By Jonah Bronstein
Will Regan got his first basketball scholarship offer when he is in eighth grade. By the time he was a sophomore in high school, dozens of schools from across the country were recruiting him. When it came time to make a decision heading into his senior season, the 6-foot-8 forward had developed a relationship with most of the coaches courting him.
This time, the recruiting process was quite different. Regan, the former Nichols standout who decided to transfer out of the University of Virginia after his freshman year, didn’t have nearly as much time to weigh his options.
“The first time, you have one, two, three years, and the second time, you have one, two, three weeks,” Regan said by phone from his Amherst home Tuesday. “That hinders your ability to get to know coaches and build relationships.”
Earlier in the day, Regan signed a scholarship agreement to play for the University at Buffalo, the first school to offer him a scholarship back in middle school.
“That gave UB an advantage in a sense,” Regan said. “I knew them, went to their camps when I was younger and built a relationship. They’ve seen me play in high school and AAU and they knew my style of play.”
Regan, who averaged 6.6 minutes in 20 appearances at Virginia, visited St. Joseph’s and Penn on his way home from school last month. That was followed by a nearly two week dead period for NCAA recruiters, meaning Regan could not visit schools or talk with coaches. Regan took an official visit to UB last week, and, despite having a visit to Niagara scheduled for Tuesday and tentative plans to visit St. Bonaventure and Tulsa, he went back to UB on Monday to make a verbal commitment.
“The opportunities are going to be great there,” said Regan, who plans to study business, economics and computer science at UB, and hopes to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in the next four years.
“I think it’s a good fit for Will,” UB coach Reggie Witherspoon said in a news release. “He’s grown up watching us and he’s familiar with us. He’s a terrific student. He compliments the things that we like to do. It’s a good fit for both parties and we are really excited to have him home again.”
Regan must sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules. When he becomes eligible for the 2012-13 season, he’ll join what figures to be a formidable frontline that currently features Javon McCrea, one of 21 freshman selected to attend USA Basketball’s U19 trials this month, and will soon add Xavier Ford, a Parade All-American.
“It’s going to be exciting to play with not just Javon, but all of the good players they have at UB,” Regan said. “I have experience playing that type of offense, with the ball movement and the posts working opposite of each other. We ran something very similar to that in high school my sophomore and junior years.
“We have a lot of potential. But I always say, potential doesn’t mean anything. It’s how hard we work.”
Regan was a three-time all-Western New York selection in high school, and the 2009 New York State Player of the Year. He averaged 19.1 points and 13 rebounds per game and led Nichols to a Class A Federation State Championship in his senior year.