as a head coach," Fields said. "He had a great background at Wake Forest working with Tim Duncan and Rodney Rodgers. I think he can do the same thing at East Carolina."


Wallace Prather died in June but the work of the Atlanta Celtics director is still paying dividends for his players. Brenton Butler, the son of former Atlanta Falcons standout Bobby Butler, is headed to Fordham, in part due to some work on Prather's part.

"To tell you the truth, Coach Prather who was one of my Atlanta Celtics coaches, he gave a call for me up to Fordham and got that relationship started," Butler said. "He got Fordham to look at me."

Butler, a 6-foot-2 combo out of Norcross High near Atlanta, had offers from SE Louisiana, Georgia Stars, Wofford, James Madison and Jacksonville. He liked the league Fordham plays in.

"What made Fordham standout to me was mainly their competition," Butler said. "They're in the Atlantic-10 and that's a great conference to play in for basketball. I was happy about the whole situation they had; their offense and the way they play the game. After I got close with the coaches it was a matter of time before I took a visit and met with the players. Then it was done deal."


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