Stallings expects two signees, Balcomb five

Wednesday marks the start of the early signing period for men's and women's basketball. Vandy men's coach Kevin Stallings expects to sign a pair of high school prospects, while women's coach Melanie Balcomb hopes to sign five. Coaches are not permitted to comment on prospects before they sign... but VandyMania has assembled this list of seniors making public, non-binding commitments to play for Vandy.


Men's basketball commitments:

Jermaine Beal, 6-3 guard, DeSoto, Texas, DeSoto High School

Averaged 19 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game as a junior... led the Eagles to a 37-4 record and an appearance in the state championship game... named All-State, TABC All-State, and All-Tournament... chose Vanderbilt over Oklahoma, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Baylor and SMU... nickname is "Dollar".

"Vanderbilt is a great atmosphere, the campus is nice and everything is within walking distance," Beal told VandyMania. "My teammates were cool and so was everyone on the coaching staff. Plus, I know I'm going to get playing time as a freshman."

"Jermaine knows what to do with the ball," said DeSoto coach Chris Dyer. "He's a brilliant passer. He's getting stronger, works hard in the weight room. His best attribute is that he just works his butt off in the gym."

Essential links:

- 'Dollar' Beal hopes to be the 'money man' at Vandy
- Scouting report: Beal the 'real deal', says high school coach

JeJuan Brown, 6-7 forward, Biloxi, Miss., Biloxi High School

A true "combo forward" who plays the 3 and the 4 equally well, according to his high school coach... averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 blocked shots per game as a junior... led the Indians to a 26-3 record, a No.-5-in-the-state final ranking, and a state semifinal appearance... chose Vanderbilt over West Virginia and Tulane.

"I got to Vandy, and it was like heaven," Brown told VandyMania. "Everything was just perfect for me. It was like I'd been there for years. It was just amazing."

"JeJuan is an incredible shot-blocker, one of the best I've ever seen," says Biloxi coach Seber Windham. "I think last year he had about 11 or 12 blocked shots in one game. He's 6-7, but he plays a lot bigger than 6-7. He can really get off the floor."

Essential links:

- Interview: Vandy seals deal with Biloxi forward
- Scouting report: JeJuan Brown back in school after hurricane

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Women's basketball commitments:

Ashlee Bridge, 5-11 guard/forward, Cincinnati, Ohio, Princeton High School

Averaged 12 points per game as a sophomore, 16 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game as a junior, as the team compiled a 41-6 record over the two seasons... invited last summer to USA Basketball's Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs... comes from the same program that produced current Commodore point guard Dee Davis.

"Defensively I think I can be a big help because I'm so long," Bridge says. "When I'm standing with my arms stretched up, I'm like 7'2. So my arms are very long, I can get my hands on a lot of balls. I'm pretty tall guard at 5'11, and I can also shoot the ball, so I think that will be some help."

Lauren Lueders, 5-8 guard, Jackson, Mo., Saxony Lutheran High School

Has started for two years on the boys' basketball team at Saxony Lutheran, a small, private school with no girls' basketball team... her teams have a record of 54-18 over the last three years... averaged 41% from 3-point range and 81% from the free throw line over her high school career.

"She's a very athletic, quick, strong guard who can play both the point guard and shooting guard," says her high school coach, John Daniel. "She's accustomed to guarding boys much bigger than her, and she's not afraid to get physical on the block when she needs to."

Merideth Marsh, 5-9 point guard, Louisville, Ky., Christian Academy

Described as a "coach on the floor"... averaged 14.9 points, six assists and five rebounds as a junior, while shooting 86 percent from the free-throw line and 45 percent from three-point range... led CA to a 35-5 record and a Kentucky Class A state championship last season.

"I'm very passionate about how I play," says Marsh, "so sometimes you could say that I'm a little aggressive."

Jessica Mooney, 5-8 guard, Nashville, Tenn., Hillsboro High School

Vanderbilt's first signee from Metro Nashville schools since the 1980's... as a junior led Hillsboro to a 32-2 record, the District 11-AAA season title and the Region 6 tournament title... averaged 14.1 points, four assists, three steals and nearly two blocks per game as a junior.

"Jessica is a great kid, and she'll be successful on any level at whatever she does," said Hillsboro Coach LeMore McGill said. "She'll be able to compete against anyone, anywhere, anytime."

Amber Norton, 6-1 forward, Louisville, Ky., Assumption High School

Ranked as the No. 25 prospect in the USA by averaged 17 points and 8 rebounds per game as a junior for a team that finished 20-9... chose Vanderbilt over Xavier, Georgia, Clemson and Rutgers... comes from the same high school program that produced former Commodore star Jenni Benningfield... named to the AP All-State third Team in 2005.

"She's very athletic, very fluid, fundamental and loves to get physical," says step-father Mike Buckley. "And she runs the floor extremely well. She's very quick."

VandyMania's Whitney D. contributed to this report.

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