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The secret to success in college basketball recruiting can often simply be persistence. The Saint Francis men's basketball staff spent more than a year evaluating Jay County High School senior Kegan Comer, and on Tuesday that diligence paid dividends, as Comer verbally committed to join the Cougar program in 2013.
“We were on him hard since last summer,” Saint Francis coach Chad LaCross said. “We offered him last summer, and I think that he does everything (on the court) well.”
Comer will play in Fort Wayne this week at the Gym Rats Basketball Association National Championships at Spiece Fieldhouse as a member of the Spiece Higher Level squad.
“The (AAU) season has gone pretty good,” Comer said.
Spiece Higher Level recently lost to one of the nation's best squads in the Eric Gordon All-Stars by two points, and that didn't sit well with Comer.
“We should've won that game,” Comer lamented.
The 6-foot-2 combo guard will bring versatility to Saint Francis, and that was one of the many traits that LaCross liked during the evaluation process.
“He'll probably play the (shooting guard or small forward) spot for us,” LaCross said. “But he can bring the ball up the court some, too.”
Comer has been part of the highly successful Patriot program, which has won 35 games over the past two high school seasons. Jay County was where he first grew to know current Saint Francis assistant coach Luke Cummings, and that helped get the recruiting process started. Cummings was the varsity girls basketball coach at Jay County before joining the Saint Francis program two years ago.
“I was real comfortable with Coach Cummings,” Comer said. “Then I got to know Coach LaCross and I became comfortable with him also.”
The left-handed Comer has visited Saint Francis “a few times” and really enjoyed playing pickup with the current Cougar players.
“I spent my entire college visit day hanging out with (current Cougars guard) Seth Small,” Comer said. “All of the players seemed really cool.”
As a junior, Comer averaged nearly 13 points and five assists per game. However, Comer’s potential at the other end of the floor is what LaCross is most excited about.
“He's a hard-nosed kid that can really defend,” LaCross said. “He's not scared of anybody.”
Both LaCross and Comer credited veteran Jay County coach Craig Teagle with preparing Comer to play at the collegiate level.
“I think that he is one of the best coaches in the state,” LaCross said. “He really makes his players defend and play smart.”
The Cougars will graduate three seniors off next season's squad in center Brad Sneary and guards Kevin Bloom and Ethan Hussey. Comer will join a backcourt that will include sophomores Small, Spencer Comer and Josh Hogan, and redshirt freshmen Greg Dickey and Jordan Hahn.
“Kegan is a heady kid that is just an all-around good player,” LaCross said.