Since announcing his verbal commitment to Kentucky yesterday, Cats fans have been abuzz over Dakotah Euton, the Class of 2010 phenom from Ashland. There have been no shortage of comparisons to past UK greats, and Euton seems to welcome them.
In fact, he seems to agree with the consensus.
"In terms of past UK players I'd say I'm somewhere between a Scott Padgett and a Dan Issel," said Euton, who at 6-7, 200 pounds is likely to continue to grow. "I've got a good shot and I do a pretty good job of knowing who I'm up against. I'll post up defenders that are smaller than me, and if they throw someone big at me I'll blow by them or take them outside."
Even in this age of early commitments, receiving a verbal from a rising sophomore is a rarity. New Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie likes Euton's potential and wanted to seal the deal, leaving nothing to chance.
"About a month before Tubby left Kentucky started contacting me. I'm not sure how things would have worked out if he were still aruond," he said. "UK is UK, but I'm just not sure. Coach Gillispie had a lot to do with it. One of his assistants contacted me first, then he got up with me. When we first met him he made me feel really comfortable. He's funny and he'll make you laugh. You don't get nervous around him, because he does a good job of putting you at ease.
"He's also really hard working. One of the things he said that stuck out to me was that there isn't any coach out there that's going to work harder than he is. You can tell that when you're around him too. The whole staff they have up there seems like a good group of guys. They're very down to earth. The tradition at UK is the best, and you have to want to play at a place like that."
Euton was being recruited by schools such as Duke, Florida, Cincinnati, Indiana and Louisville, but in the end said he felt most comfortable with Kentucky. In the coming weeks Euton will go to Notre Dame, Cincinnati and Los Vegas for events associated with AAU basketball. The rising sophomore at Rose Hill Christian knows that he won't be changing his decision to play for Kentucky later on.
"This is something I prayed a lot about, and I talked to my family about it a lot. I just know Kentucky is where I'm meant to be."