For those of you that don't know - Damion James is a stud recruit out of Nacogdoches that originally committed to Oklahoma.
When Kelvin Sampson left to take the Indiana job, Damion (along with two other big time recruits that signed with OU) asked to be released from their commitments. OU obliged and officially let all 3 of them go yesterday.
Damion lists Arizona, Baylor, Oklahoma, A&M, and Texas as his 5 options, but certainly the likes of Kentucky, Kansas, UNC, Duke, UCONN, etc. etc. will all come calling.....
Strangely enough, Damion was in College Station last night for the Aggie Basketball Awards Banquet.
I don't want to read too much into it, but he was not able to "officially" talk to any other schools until he got his release from OU.
Is it a good sign that the same day his release became official that he was in College Station?
Let's hope so.
Rivals has him rated as the #1 player in the state of Texas, the #7 small forward in the nation, and the #17 overall player in the country.http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?Sport=2&pr_key=25393
Damion would be an immediate impact player on the front-line if Coach Gillispie can find a way to get him in the fold, but there are some complications.
Coach Gillispie has already signed 8 guys this year (more on that later) - which is a HUGE recruiting class as far as basketball is concerned (typical signing classes are 3 to 6 guys).
In order to find room for Damion James, one of those 8 guys would have to not make it into school or someone on the current roster would need to transfer.
There are rumors (take them for what it's worth) that Joseph Fulce (three star recruit from Plano) may be having a hard time getting into school and that Kenneth White may be looking to transfer. Again - those are just rumors and I have nothing to substantiate them.
Losing Fulce would be more of a blow to the team's depth than would "Red" seeking a transfer. Kenneth was a great roll player on the 2005-2006 squad, but would not be considered an impact player.
The other thing to consider is that James is likely a one or two year (max) guy before he makes the leap the The Association.
To me, it does not seem like Gillispie's style to accept a one/two year guy, but don't you want as many guys as possible in the NBA with "Texas A&M" attached to their name?
I think James may be a special enough talent that they would be willing to take him on knowing full-well that he is a short-term guy.
If I hear anything else I will certainly let you guys know.
And to answer your next question - yes, we're talking Aggie hoops the first week of May!!!!!!