How South (Dakotah) will they go?

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billy_gillispie.jpgYesterday, (the man) Billy Gillispie signed a new recruit for the University of Kentucky basketball team. He won’t be contributing next year, or the next year… or even the next. No, Dakotah Euton from Ashland, KY, will be joining the ‘Cats in the fall of 2010. He just finished his freshman year of high school at Rose Hill up in Ashland; which is (in)famous for OJ Mayo’s middle school career. Billy G had to do this. Florida was rumored to love Euton, and this could have been an interesting battle between the two Williams for years. Luckily, for Billy G, Euton ended things early and gave the True Blue faithful another reason to believe things are turning around in Lexington. However, this is just another trend of things gone wrong.

Again, Gillispie isn’t the criminal here. He is undoubtedly not the first coach to recruit a kid who isn’t driving on his own yet (Euton turned 16 over the weekend). Kentucky’s own Tubby Smith recruited Edaystat, I mean Adam Williams, early in his high school career. Williams gave a verbal commitment before his sophomore year was over. His very brief career was highlighted by: it being “suggested” that he should go to a prep school to make room for Randolph Morris, averaging .5 PPG during his freshman year, and then transferring to Marshall. Not exactly Tubby’s finest moment, though close.

More after the jump…

Everyone has played against the kid in Little League who’s about 6’6″, throws 75mph, and is already projected to go pro at age twelve. By the time high school rolls around, he can’t walk without falling over his lanky legs. I’m not saying this is going to happen to Dakotah, actually, I really hope him the best. But, a lot of things happen between your freshman year in high school and college. Euton may have peaked as a basketball player this year. He might not grow another inch. Even worse, he could change his mind.

The biggest problem with getting a “commitment” from a kid this young is that it’s just a verbal commitment. If you think Billy D isn’t still going to make house calls, you probably also think he won’t try and get a pro job in the next five years.t1_donovan.jpg Until the National Letter of Intent is signed (a couple years away), coaches can still contact a recruit just as before. And, they do. Just ask Bruce Weber.

This is really just a sign of the times. Up until last summer, for the last decade, players had been skipping college altogether to enter the NBA. Teams were burned so badly by some players not developing, Commissioner Stern felt the need to step in and make kids wait a year before they could enter the league. That rule was put in place for not only the players who couldn’t cut it, but GMs who couldn’t resist the allure of the next KG or LeBron. More often than not, they got Ndubi Ebi. Now, who steps in for the colleges? Or the young kids getting recruited?

Euton is at least the eighth player in the class of ’10 to commit. Thad Matta at Ohio State has two kids signed from that class. The kids are the ones at real risk here. They think they have plans to attend a school, and the university (while highly unlikely) can rescind the scholarship offer at a moment’s notice, with it all being just talk.

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I want UK and Euton both to succeed. I have been seen Dakotah play since he was in fourth grade. He’s a great player and ranked in the top-five nationally at his position for his age. Hopefully, one day, he will be playing for the ‘Cats in March and hopefully April. I hope that early commitments don’t end up ruining college hoops either. Because for every stud sophomore who gets a scholarship offer, let’s not forget about Adam Williams.

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13 Responses to “How South (Dakotah) will they go?”

  1. Go Big Blue Cats - Kentucky Wildcats Basketball » Hump Links Says:

    […] A Pudge is a Sandwich writes about UK recruit Dakotah Euton and the early, early commitments of players. […]

  2. BobWicket Says:

    Sweet, we’ve got Euton coming in.

  3. WarrenTaylor Says:

    First the good. It is exciting to see young players, especially as young as Dakotah, wanting to play for the Cats again instead of the Gators, or the Blue Devils, or the Tar Heels, or even, “God Forbid” the Hoosiers or the Volunteers. Billy Clyde has brought excitement back to the Big Blue Nation. Hopefully, this won’t be a temporary surge that will wear off after BCG’s newness wears off.

    Regarding Dakotah, I am reminded of the days when Joe B was recruiting them young and Derrick Hord immediately pops into mind. As a sophmore in HS, Derrick was considered one of the great three sophmores that were to be the superstars of the future in both college and the pros. You may recall the other two – Eugene Banks and Albert King. Albert certainly went on to have a fine career, however while Eugene Banks had a decent college career, he never showed up on the radar as a pro. Derrick, as Big Blue fans recall, was a decent college player but never lived up to the hype.

    The reason for this frequent dissapointment regarding young players is that very young stars are frequently simply early developers, and by the time they get to college, other players are beginning to catch up to them.
    This is especially true for the smaller players who shine as youngsters.

    With that being said, you can’t teach tall. Dakotah is already there, and if he’s a step slow at this point, that’s to be expected of a sixteen year old of his height. Clumsiness can also be outgrown. It’s also reasonable to expect that he’ll grow another inch or two before he stops. Best of all, it appears that aside from the height, he also can shoot the ball, which takes us back to where I started. Offense is exciting! Part of BCG’s excitement is that it’s nice to have a coach who it appears also recruits for offense ability, rather than strictly recruiting defensive players.

    Go Cats! For the first time in years I’m looking forward to both football and basketball.

  4. BobWicket Says:

    I got this kid down in eastern ky that doesn’t miss from 15 feet on his over-the-door Nerf goal. Both his preschool teacher and recreational league basketball coach say that he is the next Richie Farmer. BCG better get on the phone.

  5. sammysays Says:

    your a fucking idiot for this comparison. why do you take the time to write something so intricately meaningless. the fallacies in your assumptions are unequivocal. using Adam Williams in comparison to Dakotah Euton. why do so many bloggers think they can write about sports. as if sports writers didn’t suck enough already. any psuedo intellectual who picked a ball occassionaly in his life thinks he’s a fucking jock and gives them insight into the intamacies of athletics. they couldn’t be more wrong. take your keyboard and do the world a favor by shoving it up your ass.

  6. TheGoldfishCowboy Says:

    a few free notes for your future commenting assistance:
    pseudointellectual is one word and the E is before the U
    occasionally has 2 L’s
    and also,
    I don’t think unequivocal means what you think it means

  7. smoothron Says:

    i have made it!! someone misread what i wrote and then ripped me for it!
    for future reading, it pays to read not only the title and look at the picture at the end.

  8. eDayStat Says:

    Capitalization is at a premium here today, apparently.

    Anyways, I’m assuming that kid from Eastern KY has the last name of Price if he is unstoppable from 15.

    And TGC, the proper Princess Bride comment is “I do not think that word means what he thinks it means.” Said very quickly in a psuedo-Spanish accent.

  9. TheGoldfishCowboy Says:

    +1 E

  10. simonsays Says:

    You remember those people that try to sound intelligent when caught up in a conversation that is above them? My guess is that sammysays feels that way often. Which makes sense, because he’s probably a big UK fan and from somewhere in Eastern Kentucky, where he probably just got the internet.

    sammysays, “I’m a douche bag!”

  11. TheGoldfishCowboy Says:

    also, douchebag is one word

    just sayin’

  12. 2ndCousinOfTonyTheTiger Says:

    In response to what sammysays I find it appropriate to point out that he is an acquaintance of mine and I happen to know for a fact that he spends 49% of his time ripping on blogegrs and 51% of his time pouring stomach pancakes.

  13. Vitaliy Eaton Says:

    Web Page Under Construction

    Useful, thank you!

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