Vandenberg Returns From Visits

Jordan Vandenberg knew he wanted to pursue a career in basketball after watching countryman Andrew Bogut during a training session.

Jordan Vandenberg knew he wanted to pursue a career in basketball after watching countryman Andrew Bogut during a training session.

"Aussie football, Rugby, and then basketball are the major sports here," said Vandenberg. "I've known I wanted to play basketball for the past four or five years... ever since I saw Andrew Bogut playing. After watching him I was inspired to be like him and play college basketball."

Checking in at 7-feet and 230 pounds, Vandenberg feels that he brings a lot to the table but admit he can still improve as a player.

"I'm left-handed, but I can score with either hand in the paint," said Vandenberg. "I also feel like I have good post moves and can score out to 10 feet. The things do well is use both hands around the basket, and I am a good shotblocker and can change shots.

"I do need to get stronger and do that quickly. That is what I need to improve the most. I know I'll need to be stronger to play consistently against big men who are 20 or 30 pounds heavier than me. I can also improve my off-the-dribble shots and add more variety in the post."

Vandenberg spent a year at the Australian Institute of Sport, the top developmental basketball program in the country. Alums of the school include Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, and Luc Longley.

"It is the top program down here in Australia," said Vandenberg. "It was a good place to get ready for college and I feel like it helped me improve as a player."

It has been a busy two weeks for Vandenberg. He departed Australia for the United States and visited Southern California, Utah Valley, and NC State. He attended games at all three while also touring the campuses.

"It was fun," he said. "They were all good experiences. As far as game atmosphere, I feel like NC State had the best, followed by USC and then Utah Valley. USC probably leads in education. I'm looking at everything and that includes the facilities, education, playing time.

"At Utah Valley I could go in and get major minutes and at USC they said I wouldn't play much as a freshman because the need wasn't there. NC State is a little of both in that I could play some early but get major minutes my sophomore year."

Vandenberg is being recruited by NC State assistant coach Pete Strickland.

"NC State became involved through coach Pete Strickland," he stated. "The coach of my Under-20 team knew a friend of Pete Strickland and I was recommended to them. They watched some film and asked me to come up for a visit.

"I was interested in NC State because they obviously play in a great conference, but I didn't know they had facilities like that. Plus the fan support there was really good, it's a lot different from Australia because you don't have the energy and fan support like that here."

"Before I left I had a sitdown with coach Sidney Lowe and he went through what it would be like if I went there," he added. "He said I could come off the bench my first year and get a feel for the game and by my sophomore year my minutes would go up. I'd prefer to come into a program that is established like that where I can develop my strength and in a year or two play major minutes."

The 7-footer claims offers from all three programs. A 2009 enrollee, he is fully qualified and has been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Fresh off his visits, look for Vandenberg to take his time before reaching a decision in early April so he can sign during the Spring Signing Period.

"I've got offers from all three," he said. "They are all pretty much the same. No one is ahead right now. I've only been home a few days so I haven't had a chance to really think about the visits.

"I'd like to have a decision by the beginning of April so I can sign in the Signing Period. There are a lot of other colleges contacting me but those are the main three that I have visited. They all were good experiences for me and are good situations."


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