Through a whirlwind of a year that saw his recruiting stock skyrocket, Washington's Alec Peters ended up choosing the program that personally fit him in all aspects -- athletically, academically and socially.
The sweet shooting 6-7 Peters committed to Valparaiso on Sunday, choosing coach Bryce Drew's program over 20-plus schools that offered over the past 12 months. Drew and his staff held off a few programs in high-major conferences, including finalist Boston College.
Valparaiso, with up-and-coming assistant Roger Powell playing an instrumental role, now has three Illinois prospects locked up in the Class of 2013. Peters, along with Andrew standout Jubril Adekoya and Marist point guard Lexus Williams, join what is shaping up to be a bumper crop of incoming freshmen next season for the Crusaders.
The decision was a difficult one and even stressful, Peters admits, but in the end he felt "relieved" and "excited" with his choice.
"The relationship I had with the coaching staff there is what put it over the top," Peters says of his final decision. "We connected and talked about everything. It wasn't just basketball but life in general. Coach Drew and coach Powell had so much to do with my final decision. Plus, I like the environment, the atmosphere there as a smaller school."
Peters, who was down to a final three of Illinois State, Boston College and Valparaiso, has been a Hoops Report favorite and among the top dozen prospects in the Class of 2013 for some time. As a junior last season he averaged 17.9 points and 6.4 rebounds a game in leading Washington to 26 wins and a berth in the sectional championship.
The Hoops Report has labeled Peters the best pure shooter in the senior class. He shoots with range, has terrific mechanics and with his size is able to get his shot off when he wants. With a season still to play at Washington, Peters has made 121 3-pointers while shooting over 43 percent from beyond the arc in his career. Last season he shot 87 percent from the free-throw line.
Although challenged a bit athletically, Peters makes up for any deficiency with his high basketball I.Q., craftiness and willingness to compete at a high level. Plus, he will come prepared having played for one of the top high school coaches in the state in Kevin Brown.
Peters is expected to come in and help ease the loss of all-Horizon League selection Ryan Broekhoff, a carbon copy of Peters who graduated after averaging 14.9 points and 8.5 rebounds a game last season.
"The staff thinks I can come in and contribute as a freshman," says Peters. "There are some big shoes to fill with Ryan Broekhoff graduating, but I want to come in, work hard and try to make an impact."
Over the course of the past year, Peters evolved into one of those elite, must-get type of recruits for any mid-major program. And Valpo landed him, joining a program that has positioned itself nicely after winning the Horizon League regular-season championship a year ago.
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