2012 recruit Dingle considering WKU after Hysteria visit

Zach Greenwell

St. Raymond High School (N.Y.) junior forward Daniel Dingle is being courted by several premier basketball schools, but his brother says WKU has entered the mix.

Dingle’s brother Dana Dingle, a former player at the University of Massachusetts, told the Herald Thursday that the 6-foot-7 power forward is considering WKU after an unofficial visit to Hilltopper Hysteria last weekend.

“He had a great time,” Dana Dingle said. “It was better than he expected. He didn’t really have that many expectations. He figured since WKU is considered a mid-major, he was expecting less. He was surprised to see the support they’ve got for basketball down there.”

The Dingles have several ties to the Toppers, including that WKU assistant coach Allen Edwards is a cousin of Dana. Dana took an official visit to WKU in 1992 as a high school senior.

Daniel Dingle is also in the same AAU program, the Long Island Lightning, as 2011 WKU verbal commit Derrick Gordon. Dana Dingle coaches his brother on a Lightning team.

“Between those two, it was kind of intriguing,” Dana Dingle said. “Derrick spoke highly about the school. (Daniel) wanted to know why Derrick would like a school that far away and what they had to offer.”

Dingle has offers from several major-conference teams, including Arizona, Cincinnati, Rutgers, St. John’s and West Virginia, according to Rivals.com.

Dana Dingle said Daniel considered attending Rutgers’ and St. John’s opening practices, but he chose WKU’s because he wanted to take a visit outside of New York City.

“He wanted to go out of town, and he knew Derrick was for sure going,” he said. “That was basically his first unofficial where he stayed overnight, rather than going to one football game or something like that.”

Dana said Daniel is far from making a decision and probably won’t begin to narrow down his options until after his junior year.

“It’s still early in the process,” he said. “He’s not really trying to get deep into it until after his junior year, but the fact that they’re one of the earliest schools to show love will help. They’ll definitely be one of the schools that he’ll consider, or he wouldn’t have even made the trip.

“He’s a kid that wants to find the best situation. The level of the school won’t come into play as much as it normally would, because he’s looking more at what school is going to offer him the ability to come in and play right away.”

Dana said his brother is still growing as a defender, but that he can “take over a game offensively.”

“He’s multi-dimensional and has the ability to do everything on the court,” he said. “He can dribble, pass, shoot, make plays — he’s a point forward. He has a high basketball IQ and knows the game, which is rare for a kid his size. It’s the equivalent of an elite point guard.”

Dana said Daniel’s potential is unlimited, especially considering he has so much time left before college is even in the picture.

“Everything else is just time,” he said. “He’s just 16 years old, so he’s just young. He’s one of the best bigs in the city already as a junior, so he’s going to have huge years the next two years.”