Chin up: Heath gets his first recruit
Stan Heath has moved quickly to pick up his first recruit, getting a commitment Thursday from Orane Chin, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Miramar High.
"I'm really excited right now," said Chin, who will sign with USF on Friday. "I love the coaching staff, it's close to home and I'm excited about playing in the Big East."
Heath saw Chin two weeks ago at the Las Vegas Easter Classic, where he was playing with the Broward Bobcats, well enough to draw attention from several major programs. Chin earned first-team all-state honors after averaging 25 points and 14 rebounds a game at Miramar. Among the programs who have pursued him since the Vegas showing: Kansas, Arizona, Vanderbilt, Penn State, St. Joseph's and UCF.
"This list has just gotten crazy in the last week," said Ken Kelly, his coach at Miramar.
Chin, who visited USF's campus last weekend and watched the spring football game with Heath, is a versatile player who will likely contribute initially at small forward. His frame is similar to freshman Amu Saaka's when he came to USF, but as he adds mass to his 195 pounds, he could eventually play power forward as well. His first name, by the way, has the stress on the first syllable, so it's pronounced as if it rhymed with soarin' ...
"He's long, very athletic, gets to the rim well," Kelly said. "He can finish, he can rebound in traffic. He's a big wing who can rebound with bigger forwards. He could be 210 (pounds) by the time he starts playing up there."
Chin had been recruited by former USF coach Robert McCullum, who made a home visit with his family last fall, but the Bulls had backed off after Aaron Holmes transferred in from Florida State in January.
Heath is also moving fast on next year's recruiting -- while he may have only one scholarship available, he's already offered Clearwater junior point guard Luke Loucks, who visited USF this weekend. McCullum had already been recruiting Loucks and had offered him as well. Here's more on Loucks from the Times' Joe Smith.
One recruit who appears to not be in USF's plans is Hillsborough Community College forward Ejike Hart, who got a visit from Heath the same week he accepted the Bulls job. HCC coach Derrick Worrels said he hasn't heard from USF since that visit, however, and believes USF is looking for a bigger post player. Hart visited Central Michigan last weekend and was planning to visit Winthrop before coach Gregg Marshall left for Wichita State, which is now a possibility as well.