Coach: Center Gilchrist lining up USF visit
Could the eighth member of Stan Heath's recruiting class be the best of the lot? Augustus "Gus" Gilchrist, a 6-foot-9 center granted his release from Maryland, has USF as one of three schools he's considering, according to his former AAU coach with the D.C. Assault.
James Dare, who coached both Gilchrist and USF point guard Chris Howard with the Assault, said Monday that he spoke with Gilchrist on Sunday, and the coveted recruit was planning on a visit to USF's campus, perhaps as early as this weekend. Dare said Indiana and West Virginia were the other two schools Gilchrist is strongly considering: "Those are the three he's going to choose from."
USF offers him a chance to compete for significant minutes right away and the opportunity to play in the Big East, but Dare said one of the Bulls' strongest draws is Howard, who won a state championship with Gilchrist at Friendly High in Fort Washington, Md., four years ago. "Chris has a lot to do with his interest in South Florida," Dare said. Gilchrist was a freshman on Friendly's championship squad, called up from the junior varsity late in the season, while Howard was the team's starting point guard.
Gilchrist originally signed with Virginia Tech a year ago, but was granted a release after the campus shootings in Blacksburg last spring. He landed at Maryland, but asked for a release again, saying he was unaware of an ACC policy regarding inter-conference transfers that would limit his eligibility. He would need a waiver to play immediately at USF, but the Bulls would have a scholarship available whether he could play this season or not.
USF already has a sizeable class coming in for next season, with six players signed and another committed to sign: guard Mike Mercer enrolled in January, and point guard Dwan McMillan, guard Gaby Belardo, forward Eladio Espinosa and centers Alex Rivas Sanchez and Gene Teague have all signed; power forward Teeng Akol is committed to join the group after getting qualifying test scores this summer.