New England prep star plans official visit

A high school men's basketball star from one of New England's top prep school programs has scheduled an official visit with Vanderbilt this fall.

Chad Millard, a small forward prospect who played last year at Manchester (N.H.) Trinity High School, surfaced during the summer as a Vanderbilt prospect. As it turns out, the Commodores are also looking hard at a teammate of Millard's, 6-2, 180-pound guard Chris Lutz. The two played together last year on a star-studded Trinity team and will do so again this year at Brewster Academy (Millard as a senior, Lutz as a post-graduate player).

Lutz has set up an official visit to Vanderbilt Oct. 1, while Millard has planned no official visits yet. Lutz also plans to visit Purdue Sept. 4.

Chris Lutz
A solid student in the classroom with a 3.5 grade point average and an 1100 on the SAT, Lutz turned down offers last spring to attend Boston University, Penn and Columbia, opting instead to attend a 13th year of high school at Brewster with Coach Jason Smith's renowned program.

Lutz is best described as a "pure shooter" and a scorer. In April he gained national notoriety for a shooting exhibition he put on at the Spiece Run N Slam event in Indiana. In one amazing game he connected on a jaw-dropping nine 3-pointers; at another game he dropped in ten straight field goals, eight of which were 3-pointers. Last year at Trinity, he averaged 20 points and four rebounds per game.

But Smith said it would be a mistake to classify Lutz strictly as a shooter.

"He's above average as an athlete, extremely quick with the ball, and is able to penetrate a defense and get to the basket there as well," Smith said.

In playing on an outstanding Manchester-Trinity team which included Millard and West Virginia-bound Luke Bonner, Lutz managed to catch the eye of scouts from upper-echelon programs who had came in to watch that talented pair. It was Lutz, pointed out Smith, not Bonner or Millard, who was Trinity's leading scorer for the last three years.

"His teammates may have had a better reputation than Chris," said Smith. "But when schools came in there to scout [Bonner and Millard], they were definitely intrigued by Chris."

When the NCAA did away with the 5/8 rule last spring, Lutz suddenly began receiving scholarship offers from schools wanting him to report in the fall of 2004. Things moved at such a rapid pace that it almost overwhelmed Lutz and his family.

"They weren't as well educated about each school and their level of interest," said Smith. "They weren't sure if schools were just throwing scholarships at them to fill a roster spot."

But by that time Lutz had already made a commitment to attend Brewster Academy, a commitment he ultimately decided to keep. A year at Brewster should allow him to be challenged in basketball, as well as pursue some advanced placement courses in the classroom.

This fall, he's received offers from Purdue, Vanderbilt, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure, Rice and Davidson; and he's also strongly considering Penn and Columbia of the Ivy League. Vanderbilt has offered him a scholarship, said Smith, but has told him they are also recruiting two other players at his position. Lutz has planned two official visits, to Purdue (Sept. 4-5), and Vanderbilt (Oct. 1).

Chad Millard
Millard, a 6-9 "small" forward with a deadly 3-point shooting touch, approached Smith in the spring about transferring to Brewster for his senior season. He made the decision to move on from Manchester-Trinity in hopes it would better prepare him for the college basketball scene. He'll play with Lutz on Brewster's "A" team, composed mainly of post-graduates but also a few talented traditional seniors and juniors.

As a junior, Millard received a rather rude education in the way the college recruiting world works. Last spring he was being approached by some of the country's elite programs-- Louisville and North Carolina State both made visits to Manchester and offered him scholarships. But before he could properly research either program, both schools accepted commitments from other players, and those offers are no longer on the table.

Millard is still receiving interest from Missouri, Providence, Vanderbilt, Iowa State, Villanova, USC and Florida State. Now a little bit wiser, he's taking things slow and waiting to see which colleges are sincere by seeing which are interested enough to make home visits.

"Right now I think he's a little gun-shy, and he's hesitant to take any visits until he sees who comes up for visits in September to sit down with him," said Smith. Vanderbilt, which runs an offense that makes use of tall forwards who can stroke it from outside, remains high on Millard's list, as does nearby Providence.

Brewster Academy, which finished as TheInsiders' No. 4-ranked prep school team last year, should once again be loaded for 2004-05. Nine of Smith's players committed to Division I schools last year, and two players on his upcoming team have already made commitments, one to Connecticut and one to Washington. The schedule will send the team to national-caliber tournaments like the War on the Shore and a New Year's Eve tournament in Michigan. Top Stories