- Name: E.J. Datcher
- Classification: 2016
- High School: Vincent (AL) High School
- Position: Power Forward/Center
- HT-WT: 6-foot-9, 250
- Stats: 18 ppg, 14 rpg, 3 bpg
- Scout.com Ranking: 3-Star
- Colleges of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State
Vincent (AL) High School class of 2016 power forward/center E.J. Datcher has committed to Mississippi State last night.
"He committed last night," said head coach John Hadder. "His mom texted me late last night and said that (E.J.) had talked to (Mississippi State head) Coach (Ben) Howland and committed on the phone."
Hadder described the type player that Mississippi State is getting.
"He is 6-9, right at 250," said Hadder. "He has the ability to faceup to the basket but for us he didn't get to do a lot of that because at our level if you have a 6-9, 250 kid he is going to have his back to the basket and we are going to feed him in the post. But he shoots the ball real well. If I would have let him, he would have probably been one of our better perimeter shooters. He was one of our better free throw shooters, too. He has good touch. He is a shot blocker."
Ranked anywhere from 3rd to 7th in the state of Alabama class of 2016, Datcher sat out most of his junior season of high school ball and AAU ball due to a knee injury. He tore his meniscus and his patellofemoral ligament in his knee in early December, 2015. He is now completely healthy.
"Last year, about 10 games in, was when he hurt his knee," said Hadder. "He actually played a couple of more weeks but it kind of kept bothering him. They went in and repaired it and cleaned it out. That knocked him out for the rest of the season. He was going to play (AAU ball) with Southeast Elite but didn't. That definitely hurt him from an exposure standpoint because people wanted to see where he was coming back from his injury."
Datcher also had interest from Alabama, Georgia and UAB. In addition to Mississippi State, UAB also offered a scholarship.
"He received an offer from UAB as a junior but with his injury and their timeline they were going to fill up," said Hadder. "Alabama was recruiting him hard but then he had his injury and they kind of dropped off. Then, they came back heavy. (Alabama head coach) Avery Johnson came in to watch practice and watch him play a few times. They never offered but went back and forth with it. He also had a lot of interest in South Alabama. They had offered, as had Troy, UT-Chattanooga and Tennessee State. Then, Mississippi State and Alabama came back in hard. The more Mississippi State came back, the more they liked him. I feel like they feel like his best basketball is ahead of him."
Datcher averaged about 18 points and 14 rebounds and 3 blocks per game this season.