It's official: Gavin Schilling from Henderson (NV) Findlay Prep is off the board. The 6-foot-9 and 240-pound senior power forward committed to Michigan State on Wednesday afternoon and essentially ended the guessing game that has been taking place about his college destination for quite some time now.
Minnesota, Villanova and UCLA had an all-important opportunity to land Schilling, one of the nation's premier post players around. In the 247Sports Composite Rankings, he's the nation's No. 42 player at his position and the No. 174 individual overall. As it turned out, the Spartans were the best possible fit.
Earlier in the day, Julius Randle of Plano (TX) Prestonwood Academy committed to Kentucky. Similar to Schilling, he was one of a few high-profile upperclassmen who had not made a choice.
While the announcement was big, it did not diminish the decision of Schilling. The coaching staffs from the schools left on his list were on the edge of their seats and awaiting word of his pick.
It was well-documented that UCLA was one of the frontrunners for Schilling after a February visit to Westwood. He was on the campus of Villanova in early March. A trip to Michigan State followed a few days thereafter. Schilling had the chance to see what Minnesota had to offer during a September visit.
Spartans coach Tom Izzo obviously had plenty to do with him ending up in East Lansing. Another major factor was, Schilling is a native of Chicago and playing closer to home was appealing.
Bottom line: Securing a commitment from him was a must in a more ways than one for Izzo & Co. when you consider the fact Michigan State had not received a pledge from any players from the Class of 2013. Prior to the decision made by Schilling, of course, one ending months of speculation.
Sean Ceglinsky has covered prep and college sports on the West Coast for the better part of the past 15-plus years. Follow him on twitter: @SeanCeglinsky