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Heath lands two for 2013, including 7-footer

8

December

It's still 19 months before they get to campus, but Stan Heath has picked up two commitments for 2013, as a pair of high school juniors from McDonough, Ga. -- 7-foot center John Egbunu, originally from Nigeria, and 6-foot point guard Drew Davis -- committed after an unofficial visit.

Egbunu is just starting to register on the recruiting radar -- his legal guardian is Davis' father, Linzy Davis, who runs the George Elite AAU program and brought Egbunu to the United States earlier this year.

"He is a 7-footer with a 38-inch vertical that can run the floor faster than guards. He's the most domininating player in Georgia since Dwight Howard," said Davis, who said he has worked with 75 players that went on to play in the NBA. "He's a tremendous young man, his attitude is off the charts. At South Florida, he said 'Here I can start my own legacy.'"

Egbunu and Davis attend Eagles Landing High School, though they are not playing for the school's basketball team, opting instead to play a prep school schedule for Georgia Elite Christian, a team run by Linzy Davis, who said the higher level of competition will help their progress. Egbunu is the second Nigerian center the Bulls have landed in the past year -- 7-foot-3 Jordan Omogbehin is redshirting this season and will play for the Bulls in 2012-13.

Egbunu has the potential to be a national top-10 player, and Davis said the two commitments should put USF among the top recruiting classes for 2013 nationally, though no major recruiting sites have updated their rankings yet. How was USF able to land such a top-tier prospect? Davis said he's had a long relationship with first-year Bulls assistant Steve Roccaforte, going back to his days as a Memphis assistant.

"They went down and made an unofficial visit and loved it," Davis said. "They really loved Stan Heath and his style. I believe South Florida is a gold mine. You're playing in the No. 1 conference in the country. Going north was not an option for these guys (seeking warmer weather)."

Davis said he discovered Egbunu at a national basketball camp in Lagos, Nigeria, three years ago, when he was a 6-foot-7 eighth grader. His academics are strong, Davis said, and he expects both players to make regular visits to Tampa next season to be around the program. Both players chose the Bulls over Memphis, but Davis said he expects them to honor their commitment and stick with the Bulls.

"From our standpoint, this is a 100 percent firm commitment," Davis said. "I'm big on loyalty and commitment. We believe Tampa is a beautiful city, and you'll see us in Tampa often."

Heath has one scholarship available for 2012 and is likely to use it on a post player, and with these two commitments, he would have only one additional scholarship available for the 2013 class, presuming all players stay in the program between now and then.

[Last modified: Thursday, December 8, 2011 10:37am]

    

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