Coach: Bulls backing off on forward Pattillo
Just as it looks like you have a USF update in one direction, the story goes the opposite way, as was the case today with the Bulls' pursuit of Juan Pattillo, a coveted forward from the College of Southern Idaho.
A story in Tuesday's Oklahoman quotes CSI coach Barret Peery as saying that Pattillo was visiting USF this weekend, that his top options are "mainly South Florida and Oklahoma." But a call to Peery on Tuesday shows a new twist, as Pattillo's visit to Tampa has been cancelled, with a trip to Kentucky now planned instead.
"They're backing off," said Peery, noting that USF had not rescheduled the visit. "I think they're going in a different direction."
USF already has two freshmen coming in at forward, with Eladio Espinosa signed and Gene Teague committed. This could be a sign that Stan Heath is focusing his recruiting efforts on prep centers, such as Frank Ben-Eze of Arlington, Va., and Krys Faber of Los Angeles. It could also mean that two returning forwards -- rising senior Aris Williams and sophomore Orane Chin -- are more likely to stay.
I spoke over the weekend with a friend of IMG Academy's 6-foot-11 Teeng Akol, who said USF is "absolutely" his No. 1 choice, though the Bulls will likely have to wait until summer to know whether or not he has the necessary SAT scores to meet NCAA eligibility standards -- he isn't taking the test until May or June. So the possibility exists that Akol won't sign during the spring signing period, which starts a week from Wednesday, but still could be in a Bulls uniform next fall.