St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) head coach Speedy Morris has a simple, but telling compliment for 2013 guard Steve Vasturia.
“He’s a throwback,” said Morris, whose coaching career has spanned six decades.
“He just knows how to play the game. His basketball IQ is off the charts. What’d you like to have in a young person is someone who can play without the ball and he does it just as good or better as any high school kid I’ve ever coached and I’ve coached a lot of good ones.”
The 6-foot-4 junior has several scholarship offers, including one from Notre Dame, and has a legitimate interest in the Irish after taking an unofficial visit to South Bend last month.
“He’s got a high interest in a lot of schools,” Morris said. “He’s been offered by over 20 schools. He likes Notre Dame, but he likes a few other schools too.”
Vasturia’s parents were both standout athletes, his older brother, Pat, plays college basketball at Ursinus College and his younger brother is already a terrific baseball player, according to Morris.
“He comes from a very athletic family,” the coach said. “His genes are there.”
Vasturia plays the game the right way, Morris says.
“He’s a student of the game, he knows how to play,” said Morris. “He’s not one of these young people who watches NBA and is thrilled with tomahawk dunks and behind-the-back passes. Where he got the knowledge, I don’t know, but it’s a great gift and I wish more players had it.
“He sees a pass ahead. He’s very unselfish. He sets a screen, he’s a threat. He fades, he pops, he slides, he slips. He’s a capable shooter and he’s a good passer. He plays good defense, he knows how to play good position defense. He’s just a good overall player.”
Vasturia isn’t imposing to look at, but he’s plenty intriguing to college coaches.
“He’s not a physical specimen, that’s for sure,” Morris said. “He’s got a good basketball body. We’ve had nine workouts and we’ve had 34 Division-I schools here and a lot of them have said he’s got a good basketball body.”
Morris has no doubts about Vasturia’s abilities.
“He’s definitely a top Division I player because he makes everybody else better,” he said. “He’s a threat without the ball. When he has the ball, if you’re open, he’s going to make a good pass. No soft passes come out of his hands. He makes very good, hard passes.”
St. Joseph’s starts five guards and while Vasturia played point guard last year, he’ll get the chance to play off the ball more as a junior. “But he’ll still have the ball in his hands because he’s a threat to pass or score,” Morris said.
Morris believes Vasturia would be a point guard at a lot of colleges that are after him and with V.J. Beachem's commitment to Notre Dame earlier this month, point guard might be the only available spot for him with the Irish. Still, Morris also says Vasturia is a capable enough shooter to play the off-guard position.
“He’s a very good shooter,” Morris said. “I wouldn’t say he’s Larry Bird, but he’s above average.”
In addition to his talent as a player, Morris is even more impressed with Vasturia as a person.
“Off the charts,” Morris said. “He’s very humble. He doesn’t like to talk about his recruiting, who’s after him. He doesn’t brag about anything. He’s a 3.8 GPA kid. He’s a very, very intelligent kid. He’s special, he’s very special.”