Vanderbilt men sign three

The Vanderbilt men's basketball program has received written commitments from three prospects as the fall signing period begins this week.

Head Coach Kevin Stallings announced Friday that center A.J. Ogilvy, guard Keegan Bell and forward Andre Walker have signed national letters of intent to attend Vanderbilt and play basketball for the Commodores beginning in the fall 2007.

"This is the start of a class that would be comparable to or even better than our current junior class," Stallings said. "We're off to a good start and look forward to signing one or maybe two more prospects."

Ogilvy, a 6-10, 250-pound big man from Canberra, Australia, is in his third season attending the Australian Institute of Sports where he has developed into one of the nation's premier post players. He averaged 16.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in the 2006 Under-20 Nationals.

Ogilvy was named to the Oceania Under 19 Championship All-Star team after averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks while competing in the 2006 qualifying series against New Zealand.

Other accolades for the Australian include representing the country at the Youth Olympics and being named the 2005 New South Wales Junior Basketball Player of the Year.

Ogilvy picked Vanderbilt over New Mexico, UNLV and St. Mary's.

"Some people have considered A.J. the best big man from Australia since Andrew Bogut," Stallings said. "He's a very exciting signee for us. He's almost seven-feet tall, moves very well and has a strong physical presence inside.

"He will come to us as one of the most complete post talents we've recruited at Vanderbilt."

Bell, a 6-1, 180-pound floor leader from Hazel Green, Ala. is listed among the nation's top 25 point guards by both and Bob Gibbons All-Star Report lists Bell as the 60th-best overall prospect in the country.

Bell averaged 25 points and 11 assists as a junior at Bob Jones High School where he earned First Team All-State, All-Metro and All-Area accolades last season. He will play his senior campaign at Hazel Green High School.

Bell selected Vanderbilt over LSU and Ole Miss.

"Keegan has all the instincts you'd expect from someone who grew up in a basketball family," Stallings said of Bell whose father, Dan, has been a successful high school coach Alabama and Division I coach in Louisiana. "Keegan is an excellent ball handler and passer who possesses exceptional shooting skills and good quickness."

Walker is a 6-7, 210-pound forward from Flossmoor, Ill. The versatile Walker averaged 15 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists at Homewood-Flossmoor High School as a senior last season. He is currently playing a post-graduate year at Brewster Academy, a prep school in Wolfeboro, N.H.

Named one of the most complete players in Chicago by the Chicago Tribune, Walker helped lead the Vikings to the Illinois Class 2A sectionals in both his junior and senior seasons. In summer 2005, Walker was a member of a Chicago Ferrari squad that won the 17-and-under AAU National Championship.

Walker chose Vanderbilt over Arizona State, Colorado and Seton Hall.

"What sets Andre apart is his ability to shoot the basketball," Stallings said. "He has great range and an easy release. He's got a body similar to Derrick Byars and is a great ball handler and passer for someone his size. He had foot surgery in the summer that limited some of his recruiting, but we feel fortunate to get him. He should be a good addition to our program."

Commodores Daily Top Stories