The Commodore program received its fourth and fifth commitments Wednesday from senior power forwards Alan Metcalfe (6-10, 235, Notre Dame Academy / Middleburg, Va.) and Davis Nwankwo (6-9-1/2, 235, Georgetown Preparatory Academy / North Bethesda, Md.). Both hail from the D.C. area, and both made campus visits on the same day last week.
Metcalfe chose Vanderbilt over two other finalists, St. Bonaventure and William and Mary. But Clemson , Georgia, Penn State, Northwestern, Marshall, Princeton and Penn were among a number of other schools to offer scholarships to the big man from England.
"I just thought Vanderbilt's academics would challenge me the most," Metcalfe told TheInsiders.com Wednesday. "And playing in the SEC was going to challenge me the most with basketball. The overall package, I thought, was going to give me the biggest challenge. It was a bigger challenge than going into a smaller program and being able to play more."
Originally from Manchester, England, Metcalfe decided to transfer to the United States for his senior year of high school in an effort to earn a college basketball scholarship. He was accepted by Notre Dame Academy, where he contributed 12 points and 7 rebounds per game to a team that went 20-8 and won the Virginia Independent Schools state championship.
"Alan is more of a finesse player than a power player-- an excellent what I'd call a 'move-4' guy," Coach Larry Cullinane of Notre Dame Academy told TheInsiders.com. "He's able to play inside defensively, and compete strong and defensive-rebound really well. But he's a big kid with great hands who's able to step out on the perimeter and shoot the basketball. He has excellent 3-point range, excellent movement-skill ability."
Nwankwo, who had numerous offers from prominent schools last November but elected not to sign in the early signing period, chose the Commodores over offers from Northwestern, Arizona, UCLA, Clemson, Gonzaga, and a number of others. With most of the nation's top post players already signed or headed to the NBA, Nwankwo was considered by TheInsiders.com experts among the top two or three big men in the country still available.
In his senior season at Georgetown Prep, he averaged 11 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 3 assists per game in leading the Little Hoyas to a 20-6 overall record and the Interstate Athletic Conference regular-season title.
"He's an unbelievable person," Georgetown Prep Coach Dwayne Bryant told TheInsiders.com. "I've been coaching for 12 years, and he's probably the best person I've ever coached in terms of attitude, being a leader, and his work ethic. He's one of the few guys in my 12 years that I've allowed to come to practice late, because I knew he was in the library. I didn't have to look for him-- I knew exactly where he was."
Nwankwo has maintained a high grade point average at one of the area's oldest and most prestigious prep schools, said Bryant.
"Academically and athletically, Vanderbilt is the right fit for him. He'd like to major in engineering or business, and from what I've been told, there's a couple of guys on their team right now that are in those programs."
Despite his height, Nwankwo was allowed the luxury of playing a pure power forward position rather than center, as he played alongside 7-2, 270-pound center Georgetown-bound center Roy Hibbert.
"He's definitely a power forward in college," Bryant said. "I often compare him to [Sacramento Kings star] Chris Webber, because he's got that kind of hands, and he shoots the 15-footer.
"He's a good ball-handler and passer. He runs the floor as well as any guard. He's extremely athletic. He was ranked as one of the top five power forwards in the Nike camp last summer."
No official announcement is expected from Vanderbilt regarding either player until later in the week, since both players had paperwork outstanding as of Wednesday. By NCAA rules, Vanderbilt can make no announcement about signees until a signed letter-of-intent is received.
Last November Vanderbilt announced the signing of three players to letters-of-intent: Alex Gordon, a point guard from Pensacola, Fla.; Shan Foster, a 6-5 wing forward from Kenner, La.; and DeMarre' Carroll, a 6-6 forward from Birmingham, Ala.
For a more complete scouting report on Alan Metcalfe from his high school head coach, click here (premium subscription required).
For a more complete scouting report on Davis Nwankwo from his high school head coach, click here (premium subscription required).
To read SchoolSports' recent feature article on Davis Nwankwo and his teammate Roy Hibbert, click here (premium subscription required).
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Charles Minnix contributed to this story.