April 24, 2009

UK adds Dodson to 2009 class

After learning that highly-touted brother tandem Xavier and C.J. Henry would be suiting up for the Kansas Jayhawks, it didn't take the Kentucky staff long to move on to their next target.

The Wildcats have signed Miami-Dade Community College standout Darnell Dodson, Coach John Calipari announced on Friday.

Originally from Greenbelt, Md., Dodson signed with Pittsburgh out of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in 2007 thanks in large part to a relationship with new UK assistant Orlando Antigua. However, he did not meet eligibility requirements and took the junior college route to Miami-Dade.

As a freshman last season, the 6-foot-7 small forward averaged 15.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in helping lead the Sharks to a 26-2 regular season record and the Southern Conference championship. He earned first-team All-Southern Conference honors.

"He went a little under the radar in high school, but had a great senior season," said Rivals.com national basketball analyst Jerry Meyer. "He's a long, athletic guy who can score.

"I wish I had the opportunity to see him a little bit more since then, but he's gotten rave reviews for his play in junior college. I've had several people tell me he looks like he could be a pro."

Dodson was slated to rejoin Antigua at Memphis, but asked for his release from a letter-of-intent with the Tigers when Calipari was hired by UK and brought his assistant to Lexington.

A four-star prospect according to Rivals.com, Dodson has three years of eligibility remaining. He joins five-star Alabama forward DeMarcus Cousins, four-star Kentucky guard Jon Hood and five-star Oklahoma center Daniel Orton as members of UK's 2009 signing class. That group is currently rated No. 5 nationally by Rivals.com.

The late signing period runs from April 15 through May 20. The Wildcats are also still in the mix for the nation's top prospect, North Carolina point guard John Wall, and five-star Alabama point guard Eric Bledsoe.

Wall, who is visiting Miami this weekend, is also strongly considering Duke and Florida. Bledsoe, who is awaiting word on his test scores, has Duke, Florida, Cincinnati and Alabama in the mix.




 

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