Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Darnell Dodson, a 6-6, 210-pound small forward from Miami Dade College, verbally committed to Memphis after taking a weekend official visit there.
Dodson joins Miami Dade teammate6-9 PF Will Coleman in the Memphis recruiting class for 2009. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Memphis assistant Orlando Antigua was the point man on the recruitment. Antigua was an assistant under Jamie Dixon at Pitt when Dodson, originally from Greenbelt (MD) Eleanor Roosevelt, initially committed to the Panthers in 2006 and enrolled the following summer. He was later informed by the NCAA Clearinghouse that he had not qualified academically. He left Pitt and enrolled at Miami Dade, hoping to return to Pitt in 2009.
But Dodson was prohibited from returning to any Big East school because of a rule that states a non-qualifier out of high school who enrolls at a conference school cannot re-enroll at the original school or any other school in the conference after attending a two-year institution.
“He chose Memphis first off because of his relationship with Orlando Antigua,” Miami Dade coach Matt Eisele said. “Orlando had a great relationship with (Memphis commit) Will (Coleman) and Darnell. Second, their system of play really fits Darnell. He can play almost anywhere on the court. Third, the level of the Memphis program at this time. And (Coach) Cal’s (John Calipari’s) development and his name, period. His name is a big factor for any kid.”
Eisele said Dodson is extremely underrated and can have a huge impact at Memphis.
“I don’t think there’s more than two or three people in the country who know how good he is,” Eisele said. “He was underrated coming out of high school. He was a Top 150 play in most publications but he’s a lot better than that. He’s now a legit 6-8. He has trimmed down his body fat. He really shoots the ball. He can post up smaller guards and wings. Basically, he can score from anywhere on the ocurt. He can score with anyone in that entire class.”
Eisele said 30-40 schools called when Dodson decommitted from Pitt, but he felt a “comfort level with Orlando Antigua. Everybody involved felt it was a no-brainer.”
Dodson took his official with Thomas Robinson of Brewster (N.H.) Academy and Xavier Henry of Putnam (Ok.) City, both of whom have said they will choose between Memphis and Kansas.
Memphis now has commitments from Dodson, Coleman and wing 6-5 wing Nolan Dennis of Texas. The Tigers have three scholarships remaining and are also involved with John Wall, Lance Stephenson and Dominic Cheek, among others.
BRASWELL TO CHARLOTTEIn other news, 6-8, 215-pound PF Chris Braswell, a onetime Georgetown commit, has verbally committed to Charlotte after visiting the school this weekend. Dave Telep of Scout first reported the story.
He chose Charlotte over Indiana, Virginia Tech, Xavier and Maryland because he was impressed by the attention paid by Bobby Lutz and his staff during the September live period.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.