Dominique Ferguson headed to Florida International

  • 08/07/2009 2:15 pm in

In a move that he says will place him in a program that will build around him, former Lawrence North forward Dominique Ferguson is headed to Florida International. Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports and Evan Daniels of broke the news earlier this afternoon.

Ferguson, who recently announced plans to leave Jack Keefer’s program at Lawrence North, will play this fall at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham (VA) before playing at FIU for Isiah Thomas.

There’s no denying the talent of Ferguson, a consensus top 25 player in the 2010 class, but perceived academic and attitude issues led some of his more notable suitors to take a wait and see approach.

The 6-9 wing de-committed from Kentucky after Billy Gillispie was fired in early April. He attended Indiana’s Elite Camp in June, but did not participate due to an injury. The Indiana staff had expressed interest in Ferguson after he opened up his recruitment, but didn’t offer a scholarship.

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  • Sallad

    Where did this come from? I checked the archives for the post about Ferguson narrowing his list down to seven schools–and FIU wasn't even on it. He couldn't have been the focal point at any of those other schools?

    I guess Isiah Thomas must be that good of a recruiter that he made up all of the ground that the seven schools on the list had on him.

  • He might have had seven schools recruiting him, but he didn't have seven offers.

  • psvirsky

    Not sure why but my intial reaction is that it's a little funny. I wonder what would have happened if he stayed at UK. Could have caused quite a headache there

  • Sallad

    That makes sense. It still feels strange, though. Not in a shady way, in a “Why sacrifice the chance at a national championship just to be the centerpiece for a team that will get little national exposure?”-way. Oh well, I'm not inside his mind, or the mind of any of these other recruits. It's got to be a bizarre process to be a part of.

  • Kelin Blab

    This is the first time I have been left speechless….
    No further comment !!!!

  • roninjeffersonville

    Thank God we can put this drama to bed. No wait, he decommited once. Could he do it again. Stay turn

  • Julian

    Not accusing anybody about cheating but this random commitment makes me wonder because how could Isiah pull this off haha, but if he got him cleanly then congrats to Mr. Thomas and hope he can have success while playing clean

  • plane1972

    Most people who played for Isiah sing his praises. He's obviously a player's coach, but a nightmare for management and fans when he plows your team into the ground. Sorry, Zeke, we still love ya, but you have had the bizarro Midas touch on everything you've touched since your playing days.

  • Kelin Blab

    I think Isaih is on the up and up and his advantage is his college and nba connections, he is at a school without any expecatations and he can tell a kid he knows what it takes to get them to the NBA and they can one and done all they want as it benefits all parties, Isaih, the kid, and the school…..easy sell if you ask me.

  • Hardwood83

    Certainly a surprise, but I'm fine with this. I don't have anything against Ferguson- but don't think he had any intention on going to IU nor would be a good fit there. He's apparently high-maintenance and should get along well with Isiah, who can give him the prima donna lessons.

  • Bryan

    Well, everywhere Zeke has gone since he quit playing, he's always been able to make a big splash out of the gate. Unfortunately, he's never been able to follow up on that initial promise, with stranger circumstances each time, as though he could never figure out how to take the next step in any venture he was in.

    For his sake, hopefully FIU gives him time to figure things out, because I can't imagine them becoming the go to place for high profile recruits. Most 5-star kids aren't looking at the Sun Belt Conference, so this feels more like an aberration than a taste of things to come.

  • BFowler

    1) What the????? Say it out loud….”I'm a Five-star prospect and I'm going to FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL.” Something seems way out of line here.

    2) Makes sense on all other fronts. The drama has led us to this point. Isiah Thomas has made his first big sell. This has been like watching a train wreck in slow motion, and it is not yet over.

    3) Good luck, Mr. Ferguson, I hope it gives you everything you hoped for, unless of course it includes a victory over Indiana.

  • cooper

    It just goes to show players want someone they think will lead them to the NBA. If it works out Isiah could turn FIU into a poor man's Memphis. FIU has something a lot of other schools don't, weather and South Beach.

  • Diesel

    Really, there is no great loss to us here. D Ferg was not a good fit for our program or our style of play. If I had his talent, I'm not sure I'd take a chance with a guy as troubled as Zeke or believing the Sun Belt was going to prove that I'm ready for the next level. My gut feeling is D Ferg will continue to make poor decisions on and off the floor and slowly fall off the basketball landscape.

  • tberry

    Thomas has done nothing since he was a player except fail. Ferguson will fail too. Ferguson wants to be a “Big Fish in a Little Pond”. What he will get is stuck in a mud bog when Thomas fails at FIU and one reason he will fail is because of players with Ferguson's attitude and history.

  • indiananorthshore

    hmmmm, Isiah won a high school championship, college championship,NBA championship, perhaps the best little man to play in the NBA, part owner of an NBA team in Toronto, prior to the Knicks, a successful NBA coach, a top 50 all time player. I think we all can agree he probably has a clue as to what it takes to play in the NBA. Now take along with the University being located in Miami, it's hard to argue against the decision. My guess this will be one of many 5 star athletes he will recruit.

  • Diesel

    His resume as a coach and executive also include:
    -Ran the CBA into the ground, then rejecting the NBA's offer (more than twice what he paid for it) to turn it into an NBA minor league
    -Fired by Larry Bird after 3 consecutive first round playoff departures with the Pacers
    -Destoryed the Knicks organization securing the highest team salary in the league and nearly the worst record, and trading away precious lottery picks for the likes of Eddy Curry and making other trades for guys like Stephon Marbury and Zach Randolph
    -Helped MSG gain one of the largest sexual harassment lawsuits to the tune of 11 million dollars
    -Tried to cover up a drug overdose by saying it was his daughter

    It's almost like he's got a little bit of the demin shirt in him. No one can deny his success as a player, but as a guy running and organization and coaching it's an awfully scary picture.

    Also, there is a reason IU did not offer a 5 star recruit in their own backyard a scholarship! I believe most recruits will at least take a wait and see approach if they have anyone in their corner giving them good advice.

  • q95

    what’s a florida international??

  • indiananorthshore

    Diesel, I agree with his bad judge of talent, and his lack of business savoy. His record was over 500 with the Pacers. He does know how to play the game at all levels He was a very vocal leader on a NBA championship team. He demanded from his teammates what he demanded from himself His daughter's problems, sexual harassment charges have nothing to do with his basketball acumen. If we were worried about character of everyone associated with basketball, there would not be a lot of players or coaches around. Zeke will be coaching 18 year old kids who will have to listen, not a group of players who make more than their coach and have guarantee contracts .I would guess Ferguson is no different than Gordon, Michael Beasly,Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, OJ Moye and the rest of the one and done group. These kids aren't going to college to get a degree, they are there because the NBA wont take them until they are old enough. Miami, South Beach and Isiah a pretty good place to prepare for a year or two. Do you think Derrick Rose would have followed Zeke?

  • Kelin Blab

    I wonder what type of reception Isiah would get if he walked into assembly hall? I know we like the guy, but it seems it has been tarnished some. I wonder if that Hoosier great that plays for the hawks would get a good reception…J-Smoove himself? I can't believe Mike Davis actually said he would always be a hoosier…..

  • BGleas

    I actually think his style of play is perfect for IU and Crean's system, but agree that he isn't a good fit for the program due to everything else that seems to come along with him. I guess it really only would have been a negative for IU if he ended up at Kentucky, Louisville or another Big Ten team.

  • Diesel

    At the risk of opening a new thread, did you think Kelvin Sampson was a good coach? I actually did, and I think his employment in the NBA speaks to that, but ultimately it was his character that tarnished our beloved program and kept away multiple recruits. So I do think character matters and if I were a 5-star recruit, character would be important to me.

    Would Derrick Rose have followed Zeke? Perhaps, he did have someone take his test for him, so character isn't big quality trait for him. Would he have chosen FIU over Memphis? I don't think so, particularly if you add in the World Wide Wes factor.

  • indiananorthshore

    I think for Indiana character should and does count. However there are programs such as Memphis, UNLV,K-State where character doesn't count. I guarantee you Zeke will have his team in the tourney every year. If I were a one and done who can prepare me better then Isiah for the NBA. Not just from a playing stand point, he was also a 20 year old playing with men when he entered the league.
    As far as his reception coming back to Bloomington, Big Ten, National titles, got his degree, his very vocal and proud of his IU roots. Friend of The General, and has offered assistance to Tom Crean. I suspect he would get a very warm welcome.

  • CraiginOR

    Sun Belt conference fan base can't match Indiana high school, the conference is the place community college and junior college kids go to live the dream. As Alex said “The Indiana staff had expressed interest in Ferguson after he opened up his recruitment, but didn’t offer a scholarship.” but this is the coincidence of the week ….”Always remember there is a huge difference between evaluating a prospect and actually offering one.” Coach Crean on Twitter

  • BFowler

    That is a very interesting question you pose. While The Denim Shirt was at Oklahoma, I was amazed with the job he did there. He showed his ability to coach in his first year here, when that group played as hard as any since the Knight era and gave runner-up UCLA a solid run for its money in the 2nd round. As much as I despise his blatant disregard for the rules, he obviously has some value as a coach, therefore the NBA job. I agree with your assessment as much as it pains me.

    As far as Zeke, I have never seen his ability to coach. I loved him as a player, but as a coach, he has yet to prove it. There had been rumors that even while with the Pacers (his only quasi-successful stop), it was really Larry Bird running things behind the scenes.

  • kate545

    Denim shirt? Far be it for me to try to deflect a little KS scorn, but he was a successful coach – he parlayed endless small infractions into a history of misadventure. He obviously thought he wouldn't be caught, and then he thought he wouldn't be caught again.

    Look at the Zeke list – I'd say the last two listings put him on a scale beyond KS.

  • Diesel

    Although he did have a winning record, look at the group of players he had. After three consecutive winning seasons and first round playoff exits, he was fired for “underperformance”. He reportedly was a player's coach, but so much so the Pacers went completely opposite to Rick Carlisle. As far as the reception, I believe he would receive a warm one from the IU faithful.

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