VandyMania talked earlier this week with Bishop Chatard boys' basketball coach Dan Archer about his star player Dan Cage. Here are some of his comments:
"[Dan] has been granted a full release by St. Bonaventure, and he has been given permission to talk with other schools. If things don't work out, and he can't find another school, St. Bonaventure has said they will still honor that letter-of-intent.
"We just went through the best season we've ever had here, won the state championship. When Dan made his decision [in November], his goal was to concentrate on the team and focus on winning a championship, and he did. Then the Bonaventure thing went down. Utah has contacted him, Rhode Island, Vanderbilt... any number of schools... Indiana State, Ball State, Austin Peay... those are just a few I can think of.
"Coach Stallings came up and visited, right before Easter. They talked, and Dan did a workout for Vanderbilt and a couple of other schools. Then Dan set up his visit. We all enjoyed Coach Stallings. He's a former Purdue assistant, so I personally felt like I kind of knew him. Dan understands the tradition of Vanderbilt, and he's a 1200-SAT student, a high honors student, and wants to get into law. Dan's big thing is, he's coming to go to school. He's also a great basketball player. Usually people signing in the spring are guys who are looking to transfer, a discipline problem, or maybe trying to qualify. When a kid with a 1200 SAT and near-4.0 average becomes available, there were probably 30 or 40 schools who called immediately after our state championship game. My phone was ringing constantly.
"I know he feels good about the situation at Vanderbilt. For us, it's about five hours away. I think it would be a good fit, if they want him. I know the quality of the program, and Coach Stallings. But if it doesn't work out, we go to the next step.
"Dan is an unbelievable player. He's the first player we've ever had to make the Indiana All-Star team. His skills are really good, but he's an all-around player. He shot 57% from 2-point range, and right at 37-38% from 3. More than that, he's got unbelievable will to win. He had a good surrounding cast, but he obviously was our leader.
"He could have scored more, but he sacrificed a lot. He scored right at 18 ppg. But he got the ball to people. He played team ball, and that's why we ended up 22-2. He could have averaged 30 or more easily, and we would have ended up .500 or less.
"I told Coach Stallings, if you know the history of Indiana basketball, he has a mentality like [Indiana star Steve] Alford. He's not as good a shooter as Alford, but he has that mentality like Alford had, where he just won't be denied. He's a throwback player. He put our program on the map.
"I think he'll be a 2-guard [in college]. But I think the thing that appetized other coaches about him was that last year in the Vegas Tournament, where his team went to the final game and got beat, he played all positions. He played center, and held his own. He's got a sophomore college body right now. He weighs about 215.
"I used him everywhere. Usually he would bring the ball up. But I would say he's a 2-guard in college."