One-on-one with A.J. Astroth

Vanderbilt received its second commit of the 2012 men's basketball recruiting class when Evan Daniels of reported that A.J. Astroth was headed to Vanderbilt. Look inside to learn more about this exciting future Commodore player.

Don Yates: Congratulations on committing to Vanderbilt. What was it about Vanderbilt that kind of set them apart from the rest?
A.J. Astroth: I felt like it was a school that I really liked; SEC basketball, playing on the big stage. Academically it's one of the top schools so I felt like academically I'd be set as well. I really liked the coaches. I'm tired of the recruiting process so it was just the perfect fit.

What were some of schools that were recruiting you?
AA: Coastal Carolina, Evansville, Virginia Tech. Those were the top schools.

DY: What schools offered you?
AA: Coastal Carolina, Vanderbilt. At one point Old Dominion and George Mason both had offered me but they both kind of fell through at the same time.

DY: What were some of the things about your play that you think attracted you to the Vanderbilt staff?
AA: Definitely they are a shooting team and I'm a shooter. I felt like I could fit in with their system. They like to get up a lot of threes and push the ball up and down so I felt I could fit in that style as well.

DY: Can you give us some of your statistics, like 3-point shooting percentage?
AA: I know it was definitely over 40 percent my senior year. I know I averaged 21 points my senior year.

DY: How many rebounds and things of that nature?
AA: I believe it was 7 rebounds and 4 assists a game.

DY: Can you tell us the story of how you ended up committing to Vanderbilt
AA: They first started showing interest about three weeks ago, a little closer to a month ago. My coach Ryan Pannone at Faith Baptist had told them about me. They came into practice one day and really liked what they saw. Then another coach came in about a week later and he liked what he saw. Then they came in and watch me play, we had a game this past weekend in South Carolina, and I think that's what put it over the top. Then they offered me. I'm going on an official visit this weekend.

DY: What game are you going to?
AA: I think it's the Oregon game.

DY: You might find yourself at football game too, with Kentucky.
AA: Oh, yeah.

DY: Did you get any all-district or all-state honors?
AA: I got first team all-district and third team all-state and then all-time leading scorer at Wharton high school.

DY: What AAU team do you play for?
AA: I play for team Breakdown with coach Kenny Gillion.

DY: How did you do with that team?
AA: I did pretty well. We won a conference tournament and we had a lot of exposure out there too.

DY: What will you major in at Vanderbilt?
AA: Probably Economics or Business Management.

DY: How do you think the Commodore staff will utilize you?
AA: A shooting guard, a little at wing as well, but mostly as a shooting guard.

DY: Any other sports you do that you think Vanderbilt fans would be interested to know about?
AA: I played baseball growing up but that's about it.

DY: How are you in the classroom?
AA: I have a 3.6 GPA and a 1,630 on the SAT.

NOTE: Astroth was only 17 years old when he graduated from Wharton high school in Tampa where he was the team's all-time leading scorer with 1,317 points. Per his father, he attended Faith Baptist as a prep school student to get stronger and more mature. Top Stories