Darius Days commitment latest reason for excitement around LSU basketball

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Darius DaysIt’s way too early to even think about erecting a statue of recently named LSU basketball coach Will Wade anywhere on the Baton Rouge campus. However, if he continues to seemingly work his magic like he has thus far on the recruiting trails, images of Dale Brown type success in the PMAC could begin to take shape.

Join me in reflecting back to the Final Four teams of Dale Brown in ’81 and ’86.

The 1981 group included Leonard Mitchell, Howard Carter, Johnny Jones, Ethan Martin, Rudy Macklin, Willie Sims, John Tudor and Tyrone Black. The ’86 team had John Williams, Ricky Blanton, Derrick Taylor, Don Redden, Anthony Wilson, Nikita Wilson and Jose Vargas. Most of the players who dotted both rosters were highly recruited and among the top rated players in the country.

Like any sport, it’s more about the Jims and Joes than the X’s and O’s although chemistry was a key to success.

If Wade can successfully sign his current committed players, he’s well on his way. Of course, coaching them on the court and making in-game adjustments will ultimately determine his success.

Just this week he gained another 4 star commitment for the 2018-19 season with power forward Darius Days pledging to the Purple and Gold. With his verbal declaration, the Tigers now have three of the top 60 rated recruits in the 2018 class and are ranked third in the country behind only college basketball elite powers North Carolina and Kansas. The 6-foot-7 218 pound Days was ranked No. 58.

It’s not only the commitment of Days to the Tigers, but it’s who they seemingly beat out and where he is located. Days resides in Gainesville, Florida and was a player that the Gators highly coveted. To grab him out of their clutches was no easy task (if it holds). The Florida Gators staff among others will continue to work on him. North Carolina, Louisville, Ohio State, Indiana, Wichita State, Xavier, Kansas, VCU, Cincinnati, Ga. Tech, Fla. State and Arkansas were among his suitors.

Reportedly, it came down to LSU and North Carolina. All arrows pointed to Day choosing to wear Tar Heel colors. The last time you heard about the Tigers having that level of success in recruiting was back when Brown was assembling his Final Four team rosters.

Days was on campus last weekend for the LSU-Auburn contest and soaked in all of the atmosphere.

He joins top 20 overall prospect Naz Reid (6-9, 220) from Russell, New Jersey and Scotlandville point guard Javonte Smart (6-4, 185), the nation’s 32nd rated prospect, in the upcoming class.

With those three in the fold, who else is on the horizon?

Until this past week’s happenings, another player who was on campus last weekend for the Auburn-LSU football tilt was the No. 20 recruit in the country, Emmitt Williams out of Orlando, Florida. The 6-foot-6, 215 pound forward also took in the sights and sounds of the LSU campus for the second time in a month. He recently had named Duke, Kansas, Oregon, Florida, Miami and USC along with the Tigers among his top seven. But on Wednesday evening, Williams was arrested for sexual battery and false imprisonment. Charges may also include rape.

It’s impossible to be sure what the outcome will be, but it clearly will impact his recruitment moving forward.

Another player that LSU would like to corral is Anfernee Simmons, the nation’stop ranked prep shooting out of IMG Academy. He had been committed to Louisville since November 2016, but he switched directions following the turmoil surrounding the Cardinals basketball program.

Simmons (6-4, 170) averages over 20 points per game, connecting on 42 percent from behind the arc. LSU is currently playing catch-up with Florida and Florida State in the lead. Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast are also in the fray. He is the eighth overall player in the country.

Justin Steers (6-6, 190), another player to monitor out of Wynnewood, Penn., has LSU, UMass, Wyoming, New Mexico State and Towson among his top five choices.

I’m not trying to anoint Will Wade as a savior, but it’s been quite a spell since Tiger fans have been circling the days with anticipation for basketball to begin in the middle of football season, especially with the gridiron squad seemingly gaining steam.

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Rene Nadeau


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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