2008 Focus: Luke Fabrizius

Luke Fabrizius is a 6-9 forward that can shoot from the perimeter like a guard. That trait has made the class of 2008 prospect from Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois popular with Division I coaches. In this report we take a look at Fabrizius. WeAreDePaul.com talks with Luke, his high school coach and his AAU coach…

The Hersey Huskies are looking to defend their Mid-Suburban League conference championship this season under the leadership of junior Luke Fabrizius. They're looking to go even further than they did last season. "Last season we were conference champs, I think it's definitely feasible that we do that again," said Fabrizius. "Last year we ended up losing in the regionals. But, I definitely think we can get downstate this year. That's our main goal this year. I think we can definitely do it with the guys we've got."

The Huskies hope to go far for head coach Don Rowley who is retiring at the end of this season. Rowley has been at the Arlington Heights school since it first opened in 1968. Fabrizius is one of the best that he's seen during that time. "He's as good a shooter as we've had here in 38-39 years," said Rowley. "He's certainly the best shooter in our program. When you couple that with the fact that he's 6-9 it's a very unique commodity."

"Luke should be our best player, our leading scorer, and so on," said Rowley. "Teams are going to load up on him like crazy. So, what will happen is he'll create a lot of shooting opportunities for the rest of his team. If he goes in the post, they'll probably double him. We're a good shooting team, so that will open up those guys. If he's outside, they'll probably come way out on him, so that will give us opportunities inside. We're going to play him both inside and outside, because he's such a good shooter."

It's no doubt that Fabrizius enjoys shooting. "I've been a shooter since I was young. I just love shooting the three."

So it's established that Fabrizius can shoot the basketball, but there are elements of his game that he is still looking to improve upon. "Just playing with older guys on the AAU circuit, you can tell how much more physical and how much quicker the game is," Luke observed. "So, I'm working on my ballhandling, my quickness, and definitely my strength."

Fabrizius coach agrees on the areas for improvement. "He's got to get stronger and get better endurance," Rowley remarked. "He's spent his last three years going from 6-1, 235 lbs. to 6-9 205 lbs. In the meantime he hasn't gained as much strength as he needs and that's what we're working on with him right now. Getting stronger will make him compete better on the boards, make him a better defender and be able to score inside a lot more."

Fabrizius spent the summer playing with the Illinois Warriors 17-U AAU team that featured players a year older than Luke such as Crane's Brandon McGee, who has committed to Indiana. Luke's play at that level earned him recognition and an invitation to the Nike Hoop Jamboree in St. Louis. Fabrizius will undoubtedly be the Warriors best returning player next summer. "No question about it," said Warriors coach Larry Butler. "Luke Fabrizius is going to be good. Right now he's just a shooter in the mold of Steve Novak, that's who he is right now. He doesn't handle that well. But, he's getting better."

Thus far, Fabrizius has scholarship offers in hand from Albany, Creighton, Dayton, DePaul, Indiana, Iowa State, Marquette, and Northwestern. Luke is also receiving interest from Arizona State, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest.

At an open gym in late October, assistant coaches from Michigan State visited to express serious interest. Former Chicago Bull Dickie Simpkins also stopped by that open gym to offer Fabrizius a few pointers.

Fabrizius has visited a number of college campuses including DePaul, Illinois, Indiana, Marquette, Northwestern, and Notre Dame. While Luke visited Illinois on two occasions, yet hasn't heard from the Illini coaching staff lately.

Two Hersey greats from the 1970's went on to play for DePaul – Andy Pancratz and Dave Corzine. Could Fabrizius follow in their footsteps and play for the Blue Demons? Well, Luke did enjoy his visit with DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "I liked him a lot," Fabrizius expressed. ‘He seems like a straightforward guy. He really respects how you are as individual. He's not just looking for a great, great basketball player, he's looking for a great individual. That stood out the most for me."

Another famous Hersey alum is Dayton Flyers coach Brian Gregory. It's no surprise that Gregory has been back to his alma mater several times to recruit Fabrizius. "He played for me and went to Navy for one year and played in David Robinson's senior year there,' said Coach Rowley. "He transferred to Oakland (Michigan) University and then he meshed up with Jud Heathcote at Michigan State."

One of the first schools to latch on to Fabrizius was Marquette. Luke enjoyed an unofficial visit to the Milwaukee school in October. "It was awesome," Fabrizius said. "I got to play in an open gym with the team. I love Coach Crean's enthusiasm. He's always an energetic guy, and he always wants to get better. They were the first school to offer me a scholarship, they've been interested since sophomore year."

With so much major college interest, Fabrizius is staying open-minded for the moment. "Right now I'm keeping things open, seeing what comes along, and visiting as many places as I can," remarked Luke.

Luke is focused on the high school season with the Huskies for now and doesn't appear to have any clear-cut favorites. "I don't think he's indicating one way or another what's his favorite at this point," Rowley said. "I don't think it will be till next summer before he makes a commitment. He's just trying to see what the serious interest is out there. He's getting his priorities together in terms of how he'll pick a school. He's an honor student. He has to make some decisions as to what academically fits for him, what fits for his family in terms of how far away from home he is, and whether he wants to go to the highest level program he can and develop there, or whether he wants to go to a mid-major and maybe play more right away."

For Luke, what factor is most important in his college decision? "Location, because my parents love to come out and see games and I'd know that they would always be there. Also, how I would fit in the program. I want to fit into a team that obviously would play a four out and one in with a lot of shooting opportunities."

Beyond college, there very well could be a future for Fabrizius. "If things are correct here, there might be a next level for Luke," Rowley speculated. "He's been compared with some players like Kyle Korver who's with Philadelphia (76ers of the NBA) and with Steve Novak who's with Houston (Rockets). So, is that next level there? And, under what kind of a program will he develop to that next level?"

Stay tuned to WeAreDePaul.com for the very latest on the DePaul Blue Demons.

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