“He was the best player out there in a lot of ways,” Bruce Pearl said:
Desi leaves it all out on the floor. He can score anywhere on the floor and he’s aggressive! What a good time for a big night.
Desi has really improved his offensive game since he came to Fayetteville. He was not a good shooter when he came, but he is now. He is a wild man out there. The guy has no regard for his body. He is the leader of this team. He never seems to get tired.
When Desi committed to Arkansas lots of people told me that he wouldn’t pan out. That he was offered to get the rest of the “Hawks” to come on board. He couldn’t shoot and was undersized.
I had watched him play a couple of times in high school and the only thing that stood out to me was that he was scrappy. He played with an attitude and played really good defense. I will admit that at the time I didn’t think he was a D1 player.
What Mike Anderson kept saying about him on signing day was that Desi was a winner. CMA was spot on. Desi has exceeded expectations in many ways for me. He’s truly the heart and soul of our team.
When Sills was being recruited, DD compared his toughness with Alvin Robertson (high praise).
DD was right.
Some speculated that Desi wasn’t going to be more than an average D-1 player here. Maybe due to the other talent recruited along side him at the time. But he is the classic 3-4 year D-1 college player that works his tail off to get better each day, month, year that he plays the game. The type of leader a team needs for the youngsters to follow.
Nolan told me he watched one practice with Desi and was a believer. I’m sure he dove for a loose ball (or two) and did something else as far as toughness. Nolan could spot that a mile away.
No doubt he affects every player on our team from an intensity standpoint. We just need a few year of the same pieces around him before we lose him.
I remember that Dudley always praised Desi for his high motor and toughness. I have one word to describe Desi, FEARLESS!
There are going to be days when the shots don’t fall for Desi, as with other players, but he will definitely bring that toughness and fearless attitude every single game. He’s one of our best at penetration and driving to the basket.
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