DARNELL DODSON IMPROVING BASKETBALL SKILLS
September 3, 2008
When Pittsburgh took a verbal commitment from Darnell Dodson in the summer of 2006, it was not met with a lot of fanfare as the 6-foot-7 Dadson out of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt (MD) was not a big name in recruiting circles. However, a strong summer on the AAU circuit and a dominant senior season of high school proved that Jamie Dixon and his staff were ahead of the game in their recruitment of Dodson.
Dodson was a Washington Post First Team All-Met selection as a senior and averaged 29 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals for Coach Brendan O'Connell's Raiders. Dodson led ER to the Maryland 4A State semifinals and finished his three-year varsity career as the school's all-time leading scorer.
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Dodson spent over a month in Pittsburgh prior to his freshman year in college, completing several summer courses to get a jump on his college career, however, the NCAA Clearinghouse flagged a class on his transcript that was not approved and Dodson was deemed a non-qualifier, a surprising turn of events for the player that was quietly building hype around his pre-season play. From Pitt, it was off to Miami-Dade Community College where Dodson sat out last season and will suit up this year for Matt Eisele's club.
Recently, the NBE Basketball Report spent some time Catching Up With Darnell Dodson.
“Darnell Dodson is doing great,” Eisele told the NBE Basketball Report. “He visited Pittsburgh over the summer and will return to Pitt after this year.”
“He will have three years (at Pitt),” Eisele said. “He is a Big Time Player (capitalized for emphasis) and very excited about joining the Pitt family.”
Dodson spent the first part of his summer at Miami-Dade hitting the weights and working on his game. The second half of the summer was spent working out at his high school back home with some familiar faces.
“All summer I was working out at Miami-Dade with the weights and in the gym with shooting drills, ball-handling, conditioning etc,” Dodson said. "Since I’ve been home I have been working out up at my old high school with coach O’Connell.”
"Darnell was out working out with us a lot in August," coach O'Connell said in an e-mail. "When I saw him I was surprised at how much bigger he had gotten. He seems to really be filling out physically and has probably grown an inch since his senior year in high school. He's also matured a lot both on and off the court - I think he's ready to contribute right now in the Big East."
There is no doubt, Dodson can shoot and score the basketball, that trait has certainly not left the talented forward's arsenal one bit according to his former high school coach.
"Darnell has a great all-around game, but I think his ability to score will help Pitt immeadiately," O'Connell stated. "He just has a knack for putting the ball in the basket."
With Sam Young, Levance Fields and Tyrell Biggs as seniors on the highly touted 2008-2009 Panther squad, look for Darnell Dodson to step in and be ready to help pick up the slack once he arrives back at Pitt for the 2009-2010 season to significantly improve their NCAA Basketball Odds by adding a dynamic scorer to the mix with inoming recruits Dante Taylor and Lamar Patterson also in the class.
Labels: Pittsburgh recruiting