Friday, May 11, 2001

Xavier, Wake vie for recruit

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Thad Matta and Skip Prosser might never coach against each other. But for the current and former Xavier coaches, their first battle is underway on the recruiting trail.

        They're both vying for Vytas Danelius, a Lithuanian native who plays at Indianapolis Park Tudor. The 6-foot-7, 210-pound small forward will visit XU in the next few days; the date has not been set.

        Danelius originally committed to Wake Forest but re-opened his recruiting process when Wake coach Dave Odom took the South Carolina job a month ago. Besides XU, he is considering Wake, South Carolina and Notre Dame, all of which he has visited.

        “It's been a strange process in that he liked Wake Forest and their coach left,” Park Tudor coach Ed Kelley said. “Then he was looking at (Prosser); then he goes to Wake. He liked (Matta) originally at Butler, but Butler didn't have a scholarship.

        “I think he thinks American coaches just play musical chairs. For an 18-year-old, it's a confus ing situation.”

        Matta played for and coached with Kelley at Butler, and the two are close friends.

        “Obviously when Thad went to Xavier, to me that becomes a very good option for Vytas,” Kelley said.

        South Carolina and Wake each have a Lithuanian native — friends of Danelius' — on their roster.

        Danelius averaged 19 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks this season, shooting 70.2 percent. Brick Oettinger of rates him No.66 overall.


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