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April 30, 2013

Campbell becomes Jordan's first commit

As a player at Rutgers, Eddie Jordan earned the nickname "Fast Eddie" for his play on the court. As the head coach of his alma mater, Jordan moved swiftly in landing his first commit, Hutchinson (Kan.) point guard D'Von Campbell, who committed to the Scarlet Knights this morning while wrapping up an official visit.

The 6-foot Campbell is a Texas native who began his collegiate career at UTEP before transferring to Hutchinson, where he helped engineer a 31-4 season for the JUCO powerhouse. All five of Hutchinson's starters are headed to play Division I ball next year.

He drew interest from South Alabama, Murray State and Ole Miss before ultimately deciding to become a Scarlet Knight. He will sign sometime this week and enroll in the summer.

Campbell's familiarity with associate head coach David Cox and his ability to build a rapport with Jordan over the weekend played major roles in his commitment.

"The coaching staff is cool," Campbell said. "I've known coach Cox since high school when he recruited me then. Coach Jordan is very cool, a very chill guy. I just felt very comfortable with them."

A self-described playmaker who can create for himself or others, Campbell helps to fill one of the voids left by the transfers of Eli Carter and Jerome Seagears. His Division I past and multi-faceted ability as a floor general led Rutgers to pursue him recently.

"They said they liked me because I'm experienced and I played D1 ball already," Campbell said. "Also they like me because I am a point guard that can shoot the ball.

In addition to touring the campus and meeting the staff, Campbell said he also enjoyed spending time with current players Myles Mack and Wally Judge, as well as departing senior Austin Johnson.

All in all, the opportunity to return to the Division I level and play in two BCS conferences in consecutive seasons was too good to pass up for Campbell.

"I'm excited about it," Campbell said. "I always wanted to play D1 and I am happy that I got back to that level and that time has come."

Last season, Campbell made 27 starts and averaged 12.1 points and 3.1 assists for a Hutch team that was ranked No.1 nationally for a month during the season. He hit 37-of-102 three-pointers (36.3 percent) and shot 73 percent from the free throw line, but his impact went beyond the box score.

"We went the way D'Von went; when he played well, the team played well," said Hutchinson assistant coach Jay Cyriac. "He is a high character kid, no off-court problems, no on-court problems. We were 31-4, #1 in the country for about 5 weeks, and he was a big part of that. He is a coach on the floor. He broke his pinkie and we didn't have him in January and we lost a game that we wouldn't have lost without him. He is a smart, heady player. The one thing that he does is that he thinks the game so that he gets the ball in the right spots."

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