Richie Commits to CMU

Versatile guard/forward Aaron Richie of Decatur (Ind.) Bellmont High School made a verbal commitment yesterday to play his college basketball for Central Michigan University. He talked about his decision with Chippewas Insider.

Decatur (Ind.) Bellmont High School head coach Shaun Busick likes to refer to guard/forward Aaron Richie as a poor man's Mike Dunleavy.

"Dunleavy is 6-10 now, but actually, I think Aaron does some things equally as well as a young Mike Dunleavy," Busick said.

At 6-foot-7, Richie is Bellmont's starting point guard and, according to Busick, the best ball-handler on the team. Richie also averages 13 points per game and shoots nearly 43 percent from three-point range.

"Aaron really understands the game," Busick said. "He reads screens very well and moves without the ball. We like Aaron because of his versatility and leadership.

"He's a great team player who would average about 20 points per game for almost any other team in the state but for our team he distributes and creates."

Busick is not alone in his assessment of Richie, as 15 Division I college basketball programs offered him a scholarship, including Central Michigan, where Richie visited Sept. 17-19.

Yesterday, Richie said he called CMU head coach Jay Smith to tell him he was going to be a Chippewa.

"Coach Smith was really excited when I told him," Richie said. "I'm excited to be a Chippewa. Everything felt right about CMU when I visited, it was the best."

Among the 14 other scholarship offers that Richie said he considered were Davidson, Wright State, Samford and New Orleans.

"They (CMU) did a great job of recruiting him," Busick said. "We were very impressed with everything at CMU. They recruit the right way. Coach Smith and his staff deserve a lot of credit."

Busick is no stranger to college recruiting. Two years ago his program sent guard Seth Colclasure to Valparaiso, while this year's team includes forward Adam Arnold, who has verbally committed to Indiana State. Richie's brother Nate is a senior guard at Drake this season after transferring from Western Michigan University.

Richie and Arnold are among four returning starters for a Braves team that went 22-5 last year and lost in the Indiana Class 3A State Championship game to Evansville Mater Dei.

This could be the year Busick and his team bring home a state title for all the loyal fans of the Bellmont Braves to cherish.

"Our kids play together, play hard and play smart," Busick said. "We stress fundamentals here."

Richie said he is very much focused on bringing that state title home to Decatur now that he and Arnold have made their college choices.

"It's a great feeling to not have that as a distraction," Richie said. "My goal is to win a state title now."

Richie, who carries a 3.8 GPA, said he also looks forward to his future at CMU. He added that Coach Smith told him he could play anywhere on the court from point guard to power forward but that he must improve his strength.

"Coach Smith told me depending on how well I develop this summer, I could play right away," Richie said.

"CMU is a great fit for Aaron," Busick said. "The MAC is a great conference."

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