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Here's your men's basketball update ...

2

August

Every couple of days, I get a comment or an e-mail asking for an update on Stan Heath and how the men's basketball team is doing. I was able to catch a few open-gym workouts in the past month and talked Wednesday with Heath, who has just completed a key evaluation period and will now meet with his staff to set up their board and reach a consensus on which recruits to pursue the hardest for the upcoming season, which has three scholarships available for the Bulls. A few things ...

-- Obviously, figuring out who fits in where is still a work in progress. The easiest answer is that sophomore Chris Howard will be the primary point guard and senior Kentrell Gransberry will start at center, with a lot of versatility for the other three positions. Heath said the other guards he expects to contribute at point are Solomon Bozeman and Dominique Jones, with both able to give minutes at shooting guard as well. His two-guards are interchangeable as small forwards, so put Jesus Verdejo, Aaron Holmes and Dante Curry in as options at 2 and 3. Sophomore Amu Saaka is more of a 3/4, while freshman Orane Chin is more of a 4/3. Junior transfer B.J. Ajayi is a 4/5 and can back up Gransberry or play alongside him. We'd told you 6-foot-11 walk-on Mo Esseghir likely won't be eligible until the end of fall classes, but Heath said they'll pursue a waiver to allow him to play the full season.

-- Injuries: Heath said that Curry, who missed last season with a torn Achilles tendon, is at about 90 percent, with a little stiffness, not quite his full explosiveness, but it's still three months before the season starts. Forward Aris Williams, who missed most of last season with tendinitis in his knee, is only able to jog and likely won't be fully cleared until September. His healthy return is crucial to USF's already-thin depth in the post. Howard has dropped about 15 pounds from the end of last season, which Heath said will help with his quickness this season.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 11:32am]

    

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