Point Guard Commits to Stanford

Cardinal fans are just catching their breath after the weekend commitment of SoCal senior wing recruit Landry Fields. With four pieces of the puzzle in place for Stanford's 2006 recruiting class, all that remains is the point guard position. You can cross that off your wish list, with the breaking news that Trent Johnson has landed 6'5" Chicago floor general Da'veed Dildy.

When we first reported to you early last week on emerging Chicago (Ill.) King High School point guard Da'veed Dildy, it grabbed our attention when we heard Stanford head coach Trent Johnson that very evening lead his post-game press conference that he was about to take a red-eye flight to Chicago.

In talking today with Dildy's high school coach, Jerry Reynolds, we have learned that Johnson corralled a Cardinal commitment from Dildy on that visit.

"Stanford has done a great job.  They've been out here for three games," Reynolds says.  "The head coach came out here last time, on a three-hour flight right after a big game they played.  Da'veed gave a verbal commitment to Stanford then."

"Da'veed is a 3.9 student.  He filled out the application and was admitted to the school.  I think he'll fit in great out there," the coach continues.  "Da'veed has been doing his homework watching Pac-10 games and getting ready."

Dildy chronologically committed first, but he is the second publicly revealed commit for the Cardinal slated to sign during the spring National Letter of Intent period.  Dildy joins Los Alamitos (Calif.) High School wing Landry Fields, who pledged Stanford on Sunday over an offer from Arizona.  Both spring signees help bolster the backcourt after a fall signing period that brought nearly 21 feet of post power to The Farm: center Robin Lopez, center/forward Brook Lopez and forward Will Paul.

The particular need for a point guard in this class goes beyond the aesthetics of a "well-rounded" or "balanced" signing class for Trent Johnson.  There is a pressing need for another ballhandler on the Stanford roster to fill the void that will be created when seniors Chris Hernandez and Jason Haas graduate in a few months.

While the Chicago student-athlete is excited to sign with Stanford in April and bring his athletic and academic pursuits to The Farm, he has a more pressing matter on his plate today.  After a successful 15-5 regular season for King High School, Dildy and company start their post-season this evening with a tall test.  The city playoffs for the Chicago Public League start today, and the Jaguars were fortunate to be one of the 32 teams seeded in the top "championship" bracket.  The bad news is that they were stuck in the #31 slot, which pits them against #2 seed Simeon Academy.  The Wolverines are a nationally rated power who features junior guard Derrick Rose, the #5 overall player in the 2007 class according to Scout.com.

"They stuck it to us," says Reynolds of the low seed.  "The last time we played Simeon, we lost by 20.  We handled their guards, but they pounded us inside.  We have to do a better job today."

Dildy defended Rose for half of that 56-36 defeat and can be credited in part with holding the elite guard to just seven points scoring.  But such moral victories will do nothing for the King senior in this rematch.

"He wants it bad," Reynolds comments.  "I have been coaching Da'veed here all four years - when he was a freshman, a sophomore and a junior.  What I like now is how he takes more responsibility of where the team goes.  He is a captain.  When things go wrong, he takes the blame.  Da'veed is really a coach on the floor for us.  The players really respond to him."

And Dildy has responded to the team's needs.  The 6'5" guard started the season enjoying breakout games scoring the ball, but as teams changed their defensive approach, Dildy has adapted.

"Da'veed was averaging about 26 points per game earlier in the year, but now teams know that he is the top scoring threat and double-team him," Reynolds explains.  "He has had to sacrifice his scoring.  He now averages about 16 points per game, but he is able to pass the ball to his teammates who are open.  His scoring is down, but his assists are way up.  He now has about 10 assists per game."

Getting the ball to his teammates is nothing new for Dildy, who also plays quarterback at King High School.  The two-sport standout will play just basketball at Stanford, allowing him to further hone his hardwood skills.

"Stanford got themselves a great kid and a great competitor," praises Reynolds.  "He works hard in the classroom, and he is understanding how to play as a bigger guard."

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