Will Dayton-area prep basketball standouts Samari Curtis, Amari Davis and Andre Gordon request a release from their college choices?

By Jeff Louderback

Should I stay, or should I go?

That’s the question Sidney High School’s Andre Gordon abruptly faced last week when Buzz Williams left Virginia Tech for the head coaching job at Texas A&M.

Now it’s the same choice confronting Xenia High School’s Samari Curtis with the news that University of Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin accepted a six-year, $24 million deal with UCLA.

Trotwood-Madison’s Amari Davis might have a decision to make as well, considering that Wisconsin-Green Bay head coach Linc Darner is reportedly in the running for the Georgia State job that opened when Dayton native Ron Hunter departed for Tulane.

Curtis was named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball and the state’s Division I Player of the Year by the Ohio Prep Sportswriter’s Association. Davis was named Division II Player of the Year and Gordon earned First Team All-Ohio honors. All three will play in the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Game Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Thomas More University’s Connor Convocation Center

According to Xenia High School head coach Kent Anderson, Curtis still plans to play college basketball at UC. The 6-foot-4 Curtis, who averaged 34.4 points per game as a senior, originally committed to Xavier University before head coach Chris Mack left for Louisville in March 2018. Curtis told the media that he was looking forward to playing for Travis Steele, a Xavier assistant who replaced Mack as head coach for the Musketeers. Ultimately, Curtis de-committed and eventually signed with the Cronin-led Bearcats.

The versatile Davis averaged 28.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 6.2 steals and 2.2 assists while leading the Rams to a state championship. Though he attracted interest from larger programs as a senior, Davis remained loyal to Green Bay, which started recruiting him earlier than most schools.

Green Bay lost to Marshall in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament championship game last weekend, and the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that he is a candidate for the Georgia State job. According to VerbalCommits.com, Davis selected Green Bay over Miami (Ohio), Toledo, IUPUI and Cleveland State, but he will undoubtedly attract the interest of Wright State, UD and power conference schools should Darner leave the Phoenix and he (Davis) requests a release from his scholarship.

As for Gordon, multiple Virginia Tech players have de-committed from the school in the days following Williams’ departure. Williams was replaced by Mike Young, who led Wofford to an NCAA Tournament berth in March. Gordon averaged 23.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game as a senior. He chose Virginia Tech over UD, Xavier, Boston College, Illinois State, Kent State, Tulsa and Loyola (Ill.) among other schools, according to VerbalCommits.com.

If Curtis, Davis and Gordon prefer to get a release from their scholarships and remain in the Miami Valley, UD and Wright State each have open spots. Wright State guard Malachi Smith recently announced he was leaving the program. UD saw Jordan Davis transfer to Middle Tennessee State, and Frankie Policelli announced his intention to leave the program.

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