Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Robert Hatter Commits to Cornell

Cornell added a commitment from Robert Hatter (Westside HS) Houston, TX, 6-1, G.

Hatter, who played for the Houston Hoops AAU program, considered offers from Houston, Northeastern and Columbia as well as interest from Lehigh, Rice, Texas Corpus Christi and Oregon State.  Hatter is averaging under 17 points per game as a senior and averaged 20 points per game as a junior according to Westside High School Coach Deon Williams.  As a senior, Hatter was named All Greater Houston by Vype Magazine

Williams told The Cornell Basketball Blog that Cornell assistant Marlon Sears led the Big Red's recruitment of Hatter.  He noted that Cornell Head Coach Bill Courtney also made a trip to Houston to evaluate Hatter this year and made the decision to offer the Texan.  In addition to the schools listed above, Williams told us that the Big East's University of Houston, Weber State, New Orleans and Navy also made late pushes to get Hatter, but Hatter was very focused on going the Ivy League route and narrowed his choices to Cornell and Columbia.  Colin Hartman, an assistant at Columbia, led the Lions' recruitment efforts.  "University of Houston really liked him."  But Williams indicated the recruiting race was over after Hatter visited Cornell.  "He just loved the campus."

Williams described Hatter as a pure shooter, "he can shoot from anywhere... it is his biggest strength... because of his ball handling, he can create his own shot, but we do run a lot of screens for him.  He's a great catch and shoot shooter."  But Hatter is not limited to long range shooting.  "He's also a crafty scorer [in the lane]," said Williams.  "I'd say we use him as a combo guard here, because we need him to score for us, but he can be a point guard in college because he'll have the talented scorers around him."  He added, "Absolutely one of his strengths is his passing and decision-making... we want him with the ball when we are pressed [and under ball pressure]."  Williams estimated that Hatter was an above 80% FT shooter and indicated that he is a legitimate 6'1" and approximately 165 pounds.  "You can see that he is very wiry.  [For the college game,] he probably needs to add some weight and muscle so he can take that contact when going inside."

"He's very coachable.  We are going to really miss him.  To know Robert is to love him," said Williams.

Texas Hoops of ranks Hatter in the class of 2013 as the #69 prospect in Texas and writes:
ROBERT is a super quick lefty floor leader who likes to play with energy and speed all over the floor. He pushes the ball up court at all times, sees up the floor in transition and is a good handler against pressure. He will attack the rim and isn’t scared to challenge bigs in the paint, finishes well in traffic and can knock down the 3 point shot. He is best in the open court and in an up tempo style of play and he likes to pressure the ball defensively all over the court.
RCS Sports ranks Hatter as the #16 prospect in the Greater Houston area while Vype Magazine ranks him #13.  The Houston Chronicle placed him on its preseason 2012-2013 All Area Third Team.  Texas Basketball Magazine ranks him as a second team all state selection.  

During the preseason of the 2012-2013 season, Vype Magazine wrote, "Hatter has emerged as one of the city's top point guards and will be scooped up by a DI school by the late signing day. Hatter is a pure point, getting everyone involved but can score when called upon."  City League Hoops writes, "Hatter is a very steady lefty point, not a break down guy, but one who needs angles...plays within himself, makes good decisions and can make open shots."  Court Cred wrote during the 2012-2013 preseason:
Coming off a summer where he surprised many people by competing at a high level the lefty must now step up and lead his high school team. The lefty loves to push the tempo and can slide over and play off the ball where he likes to fire away from the corners. Defensively he is capable of guarding the ball full court understanding how to constantly turn the ball handler. The uncommitted seniors has the grades and is looking to go Ivy League.
Five Star Basketball described him, "a smooth lefty point guard prospect, who can get in the lane and finish. He can score and is a very strong student in the classroom with a 4.2 grade point average." Five Star also added, "Hatter runs the show for his team and is a silky-smooth ball handler. He can defend and likes contact while finishing with a floater in the lane."

Westside High School Coach, Deon Williams told the Houston Chronicle, "Robert has been on the varsity three years. We threw him into some difficult situations as a sophomore, but it's paying off for us now.  Robert has outstanding basketball skills and his leadership qualities are second to none." Williams also said, "Hatter stands out from other players in a number of ways, one of which is his mental toughness.  He has the ability to get past mistakes that he makes throughout the course of games."

Below, some highlight videos featuring Robert Hatter:


Anonymous said...

CBB just said earlier: "Again, Cornell is not looking for America East/Patriot level players."

Well, so much for that notion. Hatter had just two other low-mid offers despite playing in one of the most basketball-crazed and heavily scouted areas in the country. That doesn't mean he won't be a decent Ivy player. It's just really unclear what the program is trying to do.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Couple moving parts here:

(1) Tim Higgins left a spot that could be filled.

(2) Cornell MUST have a point guard in the class.

(3) Hatter missed the first semester with a broken wrist. Some schools backed off a bit.

(4) There were other schools involved and will update this post when interviews are complete.

(5) Cornell will add 2-3 more guys in this class and is close on getting another.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. Maybe I had my hopes too high after some of the high major-level kids coming to Ithaca rumors. We missed on JuJu, as happens in recruiting, but this is a huge drop-off.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Just posted some facts. Now some opinion.

Robert has a chance to be a pretty good player. He is a pure point guard, has above average athleticism for an Ivy guard and as you can see, he is capable of finishing at the rim.

If you read the player evaluations, Robert is a prototype Bill Courtney type of player.

He definitely needs to get stronger and must develop a better outside shot.

Anonymous said...

we need a true small forward so bad it's not even funny.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Harvard felt the same way when they missed out on their top point guard prospects and settled for Siyanni Chambers.

Chambers was a good high school player--- but by far his best offers were from Nebraska (which was still Big 12 not not yet Big 10) and Saint Louis. He turned out to be better than expected. Not even the Harvard staff expected him to be this good.

Have faith that the Cornell coaches can evaluate talent. They like Robert Hatter.

Anonymous said...

I see your point, but there is a difference: Chambers was Mr. Minnesota Basketball(given to the best player) in a state that's become a prime basketball state. His offers, while not high major, were also way better than Robert's. I do have faith in Courtney's staff, however, and believe they'll bring in good kids.

That said, I think it's a little eyebrow raising that we've heard completely opposite things about recruiting, sometimes even on the same day.

Anonymous said...

Finally, another commit. So he's a low major talent. Sometimes those kids develop nicely.

Milner said...

Welcome Robert!

Robert looks like a guy in the Bill Courtney mold. Cornell looks like a good fit for Robert in terms of the basketball style of play and the academic style as well.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

There are more Division I commitments in the City of Houston alone than there are in the entire state of Minnesota.

Please... let's not even begin to compare Minnesota to Texas. Texas produces more D-I players than any other state--- yes, more than California, Ohio and Florida.

Again-- with Chambers you are talking about a kid that was deciding between Harvard, Nebraska, Saint Louis, Cal Irvine, Santa Clara, UC Davis and Boston U. He was primarily a low major target. (Nebraska might be the worst BCS basketball program in America)

Hatter had several D-I offers and he is ranked ahead of a lot of kids that committed to D-I programs. He's a solid get for an Ivy and he had the opportunity to playing in a multi-bid league, the CAA.

The PG kid Harvard took, Matt Franschila, also from Texas, is not in the TexasHoops top 100 and did not have a single Division I offer.

Hatter is a quality spring pick up and fills a CRITICAL need as a back up point guard.

He can be very good for Cornell. There are always highly ranked kids that are busts, and always overlooked kids.

Anonymous said...

Kid looks like he's got upside, so that's good. He also fits Bill Courtney's "supposed" offensive style.

I say "supposed" because I have yet to see Bill actually implement any of it in real games.

Anonymous said...

excited to have a pure point guard added to the team....this is ALWAYS a bonus

Anonymous said...

not that I'm asserting that there's a correlation, but Louis Dale was a spring PG commit who turned out pretty good.

Mountainred said...

Nothing like welcoming a recruit with hostility. Personally, I say welcome aboard Robert.

With Miles graduating, we needed a PG in this class. Robert looks like he should be at least solid and may turn out better than that. He does seem to fit what Courtney wants to do.

Anonymous said...

Let's see how the class shapes up, especially with the alleged 2-3 guys that will be added, before jumping to conclusions.

In any event, it certainly can't hurt to add a point guard, especially w/ Miles graduating. Sure, we'd like a more pedigreed player in terms of offers, but that didn't happen. So let's welcome Robert to Cornell and hope that he becomes a nice player for us.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Robert Hatter visited, got an offer, and pretty much accepted right away. Gotta like his enthusiasm for Cornell!

Anonymous said...

I can hear Barry Leonard already: "...and another assist for the Mad Hatter!"

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Always appreciate the passion of Cornell Basketball's fan base, Newman Nation.

Cornell is the ONLY program in the LAST 30 YEARS of the Ivy League to finish with a Top 25 season, the only program to see the Sweet 16 and win 2 NCAA games.

You folks expect a lot from this program. But also need to keep open minds. Success does not happen overnight. It takes years to build.

Cornell did get better this week with the addition of Robert Hatter.

br2 said...

I can only imagine the crap we would be talking about Louis Dale if he committed today because of his recruiting credentials...

Like all recruits, you just don't know until that first real game.

He looks good to me though, I'm excited. Always like a pg that is bold enough to finish at the rim.

Anonymous said...

After watching the video, it appears Hatter's skill set is in keeping with Courtney's run-and-gun approach. He's comfortable distributing in transition, which is something even Cancer struggles with at times.

The comparisons to Dale are inevitable. I bumped into him a few years ago right after the Kentucky game and couldn't believe how small he was. At 6'1", Hatter's size should not be viewed as a liability. I also like the fact that he's a southpaw.

Anonymous said...

Can't say I think too much of Courtney's "mold" players...but I'm happy to have Robert. Let's hope he develops into a great player!

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to have a point guard, and Robert seems like a great kid. I think if there's any sense of disappointment, it's not about Robert. Instead, it stems from the high expectations from the blog repeatedly stating that we were only looking at BCS level kids.

Robert should be a fine addition; his scholarship list isn't dissimilar from Cancer's, Cherry's, and Cressler's. Each of those guys have been nice additions to the program.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Never said Cornell was "only looking at BCS level kids."

Said the program is not going to just add bodies for the sake of adding bodies. Said they would take only guys they think that can help, that can actually play and guys they felt are better than Ivy/Patriot/America East level.

They seem to think they have a good one in Hatter.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

We've updated this post. Hatter had a BCS offer in the form of new Big East program, Houston. Also had an offer from the others listed including outstanding mid majors Weber State and Northeastern.

Anonymous said...

Just imagine, if all the stars had lined up:

PG: Julian Jacobs
SG: Kevin Johnson
SF: Shonn Miller (not ideal but he's not a good shooter, but what the heck)
PF: David O.
C: Braxton Bunce

This would have been a scary, scary Ivy team and possibly a nationally ranked team in a couple years.

Of course, there's no real value in this exercise. Just dreamin'.

Anonymous said...

Completely disagree with you on your assessment !!!! Bunce isn't a good as advertised , David O is a great defender but lacks offensive moves down low other than the dunk!! Shonn Miller is a beast no matter if he does not have consistent jumper and I'd take Cancer and Cherry over J J and K J all day . Cancer and Cherry just haven't been used correctly for them to prosper!!! That's Courtney's fault.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

It is not the coach's fault when Cancer and Cherry throw the ball away out of bounds and commit offensive charges and miss defensive assignments.

And love the upside of Bunce and Onuorah.

Anonymous said...

Who else is on the radar for this years class?