Perhaps the only thing worse than losing out on a recruit is getting a verbal commitment from a recruit before eventually losing out on him anyway. It doesn't happen all that often in college basketball -- college football seems to have the market for this particular recruiting quirk cornered -- but it does occasionally happen, and it's always pretty painful.
Such was the case for Xavier Sunday, when its top class of 2012 recruit D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera -- high school hoops' answer to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, aka "Law Firm" -- decided to withdraw his verbal commitment from Xavier and re-open it to a handful of schools. From the Indy Star:
The 6-4 Smith-Rivera said he rescinded his commitment to Xavier on Sunday night and classified his recruitment as "wide open." He originally narrowed his list of schools to Georgetown, Indiana, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Wake Forest and Xavier in September.
"There's a lot of schools in the running," said Smith-Rivera, who added Xavier was still in the mix. "We just made the call (Sunday night). There were some schools I was interested in that we didn't really get a chance to see because of distance or whatever. I didn't get a chance to bond with those coaches like I did with Xavier."
According to the Indiana Daily Student's Greg Rosenstein (note: the interest from Indiana folks has both to do with Smith-Rivera's Indianapolis roots and his previous interest in IU), Smith-Rivera is considering Florida, Miami, Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas and Ohio State. It's a testament to Xavier's program that such a highly touted recruit -- the No. 21-ranked player in his class -- with that sort of widespread elite interest not only paid attention to Xavier's pitch but bought in, however temporary that purchase may have been.
Then again, that's not a new thing for Xavier, anyway, and plus, there are no moral victories in recruiting. You either get the kid or you don't; the rest is just noise. In other words, the Musketeers are missing out. Ouch.