- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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Terre Haute North (Terre Haute, Ind.) senior forward Matt O’Leary committed to Loyola on Sunday.
O’Leary, a 6-7, 205-pound power forward, chose the Ramblers over Ball State, Furman, Lafayette, Lehigh, Jacksonville and Wright State.
“I really liked the coaches and the fact they have a new gym coming, the weight room, the new facilities,” O’Leary said. “I thought it was going to be a lot of noise and stuff with it being in Chicago. But when you’re in there, you feel isolated.
“It definitely feels like the program is on the rise. I know they were in the middle of the pack last year in the conference. It feels like their best is yet to come.”
O’Leary is considered an elite shooter and is expected to contribute immediately for the Ramblers. He averaged 10 points and five rebounds last season.
“He’s an excellent shooter,” Terre Haute North coach Todd Woelfle said. “He shot over 50 percent from 3-point range much of last season. He’s just a pure shooter, very good former. As a coaching staff, we feel like it’s going in every time.
“He’s got a huge upside. I think he has a really high ceiling. The only thing he is lacking right now is strength. I think when he adds strength, his game will elevate to the next level.”
O’Leary also felt he showed this summer on the club circuit he could be more than a shooter.
“Everyone had written down I could shoot and knew I could shoot,” O’Leary said. “They wanted to see if I could do anything else with my game. I think I proved I could rebound well and drive.”
O’Leary is Loyola’s first Class of 2012 commitment.