D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera picks Xavier

Most programs used last week to celebrate the opening of the season and get things going with their fan base. At Xavier, coach Chris Mack set Oct. 22-23 aside for recruiting purposes as Xavier celebrated Musketeer Madness.

For Mack, there must have been much celebrating in the Xavier offices when the Musketeers' top junior target, shooting guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central) committed during his visit. Georgetown, Ohio State, Wake Forest, Miami and Indiana chased Smith-Rivera, but Xavier won the right to sign the No. 29-ranked player in the 2012 class next fall.

"The coach is honest and that's the best that you can do," Smith-Rivera said. "He told us from Day 1 that I was his top recruit. The other coaches have the assistants recruit you and that means the head coach isn't putting in the time to see you."

Xavier is recruiting at an extremely high level. Mack's squad also remains in the mix for newly-minted 2012 guard Rodney Purvis (Raleigh, N.C./Upper Room Christian Academy). Smith-Rivera's pledge sends a message to other key Xavier targets that Mack and his staff are shooting for the stars.

Smith-Rivera is a powerful wing guard with a scorer's mentality. He's carved out a reputation as a hard-nosed competitor and received numerous high-major offers prior to his sophomore season.

When he and his family hopped in the car from Indianapolis to make the trip to Cincinnati, Smith-Rivera knew a commitment could be on the table.

"We came down and enjoyed ourselves. We've been talking through the whole process about committing here and they answered all the questions we had."

Dave Telep is the senior basketball recruiting analyst for ESPN.com. His college basketball scouting service is used by more than 225 colleges and numerous NBA teams. He can be reached at espndt@gmail.com. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.