NYC Guard Discusses His College Decision

A free story regarding the status of New York City guard Vernon Teel ...

Chipola Junior College scoring guard Vernon Teel lent some insight into his decision to commit to Loyola Marymount, and what put him over the top.

"The most important part of the decision is that I wanted to be able to turn a program around," said Teel, a Queens native. "I wanted to be able to leave my mark on a program. Loyola Marymount hasn't been to the tournament since 1990. I think with the people we've got coming in that we'll have a chance to do that."

Loyola coach Bill Bayno's visit to Teel's home was an overriding factor in his decision.

"The fact that Coach Bayno flew in and came to my house, met my mom and my family, that put me over the edge before I took the visit," said Teel. "That kind of sealed the deal."

Teel had also taken an official visit to Louisiana Tech and fielded interest from Oklahoma St. and Kentucky. Initially, he had wanted to play in a major conference, but after going through the recruiting process, reconsidered.

"I didn't want to have to keep looking over my shoulder every year with the players that would be coming in," said Teel, who enrolled at Chipola after redshirting as a freshman at Long Island University in Brooklyn. "I just tranferred from a school and this would be a last chance. I felt if I went high major it would have been a big risk- a risk I didn't want to take."

Part of the appeal of LMU was the opportunity for Teel to step in and have an impact. The program will have a pair of four-year college transfers sitting out in 2008-2009 in fellow New Yorker and ex-Seton Hall guard Larry Davis and former Oregon forward Drew Viney. Teel, who has three years of eligibility remaining, will be pressed into action early.

"They want me to play the '1' and the '2'," said Teel, who averaged 8.7 points on a Chipola team with a slew of Division I prospects. "I'm going to score a lot more this year, because we've got two guys that are sitting out. I'm going to have to carry the scoring load.

"I'm coming in right away and I'm going to play right away. In order for us to win next year, I'm going to have to play and produce.

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