“It’s crazy,” said Matt Derenbecker. “I was never expecting Trent Johnson to offer me a scholarship this early.”
The 6-5, 185 pound small forward from Country Day called Johnson to thank him for the time the coaches spent up at the Peach Jam Tournament and the headman saw enough to warrant the scholarship offer.
“He said he liked the way I played hard no matter what was going on with my teammates or what was going around me,” said Derenbecker. “He said he also liked how I could guard multiple positions. He saw me guard Xavier Henry, who is the No. 1 guard in the nation for 2009, and he only scored about six points and fouled out.
“He said he was real excited because all of the players he has now puts him in a good situation and he likes the kids that know the game really well like me.”
He said that the thought of making an early decision didn’t really cross his mind but that had more to do with the shock effect than anything else.
“It’s so overwhelming right now and I’m not used to this,” Derenbecker said. “This is huge for me and I wasn’t prepared for it. I’m still just so overwhelmed.”
When Derenbecker does come down from cloud nine and digests everything he will talk things over with his parents and coach.
He has never made an unofficial visit to LSU to see the facilities or meet the coaches in person but he knows that LSU has a lot of what he is looking for in a school.
“It’s never been a big deal before with how far away a school is but now that I’m being recruited I’d like for my family and friends to be able to come see my games,” he said. “Eddie (Ludwig) told me how when he went to LSU for his unofficial visit they had their academics laid out for him and they have a lot of help with their academics. That’s another big thing I’m looking for. Those are all huge pluses for LSU.”
Location and academics is a couple of pluses that Derenbecker sees in LSU but there are more.
“I’m excited about the future because I know what coach Johnson did at Stanford and there is a lot of talent in Louisiana so he’s going to do the same thing here,” said Derenbecker.
With his emotions running high Derenbecker said he couldn’t really think of naming a favorite or a leader but he did speak fondly of LSU.
“They are definitely one of my top five schools I’ve ever wanted to go to,” he said. “I’m just still in shock right now.”
Note: Derenbecker was a Class 5A Second Team All-State selection as a sophomore as he averaged 23.7 points and 11 rebounds a game after going for 19 points and 10 boards during his freshman season.