All three of the early 2014-15 signees for Alabama are from within the state.
Power forward Dontá Hall (Luverne High School), small forward Brandon Austin (Montgomery Carver) and combo guard Dazon Ingram (Theodore) are each rated among the top prospects in the state of Alabama and are slated to join the Crimson Tide on the court for the 2015-16 season.
"I am thrilled to welcome Dontá, Brandon, Dazon and their families to The University of Alabama and our program,” Grant said. “Our university community and the city of Tuscaloosa will not only get to watch three outstanding athletes, but also three young men from great families who all understand the priorities involved with being a student-athlete. As we try to do in every recruiting class, I feel like we have met several of our needs with the addition of multiple perimeter players in Brandon and Dazon and a post player with Dontá. Our priority is to try to keep the best players in our state at home and I feel like we have done that with this class."
With the three signees all hailing from the state of Alabama, the Tide continues to have a stronghold on the state’s top prep basketball players. Hall is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the state of Alabama, which marks the third consecutive year the top boys basketball player has come to The Capstone (Jimmie Taylor was ranked No. 1 in 2013 and Justin Coleman was No. 1 in 2014). In addition to signing the state’s top-ranked recruits, current Alabama player Riley Norris was ranked No. 3 in the state as a high school senior last year, while Ingram and Austin are rated by many outlets as two of the top three players from Alabama in this year’s signing class.
Hall will come to Alabama after a standout career at Luverne High School under Coach Richard Dorsey. During his junior season, the 6-8, 205-pound power forward averaged 11.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 6.7 blocks per game. Last season, he led his team to a 25-3 overall record and a state runner-up finish. Hall, who has led Luverne to back-to-back state Final Four appearances in 2013 and 2014, is a two-time ASWA all-state honoree, including first-team all-state accolades in 2014. He was also named the region tournament’s most outstanding player as a sophomore.
“Dontá is going to be an exciting player for the Alabama fans to watch,” Dorsey said. “He is the first-ever Division I boys basketball signee from Luverne High School and is just a special young man. Dontá is a high-flyer who plays above the rim. He is exciting to watch with his dunking and shot-blocking ability. He is always going to give you his best effort and is always having fun. Alabama fans are really going to enjoy watching him play.”
Ingram, a 6-5, 180-pound combo guard, averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists per game last season for Coach Phillip Roebling at Theodore High School. He led his team to the regional finals and a 25-4 overall record in 2014. For his efforts, Ingram was tabbed to the Alabama Sportswriters Association (ASWA) 6A All-State and was named the Mobile Press Register’s 2014 Coastal Alabama Player of the Year.
“Dazon is the best player I have ever coached in my 29-year career,” Roebling said. “He plays the point for me and his court vision is just amazing. He is very unselfish and it’s amazing the things he sees on the court. He’s a fantastic rebounder, both offensively and defensively. Dazon just makes everyone around him better. He is the type of player that makes teammates better, and I am confident he will do the same thing at Alabama.”
Austin is a 6-5, 180-pound small forward who plays under Coach (and former Alabama basketball player) J.J. Jackson at Montgomery Carver High School. Austin averaged 15 points, seven rebounds, and four assists a game during his junior season. A three-year letterwinner, Austin helped lead his team to three consecutive state Final Four appearances, including the 6A state championship as a freshman in 2012. This past summer, Austin was invited to the 2014 Alabama High School Athletic Association North-South All-Star game where he was named the most valuable player of the South Team after scoring a game-high 15 points.
“Brandon is a high-flying player and very exciting to watch,” said Jackson, who played with the Tide from 1985-87. “He always brings a lot of energy and works hard on both the offensive and defense ends of the court. He really shoots the ball well and he is a kid the Alabama fans will fall in love with. He will be great for Coach Grant and the program.”