By Roy & Harv Schmidt
We told everyone that a commitment from Ryan Hare was imminent before the end of this weekend, and sure enough that is exactly what happened. Upon the completion of his campus visit, Hare announced for the Missouri Valley conference school that we knew he would inevitably attend.
Just as Illinois Prep Bulls-eye predicted earlier this week, Ryan Hare, the 6'4 forward from Marshall High School in Chicago, verbally committed to Southern Illinois University tonight. Hare reached his decision after visiting the Carbondale campus over the weekend. He chose the Salukis over Texas A&M Corpus-Christi, Baylor, and Hawaii.
The Salukis had emerged as the favorite to land Hare ever since Marshall won the class 3A state championship last month. What may have put the rubber stamp on Hare's commitment was when Saluki head coach Chris Lowery recently hired Lance Irvin as an assistant coach. Irvin's father is Mac Irvin, who is the founder of the traveling team that Hare competed on (the Illinois Fire, which is now called the Mac Irvin Fire).
In addition, Hare's commitment was greatly aided by the strong push that came from another Saluki recruit, that being 6'0 point guard Kevin Dillard, who was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Illinois. Dillard was quite vocal about how much he wanted Hare to be a part of the 2008 recruiting class at Southern Illinois. In fact, both he and Torres Roundtree (another Saluki recruit from the class of 2008) made it a point to be on campus in Carbondale for the point of scrimmaging with Hare while he was on his visit.
Hare is a jack-of-all-trades type of player and undoubtedly personifies the kind of recruit who thrives in Chris Lowery's system. He is a warrior who plays hard at both ends of the floor and never takes a play off. Throughout his senior season Hare emerged as Marshall's team leader and was especially at the top of his game during the state tournament. To top everything off, he is a strong rebounder, rugged defender and a solid mid-range scorer who thrives in transition.
With his commitment now in the fold, Hare will now await the results of his ACT, which he took yesterday. Word has it that he is very close to achieving a qualifying score.