Combo guard Sam Cassell Jr. visiting USF
The spring signing period for basketball starts on Wednesday, and within the week, Stan Heath could make a key addition to USF's 2012 recruiting class, as Baltimore combo guard Sam Cassell Jr., son of the Florida State and NBA standout, is visiting the Bulls this weekend and has USF in his final three.
"He's down to Maryland, South Florida and Pittsburgh," said Ryan Hurd, Cassell's coach at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass. "I would be surprised if there's another visit. I think he's pretty much honed in on these three schools."
Cassell, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound combo guard, had committed to Maryland last month, but backed out of that commitment last week. He was originally scheduled to visit USF last weekend, but the Bulls rescheduled his visit to avoid any conflicts with the holiday weekend. He visited Pittsburgh over the weekend instead, where the Panthers have signed a Notre Dame teammate of his in 7-footer Steven Adams.
Cassell has also been recruited by top programs like Connecticut and FSU -- you can check out a Youtube highlight of him here to see what he's capable of doing on the court. He's rated as a three-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals and Scout, and Hurd said there's a distinct personality to his game.
"He's a colorful basketball away from being an ABA player -- unbelievable ability to score. The kid makes shots laying on his back," Hurd said. "He's never affected by anything that's happening around him. He just walks in and plays his game."
USF has strong connections to the Cassell family through assistant Eric Skeeters, a Baltimore native like both Cassells. Skeeters coached from 1992-96 at St. Frances Academy, where Cassell attended until this season, and he spent five years as an assistant at Towson under Pat Kennedy, who coached Cassell at FSU. Sam Cassell Sr. is now an assistant with the Washington Wizards, having retired in 2008 after a 15-year NBA career in which he totaled 15,635 points with a career average of 15.7 points per game.
"Having seen South Florida play a couple of times this year, obviously they were tremendous on the defensive end," Hurd said. "They probably could use a little help putting the ball in the basket. When you see a team that defends as well as they obviously are, you see that those kids really like each other and have bought in to what the coaches are saying. As a coach, you feel OK sending a kid to a situation like that because it seems like they're a happy family."