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November 15, 2012

Signing Allen & Williams 'like Christmas' for SDSU

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Although the commitments of Dakarai Allen and D'Erryl Williams were about as solid as verbal commitments can get, when both of their National Letters of Intent were cleared and certified by San Diego State's compliance department Thursday morning, it was like Christmas came early for the SDSU coaching staff.

"It's like Christmas right now for us, we're so excited," assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Tony Bland said. "We're just ready to go and happy to have them a part of the Aztecs family, and we think they'll be great additions."

"We are very excited about Dakarai and D'Erryl joining the Aztec family," head coach Steve Fisher said in a statement. "It is rare to recruit, let alone sign, two players from the same school. They are childhood friends and that will bode well for them and for us. They are quality young men that will fit into our style of play on the court and will be an asset for San Diego State."

Allen and Williams may play different positions, but they have one very important trait in common, one that you can't measure on a scale or quantify in a stat sheet: they're both winners.

"Those are the types of guys you need to have in your program and on your team," Bland said. "They're guys that we're comfortable with on and off the court."

Arguably the top perimeter defender in the 2013 class, Allen had been one of the Aztecs' top targets ever since Bland and Fisher first laid eyes on him at the Torrey Pines Classic last December.

"Dakarai is a versatile, athletic, tough-minded player, who will provide us with the offensive and defensive traits we have been successful with," Fisher said. "He can score in a variety of ways and can guard multiple positions."

"He'll be perfect," Bland added. "He's our guy, he's our mold: athletic, a competitor, a winner. He's a guy that doesn't really care about his own personal stats and at the end of the day if you win, he's happy with that. And that's what I recruited. I recruited a guy that is one of the best players in the country, and one of the best winners in the country."

With Chase Tapley and James Rahon graduating and Jamaal Franklin possibly declaring for the NBA Draft after this season, Allen could come in and make an immediate impact as a freshman.

"With his competitiveness, he will be able to," Bland said. "There will be a lot of opportunities for him and D'Erryl and other guys to come in right away and play. That was one of the main selling points. He and his family were very smart and they knew that there would be an opportunity to play right away here so that was a good decision to come here."

Williams was a point guard recruit who popped up on SDSU's radar back in September, and committed while on campus for his official visit last month. With his size and athleticism, the coaches are already hinting that he'll play off the ball a little bit as well.

"D'Erryl is a leader," Fisher said. "He is a cerebral point guard who brings size to the position. He is also someone who can play a variety of perimeter positions. He brings intelligence, leadership and a winning background with him."

The 6-foot-4, 195-pound point guard also fits Bland's desire to recruit winners above all else.

"When he's on the court, I don't care if it's pickup, I don't care if it's one-on-one or a shooting drill, he's going to be on the winning side of that drill," Bland said. "Anything in his life, if he was in a wing-eating contest he'd probably be the winner. He just wants to win at all costs.

"He'll be perfect for us. He's an attack-minded player, he's a smart player, he's a guy that you can give the ball to and you'll feel confident that he'll make the right decision. He's also the guy that you can put on the wing and be confident that he can put the ball in the basket."

With two players from the Sacramento area already on the roster in Chase Tapley and Xavier Thames, SDSU is continuing to tap into its Northern California pipeline with Allen and Williams.

"I think that area is filled with talented players," Bland said. "They have talent on top of talent up there and we're just grateful that they're allowing us to come in and recruit that area. But we do have a good rapport with the guys in that area, the people that are heavily involved in the basketball world there and we just want to keep it going."

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