Kentucky apparently is moving quickly after highly regarded wing prospect Xavier Henry cast his basketball lot with Kansas. UK looks poised to fill the void with junior-college swingman Darnell Dodson, one of the players who originally signed with Memphis and then followed Coach John Calipari to Kentucky.
Dodson, a 6-foot-7 player, committed to UK on Wednesday night, according to the Web site KentuckyInk.com.
UK has not confirmed the signing.
Henry made his choice official on Thursday by signing with the Jayhawks. Kansas Coach Bill Self hailed Henry as the "highest-rated player we've ever signed" and forecast good things ahead.
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"Few players in high school possess the body, strength, explosion and outside shooting Xavier has," Self said in a mid-afternoon teleconference. "You have to defend him anywhere on the floor."
Recruiting analysts saw Dodson as a good Plan B.
"He's not going to score like Xavier Henry," analyst Brick Oettinger of the Prep Stars recruiting service said of Dodson. "He's not that good an outside shooter and scorer. Henry has a knack for scoring."
But, Oettinger added, Dodson might be a better athlete than Henry and could be a contributing player for Kentucky.
"He's a good all-around basketball player," said Oettinger, who acknowledged that he had not seen Dodson play since the player's final high school season of 2006-07. "He plays defense. He's team-oriented. He's a blender type. He doesn't have to shoot it all the time."
When Dodson was a high school senior in Greenbelt, Md., Prep Stars rated him as a top-100 national prospect, Oettinger said.
New UK assistant Orlando Antigua has a history with Dodson. Antigua originally recruited Dodson for Pittsburgh.
Dodson was enrolled and taking classes at Pitt during the summer and fall of 2007 before it was determined that he was ineligible due to NCAA Clearinghouse issues. He transferred to Miami Dade Community College in October 2007.
Dodson wanted to return to Pitt but Big East rules prevented his return. So he went to Miami Dade.
While only at Pitt briefly, Dodson had time to impress. In one pickup game, he made six straight three-point shots.
Dodson committed to Memphis after a visit last October. After Calipari moved to Kentucky, Dodson re-opened his recruitment.
Dodson would become the second Memphis recruit to follow Calipari to UK. Earlier this spring, highly regarded big man DeMarcus Cousins did the same. Henry would have been a third.
Dodson averaged more than 15 points and five rebounds for Miami Dade this past season.
Meanwhile, point guard John Wall, the object of intense recruiting affection, is continuing to visit colleges still on his list.
Wall is expected to make an official visit to Miami on Friday.
A potential Wall suitor, North Carolina, announced on Thursday that point guard Ty Lawson and shooting guard Wayne Ellington would be entering this year's NBA Draft.
UNC Coach Roy Williams coyly deflected a question about recruiting Wall.
"We'll have to wait and see what happens with it," Williams said.
Even without Wall, Williams has what some consider the best recruiting haul in the country. The Heels have signed power forward John Henson (ranked No. 4 in the country by Scout.com), shooting guard Dexter Strickland (No. 33), forward David Wear (No. 54), forward Travis Wear (No. 55) and shooting guard Leslie McDonald (No. 52).
All but McDonald, coincidentally, were McDonald's All-Americans.
Dennis signs with Baylor
Nolan Dennis, another recruit who originally signed with Calipari at Memphis but was granted his release when the coach left for UK, signed with Baylor on Thursday, the school announced.
Dennis, a 6-5 shooting guard, is rated as the No. 61 player in the nation by Scout.com.
"Nolan is one of the elite players in the state and the nation," Baylor men's basketball coach Scott Drew said in a statement. "We have recruited Nolan for some time."