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Sunday / February 25.
  • Dodson to Memphis; Braswell to Charlotte

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    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 teammate 6-9 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 CHARLOTTE

    In 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.

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    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.

    • I was just reading your article on Darnell Dodson Committing to Memphis and you state that Memphis has three schoarships remaining after Dodson’s committment. I was wonder how this is? Memphis has thirteen guys on there roster, that I got off of Rivals.com for the 2008/2009 year.. Three of these guys are Seniors and Memphis has verbal from three guys already. Will Coleman, Dennis Nolan and now Darnell Dodson. They also have CJ Henry, that is paying his own way. So, I am not counting him. So, I am wondering who that is on Memphis’s roster for 2008/2009 is not on scholarship to give them three more scholarships after they have verbals from these three young men. I was just wondering because I like to keep up with recruiting and how many scholarship each school has. I am also putting a copy of the Memphis Roster so you can see it. Thanks a lot.

      Memphis Tigers Other Teams East Carolina Houston Marshall Memphis Rice SMU Southern Miss Tulane Tulsa UAB UCF UTEP (2)
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      No. Player Pos Ht Wt Yr (Exp) Hometown

      5 Anderson, Antonio G 6-6 214 Sr (3V) Lynn, MA (Laurinburg Prep School (NC))
      2 Dozier, Robert F 6-9 220 Sr (3V) Lithonia, GA (Laurninburg Prep School (NC))
      12 Evans, Tyreke G 6-6 219 Fr (HS) Philadelphia, PA (American Christian School)
      41 Garcia, Angel F 6-11 210 Fr (HS) Puerto Rico (East Chicago Central HS)
      1 Kemp, Willie G 6-2 182 Jr (2V) Bolivar, TN (Bolivar Central HS)
      20 Mack, Doneal G 6-5 175 Jr (2V) Charlotte, NC (Statesville Christian HS)
      14 McGrady, Chance G 6-2 180 Sr (3V) Auburndale, FL (Dr. Phillips HS)
      4 Niles, Pierre F 6-8 310 Jr (2V) Memphis, TN (The Patterson School (NC))
      32 Robinson, Jeff G 6-5 232 So (1V) Trenton, NJ (St. Patrick HS)
      3 Sallie, Roburt G 6-5 186 Jr (2V) Sacramento, CA (City College of San Francisco)
      15 Simpkins, Matt F 6-9 215 Fr (HS) Sacramento, CA (The Patterson School)
      0 Taggart, Shawn F 6-10 238 Jr (3V) Richmond, VA (Iowa State University)
      11 Witherspoon, Wesley G-F 6-8 200 Fr (HS) Lilburn, GA (Berkmar HS)

      Updated through Aug 29, 2008

      • Not all Memphis players are on scholarship–I forget which other one is not . Anyway, they have 3 left. Also, there’s a very good chance Tyreke Evans is a “one & done”.

    • Things happen. Guys go to the NBA, guys transfer, there are Clearinghouse issues. Memphis is looking for three more guys and 13 will be on scholarship next year, according to a source close to the program.

      • Adam —

        I’m wondering about your opinion regarding the NCAA/Big East rules. As a Pitt grad it stinks to lose Dodson, but generally I find it ridiculous that kids are being denied their school of choice over a snafu. It just doesn’t seem right to me.

      • Adam, why wouldn’t Kansas be in the same boat as Memphis? Both schools have about the same number of scholarships available and both will see transfers as well as NBA jumpers. With Dodson (a SF) already committed to this class, along with 2 or 3 others, they seem to be in worse shape than Kansas, but yet you only seem to think Memphis has a shot with any elite prospect.

    • In response to the last two questions:

      1) Yes, I think it’s a silly rule that a Big East kid can’t transfer or get into another Big East school. Last year we had the situation where Tyshawn Taylor committed to Marquette, then got his release after Tom Crean left. He should’ve been able to to attend another Big East school (closer to home if he wanted) since he never set foot on Marquette’s campus. Yet a Big East rule prohibited it. Now he’s at Kansas. Terrible rule, and not all conferences have it.

      2) I don’t know the specifics of Kansas’ roster or scholarship situation. A source within the Memphis program told me they have 3 ships to give next year and said things are always uncertain with guys going pro, transfers, Clearinghouse, etc.

    • I can tell you right now that Tyreke Evans is one and done at Memphis and if Taggart has a solid year, then he will test the waters and will probably be gone…add that to seniors Dozier and Anderson and the 12 man roster you see in the comments above (McGrady is a walk on and a senior) is back to 8…add the three commits and it is back to 11 with 2 open slots…also, Simpkins and Garcia have not yet been cleared, but that appears to be something minor…either way, Memphis taking 3 more is contingent on those 3 being top tier players…they might only take 1 – who knows….