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April 16, 2012Matt Stainbrook ended his recruitment on Monday morning by committing to Xavier after spending the weekend on his official visit. The 6'10 and 290 pound center liked enough of what he saw on campus to make the commitment and will give the Musketeers a frontline boost beginning in the '13-'14 season, after sitting out next year per NCAA transfer rules.
Stainbrook told MusketeerScoop that the visit was what made him decide to come to Xavier. "After seeing the campus and meeting with the coaches I felt like the academics, the athletics, and opportunity for future success all work together to make Xavier a place that I want to go to."
Originally from Ohio, Stainbrook attended Lakewood St. Edward high school in the Cleveland suburbs before spending two years at Western Michigan University. Following his sophomore season at WMU both Stainbrook and the coaching staff decided that it was best for him to pursue other options. After sitting out for a year the big post presence will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Aside from the campus and program history it was also the people involved in the program that made Xavier an easy choice for the big man. "Watching a workout with Travis Taylor, Jeff Robinson, and Isaiah Philmore they all seemed like great guys. Their guys that I'd want to hang out with, work with, and find success with."
Stainbrook started in 28 games for the Broncos last season, playing in all 33 games, where he averaged 27 minutes a game. He was second on the team in scoring at 11.4 points on 58% shooting from the field and led the team in rebounding at 6.9 boards per game. Stainbrook also led Western Michigan, who finished 14-20 on the season, in blocked shots with a total of 24 rejections. In '10-'11 as a freshman he averaged 8.8 points with 6.4 rebounds a game.
Playing for Coach Mack is an opportunity that Stainbrook is looking forward to. After having a not so great sophomore season at Western Michigan, in which the post declined making a comment about as to why he left, he is looking forward to a fresh start at a new school. "The coaching staff was very important. I understand that I won't have another chance to change, wherever I'm going I'm going for the next three years. I felt very comfortable with Coach Mack and the staff and I know that they're going to push me."
Those who have spent a lot of time watching the center play over the last two years comment first on the impact of his size in the lane. Stainbrook has a massive frame and plans on spending next year in the weight room with Xavier coaching staff working on improving his conditioning. As he tones his body into better shape, something that he expressed a great willingness to do to Xavier coaches during his visit, he will become a much better player.
Next year Stainbrook will have to sit out and watch but he's confident in the progress that he'll make with his extra time to work on his game. "I'm going to be in the weight room working on my conditioning and getting in top shape. They're going to put me on a program to get to an exact playing weight (which hasn't been determined yet) which I'm really looking forward to."
Known as a skilled big man with nice hands and touch around the basket Stainbrook should immediately contend for a starting role at center once he is eligible.
Stainbrook also strongly considered Bradley and Kennesaw State before choosing Xavier on Monday.
Watch out for Stainbrook to continue to improve his body all next year with a renewed focus and a new perspective on the opportunity in front of him.
"I know it's not going to be easy, especially the next year of working out and getting in better shape, but it's something that I'm willing to sacrifice. I respect this program because it's a place where I know I can have great success."