Creighton's search for a point guard for their 2012 class has finally ended as Andre Yates of Dayton, OH verbally committed to the Jays on Wednesday afternoon. Yates joins fellow guard Isaiah Zierden as members of head coach Greg McDermott's second recruiting class in Omaha.
Yates' commitment ends the question of who will replace Antoine Young on next year's roster. A left-handed guard, Yates is 6 feet tall and has very similar skills to the player whose spot he will be taking. After playing for head coach Mark Baker at Trotwood High School for two years, Andre will attend Dunbar High for his senior year and play for head coach Pete Pullen's highly successful program.
After calling his stepfather to tell him the news, Yates called the Creighton staff to tell them he was headed to the Hilltop for college.
"Before I got up there, I didn't know a lot about Creighton," Yates said "I knew about their basketball history, but I had never even thought about going to school in Nebraska. Once I got there, I realized that Coach Darian DeVries was telling me the truth about the school. I really liked the Qwest Center a lot and then I went to the soccer game and fans were coming up to talk to me. They knew I was on my visit and just random people were telling me they were excited about seeing me play. I really liked the vibe of the school."
Each player approaches his or her recruitment differently and Andre took his very seriously. He monitored the commitments of each program recruiting him aggressively and checked out their rosters to see how much playing time he could see early in his college career. He liked what he found with Creighton but his hometown school was going to tough to beat out until news of Jevon Thomas' commitment to UD on Wednesday morning.
"Andre really did his homework," said Coach Pullen. "He knew that Dayton had just got a point guard out of New York to commit and he told me that it was down to Dayton and Creighton earlier in the week. I think he knew after that, Creighton was the place for him."
Yates confirmed that story.
"I got a call from Coach Miller at Dayton telling me about the point guard they took and I took about two or three hours to think about my decision after that," Yates said. "Creighton and Dayton both were left on my list after I narrowed it down and there were several similarities between the two. I weighed the pros and cons of both and Creighton had a lot of pros. I just went with my gut in the end."
Yates and Antoine Young are of similar stature, very quick with the ball in their hands and are left-handed. They also both face the same questions about their abilities as a point guard.
"Andre needs to work on being comfortable as a point guard," Coach Baker said. "He is very good off the ball and improved his three-point shooting from 27% as a sophomore to 48% as a junior. Right now, he needs to work on running a team and playing on the ball. He is a skilled passer once he gets into the lane but he likes to shoot a lot and play away from the ball."
However, head coach Greg McDermott apparently likes Yates' ability to put the ball in the basket.
"I like to think that I'm a balanced guard but Coach McDermott told me that he liked the fact that I can score. I'm left handed just like Antoine, so he thinks I can pretty much step right in and play next year. I've never seen nothing like the Qwest Center and I can't wait to play there."
Dayton was long considered the leader for Yates during the summer and was even confirmed by him during several media interviews. Yet, once again, the Creighton campus sold itself.
"I know he really enjoyed the visit," Coach Baker said. "It showed that Creighton was serious about him and that Andre was serious about them. They did a really good job of recruiting him and he really felt a sense of peace there."
Unless the Jays use Doug McDermott's scholarship, CU is done for the 2012 recruiting class. Yates became the first Bluejay basketball commit to break his own news on twitter to the best of our knowledge.