By Joe Henricksen
At this time of the year Division III programs keep their fingers crossed that they can land the players they covet. There is always the chance a bigger school comes in and sweeps away their top targets. In the end, though, there is that steal or two at the Division III level every year.
With the announcement tonight that Morton big man Luke Scarlata has committed to Augustana, coach Grey Giovanine may just have the Division III steal of the year. Scarlata let the Augie staff know of his decision Wednesday evening.
Scarlata, who was instrumental in the resurgence of Morton basketball over the past three years, was MVP of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament and has been among the top 50 players in the Hoops Report Class of 2009 player rankings. The Hoops Report anticipates Scarlata being an impact player as a freshman in the CCIW. He is a 6-8 skilled big man who utilizes both hands so well around the basket. Once he adds strength and tones his body with a college weight program, the sky is the limit at the Division III level for Scarlata.
Both Luke and his family were blown away by the hospitality during their trip to the Augustana campus this past weekend. The combination of the people within the program and college, along with the academics and the current players on the roster, helped make the decision.