About that center recruit, and more hoops ...
Sorry to tease you guys with the basketball recruiting note Friday and not get the post up -- always a little busier than I anticipate. The absolute No. 1 priority for Stan Heath's recruiting efforts is finding help in the frontcourt for next season after center Kentrell Gransberry and his double-doubles are gone.
To that end, there's been another big development this week, as Heath was in Chicago on Wednesday to visit Steve Goins, a 6-foot-10, 260-pound senior at Chicago's Curie High School -- not sure if that's Pierre or Marie -- who has emerged as a late-blooming sleeper in the last month.
Goins just turned 17, and is really in his first year as an impact player -- he started his career at Chicago Leo High, where he was behind another standout center in Stan Simpson, now an Illinois commitment. Goins missed his sophomore year with a broken leg, was still behind Simpson last year, then transferred to Curie, where he's flourished. His numbers aren't huge -- 13.4 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, along with three blocks -- but he's established himself as a major college prospect.
"His upside is phenomenal," said Curie assistant Larry Wallace. "He's basically gone from under the radar to a household name here in Chicago in half a season. He's made major strides."
Wallace said Heath made Goins a formal scholarship offer on Wednesday, and the only other high majors in right now are Connecticut and Purdue -- still tough competition -- but USF can offer a ton of minutes and the chance to play in the Big East. Wallace said there are no front-runners and he expects more programs to come in, but Goins is in the process of scheduling an official campus visit to USF later this month.
Part of the interest in Goins is that he's really just found a love for basketball -- his other passion, interestingly, is as a comic-book artist, a skill you don't hear about every day. We'll keep updating prospects like Goins and Teeng Akol as well as junior college standouts like Gary Flowers and Keith Brumbaugh, but it'll be a busy next two months before the spring signing period.
Big game at the Sun Dome tonight against St. John's, and we advanced that with a story Saturday on freshman forward Orane Chin, who has had his ups and downs at a crucial position for the Bulls ...