Florida International University basketball coach Isiah Thomas traveled to his hometown of Chicago last fall to land one of the recruiting sleepers in the Class of 2012 — Marshall High combo guard Milton Doyle.
“Isiah loved him right away,” Marshall coach Henry Cotton said, referring to the basketball Hall of Fame point guard, who garnered an oral commitment from the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Doyle the first week of October.
FIU fans will never get to see what the NCAA champion out of Indiana University and two-time Detroit Pistons NBA title winner saw in Doyle, who decommitted after Thomas’ firing on April 6. Doyle has since signed a financial aid agreement with Kansas University and is expected to start summer school classes Monday.
“Fast,” Cotton said, asked to describe Doyle, who averaged 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals a game his senior season.
“Dunks, crossing over, breaking (players) down, pulling up. I’ve seen him do it all,” Cotton added in a Saturday phone conversation with the Journal-World. “He can shoot the three, shoot deep, get to the basket, has a mid-range shot.
“He’s a very good distributor. He can do things ... take over when he needs to, make plays when he needs to.”
Cotton said Doyle’s only weakness is his slight frame, which can improve once he hits the college weight room.
“Once he puts some weight on, a couple pounds, that’ll be it,” Cotton said, noting Doyle played point guard and shooting guard at (24-8) Marshall, where he earned second-team all-state honors. “You put some weight on him and the sky’s the limit.”
Cotton said personality-wise, Doyle is “a quiet kid, a very humble kid. It’s a great fit. They (KU fans) are going to love him there. I’m really excited for him.”
Cotton said that Doyle heard from many schools since decommitting from FIU.
“From Marquette in the Big East to the Big 10 schools, ACC and Big 12,” Cotton said.
He must qualify: Doyle, like all incoming freshmen, will not be eligible for competition until cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Typically the Clearinghouse does not render final decisions regarding basketball players until late summer/early fall with football and other fall sports the priority at this time.
Doyle’s mom, Lisa Green, explained her son’s particular situation in an interview Saturday with the Chicago Tribune. She told the paper that Milton has the grades and test scores to be eligible, but he’s awaiting approval of two courses he took online because of complications following his transfer from Tilden High to Marshall High after his sophomore year.
“I thought we had taken care of this at the end of his junior year,” Green told the Tribune. “We went to Tilden to get all of this settled. But most of the staff at Tilden was either fired or transferred so the papers never went to Marshall.”
Happy Graduation Day, Anrio: Anrio Adams, a 6-3 guard from Seattle who along with Doyle is the only member of the recruiting class not yet on campus, graduated from Rainier Beach High on Saturday.
“Graduation’s today. This one’s for my Mother who’s been here through thick and thin and to my two most supportive uncles in the World — My Uncle Milton. My Uncle Marty. I couldn’t of done it without ya’ll we did it C/O 2012.. CollegeBound Student athlete KansasUniversity....” Adams wrote on Facebook. Adams has also signed a financial aid agreement as reported on his Facebook account.
More praise: Joe Henrickson of the Chicago Sun Times wrote this about Doyle: “Doyle may be reserved and quiet off the floor, but his play has spoke volumes the past eight months. He’s a quick leaper who showcases his superior athleticism when getting to the rim on drives and in transition. He’s shooting the basketball better than he ever has and is becoming more comfortable with the ball in his hands after finally playing extensively (missing junior season with a broken wrist).”
Amare camp: KU senior Jeff Withey will attend the Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy for big men Thursday through Saturday in Chicago.
“It’s an honor to go. It’s invitation (only),” Withey said. “I’m excited to go against some of the best players in college and high school. It’s a great opportunity.”