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May 19, 2010

Point guard signs with Auburn

With Auburn's 2010 signing class consisting of five forwards and a center, Tony Barbee wanted to add a point guard. The Tigers' new coach needed someone to run his high-tempo, dribble drive motion offense that relies on the speed, quickness and decision-making ability of the point guard.

Barbee may have found who he was looking for. Shaw's Chris Denson may be the guy. Denson's AAU coach, Gerald Ogletree of the Georgia Jaguars, said he didn't have any doubts.

"God created the dribble drive offense and then created Chris to play in it," said Ogletree. "That's Chris' thing, getting in the paint and making plays for his teammates, and if you cut him off, he can pull up and knock down the jump shot. He's that kind of guy."

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Denson signed a National Letter of Intent with Auburn Wednesday, two days after announcing his commitment.

The dribble drive offense was popularized by John Calipari, Barbee's former coach and mentor. According to Ogletree, the system is based on four perimeter players who drive to the basket, score, pass out to a teammate on the perimeter, or give the ball off to the post player.

With Denson's speed and quickness, as well as his ability to shoot, drive and pass the ball, make him a perfect fit, Ogletree said. The coach thinks Denson will be a key player for Barbee in trying to resurrect the Auburn program.

"He has a very smooth game. He can really play the game of basketball," said Ogletree. "He can really get up and down the court. He's really good. I thin he's going to be a diamond in the rough. He's going to really blossom in that offense and he's going to be really exciting to watch."

Denson had offers from Northeastern, Rutgers, Buffalo, and UNC-Greensboro. He was receiving heavy interest from Florida, UConn, Western Kentucky and UCLA.

"He was being recruited by tons and tons of schools," said Ogletree. "Auburn got a great one in Chris. He's going to bulk up quick. He'll eat right and work hard. He has a list of things he wants to do before he goes down there.

"Chris was very thankful of Coach Barbee for giving him the opportunity to show the world what he can do. I think Chris at Auburn will work out great."

As a senior, Denson averaged 27 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals per game. He was selected AAA first-team All-State and All-Region and was also first-team All Bi-City.

Denson is the third signee for Barbee, joining forwards Luke Cothron and Josh Langford. Forwards Allen Payne, Heath Houston and Adrian Forbes, and center Shawn Kemp, Jr. signed with the Tigers in November.






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