Jan 5, 2013; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Santa Clara Broncos head coach Kerry Keating follows the action against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the second half at Leavey Center. The Gonzaga Bulldogs defeated the Santa Clara Broncos 81-74. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
As you can see from the above tweet, Evan Wardlow (Woodland Hills, Calif.) verbally committed to the Santa Clara Bronco’s today. The 6-3 shooting guard from El Camino Real High School had only one offer division one offer (Santa Clara) according to verbal commits. It is possible that Wardlow had a few more offers, but for all we know the Bronco’s was his only one.
Despite not being recognized as a top recruit, there was some noticeable buzz around the college basketball community after Wardlow’s commitment. The tweet from Eric Sondheimer above stated that he was the “most underrated player in the San Fernado Valley.” This tweet from ESPN College Basketball Analyst was another one that caught my attention:
Although Wardlow isn’t ranked in any of the national recruiting services, he is characterized as a “diamond in the rough,” showing Bronco nation that this is a player to get excited about.
Admittedly, I have not seen Wardlow play (he wasn’t even on our 2014 Recruiting List). This is what ESPN has to say about him, though:
"ESPN AnalystUpdated 08/02/2013Strengths:Wardlow has always had that wiry frame with excellent length, but now his offensive game is beginning to evolve–most notably his jump shot. He is a terrific defender with active hands and instincts. He can slash his way to the frame very well and as he has gained strength he is finishing better through contact. Offensively, he plays on balance and he makes good decisions (astute passer).Weaknesses:Wardlow has improved his jump shot, but it still needs to get more consistent. His shot is somewhat of a set shot, but he has done a much better job of squaring his body to the basket and as he gets stronger, it should get more consistent. Physically, he needs to continue to get stronger, especially while operating in the paint area.Bottom Line:Wardlow has been an under-the-radar recruit for quite sometime. However, it appears he’s beginning to evolve into a solid D-I recruit. His jump shot is coming around, but he still needs to continue to work on his in-between game."
Overall, this is a nice pickup for the Kerry Keating and his staff, who are assembling together a solid 2014 recruiting class.