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PURDUE WOMENS BASKETBALL RECRUITING:
Attention turns to Asia Doss
© Old Gold Free Press Columnists
With Gabrielle Ortiz choosing Oklahoma over Purdue on Saturday, the recruitment of Purdue's next point guard seems to turn to Detroit's Asia Doss. Doss recently announced her final three of Purdue, Illinois and Ohio State, and is very similar in a variety of ways to Ortiz. Both are 5'7 point guards, with Doss ranked at No. 44 by HoopGurlz compared to the No. 42 ranking of Ortiz by HoopGurlz.
Blue Star evaluator Chris Mennig had this to say about Doss at the Nike Skills Academy, the same event that generated great reports on recent Purdue commit Erica Moore. "One of the most impressive players at the Academy was Asia Doss, the lanky 5'6 PG from Detroit (MI) Country Day HS," wrote Mennig. "She showed tremendous quickness, excellent handles, good passing ability and explosiveness to get to the rim or pull up for a jumper."
Purdue's quest for a true point guard to replace the graduating Courtney Moses and K.K. Houser at the end of the 2013-14 season is a visible need. Purdue's other true point, April Wilson, will be a junior the year the current high school class of 2014 hits the floor in college.
Purdue's competition for Doss has a little more muddied picture at point guard, and the most crowded roster goes to the Illini. The roster is full of guards at the moment, with two high school point guards coming in this year and a Missouri transfer currently redshirting and eligible for the 2014-15 season. Joining the Illini from high school this season are point guards Kennedy Cattenhead, rated No. 84 in the class of 2013, and Taylor Gleason, the Michigan Miss Basketball runner-up. But the player that holds the most promise at the point is Missouri transfer Kyley Simmons. Simmons transfers in having to sit out the 2013-14 season, but will have two years of eligibility left beginning in 2014-15. Simmons was named All-Big12 her freshman year, beginning her collegiate career as Missouri's starting point guard. As a sophomore, she started in 27 of 32 games for Missouri and averaged 24.5 minutes per game, but was moved from the point to shooting guard the third game of the season in favor of freshman Lianna Doty. In the words of KBIA sport reporter Elaine Stockdale, "in the limited time Simmons played juggling to grasp that role and fill in at the point for Doty, she didnít quite fulfill the requirements." Simmons announced she was transferring from Missouri in April, stating "my family and I agree that it is in my best interest to continue my education and career elsewhere." That career continues at Illinois, where Simmons might be looking at sharing time with Cattenhead, Gleason, and possibly a scenario reminiscent of the Doty issue if Asia Doss comes in 2014.
Looking at Ohio State, the coaching change led to zero freshmen on the roster this season. Already with 2014 commitments at point guard, shooting guard, forward and center, the need for a point in 2014 was filled at the end of the summer by the commitment of No. 4 ranked Kelsey Mitchell, whose father was hired earlier in the summer to be an assistant coach. With point guards already on the roster, and the point guard of the future already committed, Doss would be a layered addition to the Ohio State roster.
Issues of roster management and playing time seem to be subjects a crafty staff can talk their way around if that staff wants to add another top 50 player to their roster the caliber of Asia Doss. It often ends up as an exercise in hardwood Darwinism. The strong survive, and the weak either sit or transfer. The one glaring reality is the hole at point at Purdue, with no commitments or transfers currently in line to fill that need. If playing time, and to a certain extent team harmony, are important factors, you have to think Purdue holds the advantage here with Doss.