Hershey (Pa.) big man Dylan Painter is down to his final seven schools. (Photo: Josh Verlin)
It’s been a busy day for Team Final products.
Earlier this afternoon, Tony Carr made his college decision, committing to Penn State over Temple, Maryland and others.
Now, another product of the Nike-backed AAU club, Hershey (Pa.) big man Dylan Painter, is focusing in on where he wants to go to school next fall.
A 6-foot-10, 230-pound forward with a nice outside shot, Painter attracted offers from nearly 30 mid-major to high-major schools between the spring and summer live periods, a dizzying rise from near-unknown to one of the more wanted big men in the entire Northeast.
Now he is down to a final seven (in no particular order): Penn State, Villanova, North Carolina State, George Washington, Xavier, Saint Joseph’s and Rhode Island.
The most recent of those schools to offer was Villanova, who extended an offer on the same day he cut his list.
"They are going to be a big factor because they have been one of the schools that a year before I started playing high school basketball that I have always wanted to go to," Painter said. "I have been a fan of them for a while. That doesn’t necessarily mean that that is where I am going to go, but they are really intriguing."
Painter did not know if he was ever going to get an offer from coach Jay Wright, but was anxiously waiting for the call.
"I knew that they were going to call me," Painter said. "Before July they said that they were going to watch me all of July, then evaluate me and call me afterwards to basically tell me their stance on me, I didnt really know [what to expect]."
With two of his Team Final teammates, Nazeer Bostick and Tony Carr, already committed to Penn State (and another, Lamar Stevens, considering the school), Painter's feelings towards spending the next four years in State College have certainly been influenced.
“It definitely impacts it a lot," Painter said. "They will all be there, so it will help the transition because I know those guys. It kind-of brings the comfort factor, they are also really good players that would be really fun to play with, I got to experience it a little bit this spring and summer playing with Tony and Naz, and Lamar."
After visiting Xavier and Iowa officially in June, he has the ability to take three more such visits; he’s already visited the campuses of Penn State, Villanova, George Washington and Saint Joseph’s unofficially.
For those who don’t know, an official visit is paid by the school and includes travel, lodging, food and entertainment for a 48-hour period; an unofficial visit has to be paid for by the recruit and his family.
While Iowa is no longer in the running, Xavier clearly made enough of an impression to stay involved; of the Ohio school, he said in July “I like their style, their coaches, their players are cool. And their arena and facilities were amazing."
He still has not decided where his final three visits will be, adding that, "no dates or anything planned, will probably talk to my parents about that sometime this week, I am not in a rush right now. Nothing is definite."