Bulls get commitment from forward Teague
Having granted three reserve players releases from their scholarships this week, USF coach Stan Heath has returned to the business of adding to his roster, picking up an oral commitment Saturday from Gene Teague, a 6-foot-8, 295-pound power forward from Vineland, N.J.
"Everything seemed to fit real well," said Teague, fresh off an official campus visit. "I've been following the Big East, and the visit was a lot of fun. I like it all -- the coaches, the basketball team and the weather."
Teague, who said he would like to play at 270 pounds as a freshman, averaged 17.1 points per game as a junior at St. Augustine Prep and about 23 points this spring after transferring to Living Faith Academy. Philly.com ranked him as the No. 38 prospect in the greater Philadelphia and south New Jersey area.
It's been a whirlwind courtship for Teague, who said USF only started recruiting him about three weeks ago. He made the half-hour drive to Philadelphia to see the Bulls play at Villanova on March 5, and his family made the 1,100-mile, 17-hour drive from New Jersey to Tampa to see USF's campus this week. In case you missed it a few days back, you can watch a highlight video of Teague here.
ESPN.com's recruiting rankings list him as the No. 54 power forward in this year's class; for comparison, Eladio Espinosa, who signed with USF in November, ranks 38th. Their evaluation of Teague reads: "Eugene is a rugged post player who has a soft touch around the rim. He changes ends of the floor well for a prospect of his size. He has soft hands and finishes plays at the rim. He has a real wide body that is difficult to move when he gets good position." Having said that, they also list him at 230 pounds.
He is USF's first commitment for the spring signing period, and helps fill a major need in the frontcourt, where the Bulls had little depth this season and now must replace All-Big East center Kentrell Gransberry. Rising senior B.J. Ajayi made major strides at power forward in the second half of the season, establishing himself as a rebounder and a defensive presense inside.
The Bulls signed Espinosa in November, and guard Mike Mercer transferred in from Georgia in December. Heath has four scholarships remaining for the spring signing period, which starts next month.
Trivia question time, and no peeking at online rosters: Who were the three Big East players whose listed weights were greater than 270 pounds? Only one of them is really a big name in the league ...
(photo from Ron Cortes of the Philadelphia Inquirer)