Head coach Mark Turgeon and the Texas A&M basketball program landed its first commitment of the 2010 when Dripping Springs versatile big man Daniel Alexander pledged to the Aggies on Wednesday during an on-campus unofficial visit. The long-time Texas A&M lean made it official late yesterday afternoon after talking it over with Turgeon, according to his father Dan.
"We toured the campus again and met with some academic people, and toward the end Daniel turned to Coach Turgeon and said ‘It just feels right here, coach'," Mr. Alexander recounted. "Coach Turgeon quickly responded ‘Daniel, it felt right the minute I met you' and then Daniel told him he wanted to commit."
Alexander has been a top priority for the Texas A&M coaching staff for over a year. The 6-foot-8, 210-pound prospect attended many games and program functions over the course of the past 11 months going back to the Elite Camp last summer where Alexander impressed the staff. During that time, he built close relationships with both the coaches and the players. Ultimately, that was the deciding factor on Wednesday.
"We can't be more pleased with how we've been treated by Coach Turgeon and his staff. First and foremost, he's a great basketball coach and he's getting it done here and I know he'll develop and mentor Daniel throughout his career," Mr. Alexander said. "Second, he's open and honest with his dealings with players, and Daniel felt most comfortable with him as a coach. Finally, he bonded with the players and he already feels apart of the team."
While Daniel and his family are comfortable with the university setting and the close relationships built within the program, he also sees a great fit on the basketball court and that his skills fit perfectly with what Coach Turgeon and the staff are trying to accomplish on the hardwood.
"Daniel loves the style of play and the vision for the program that Coach Turgeon has," Mr. Alexander said. "They want to get to the point where as a team they run the court well and play a transition game up-and-down the court. Daniel is somebody that runs well and can pick-and-pop from anywhere on the court, which is unique for his size."
In high school, Alexander has shown versatility in his ability to play his back to the basket and get physical inside the paint, as well as stepping out to hit the 3-point shot and matching up with guards on defense. He'll likely be asked to fill a similar role at Texas A&M, although plans now are for him to definitely play facing the basket and playing the wing position.
"It's hard to replace a player like Josh Carter. In fact, you can't replace a guy like Josh Carter," Mr. Alexander said. "We're hoping Daniel can step in, compete immediately for playing time, and provide solid contributions his freshman year."
In the meantime, Alexander will continue to play on the AAU circuit with the Texas D-1 Ambassadors and will be attending the Texas A&M Elite camp for the second straight year. Alexander picked the Aggies over offers from Arizona, Marquette, and Baylor. Due to his play during the recent spring AAU season, he was receiving serious interest from Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Arizona State.
An Inside Look into Alexander's Commitment
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