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OldGoldFreePress COLUMNISTS | BACK TO Bob_Richards'S COLUMNS

PURDUE MENS BASKETBALL RECRUITING:
Boilers may bank unused scholarship




Date: 11/19/1998
Author: Bob_Richards
Bob_Richards

    Sources close to the Purdue program are saying the Boiler men may end up carrying the scholarship they have left over into the next recruiting class, and beyond. The staff will be looking at senior and juco big men during the winter and spring, but I'm told if they aren't 6'10 or taller they aren't going to get many looks from Purdue.

    Michigan State has added a senior big man in 6'7 power forward Al Anagonye from Detroit, MI. Anagonye chose the Spartans over Michigan and Detroit. Anagonye is ranked by Bob Gibbons at #67 among seniors.

    I wanted to point out that the decision of Villanova for Ricky Wright wasn't and easy one for him to make. Purdue was the first major program to pay attention to him, and he does have friends here at the university. However, Wright wished to go to a program that would allow him to be able to make bigger contributions earlier in his basketball career. It was just bad timing, which happens. There has also been quite a lot of talk out of East Chicago about street agents and AAU coaches influencing the decisions of high school players. It happens. What I do find a little unfair is the demonizing of specific people as the root of all that ills high school basketball. James Dye's name has come up in articles in the Hammond Times and the Journal and Courier as one of these "street agents". Dye is an AAU coach from the Region, and does have a lot of contact (to the dismay of some) with many players. It may very well be true that Dye steered Ricky Wright's decision, but I think that Wright is of the character to go where he thinks he would fit in the best. And before people start thinking James Dye is that root of all that ills high school basketball, I'd just like to point out... who knows where Bobby Smith would be today without Dye. Maybe better, maybe worse. Smith bounced around from high school to high school while, one after another, members of his family passed away. Bobby Smith now calls James Dye his father, who gave him the closest thing to a family he could expect. Bobby Smith had TWO academic credits when he landed at East Chicago. Now he is getting a college education at Villanova. I think it is only fair that people know this in light of all the recent poor publicity about Dye. I'm not saying he's a "Man of the Year" candidate, just that there is more to the story than most of the papers have been indicating. That being said, I still believe that the high school coach is the best person, outside the family, to guide student- athletes. They are in a position to know both athletic and academic progress, and have a lot of regular close contact with the players to be able to guide and counsel them. EC Central's head coach Bob Miles is a great guy, and a coach very concerned with the well-being of his players. Over the past couple of years, he has had a tough time doing that. His frustration with outside influences is understandable.


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