Hoops recruiting: Goins sets up USF visit
Making a lot of basketball recruiting calls, and had meant to get this up yesterday, but there's encouraging developments for USF in the recruitment of 6-foot-10 center Steve Goins from Chicago's Curie High.
The biggest news is that Curie has lined up an official visit to Tampa -- the only one he's made with a top-level program -- and will come to Tampa with his mother the weekend of March 8. He's also likely to visit Connecticut, and the only program he's previously visited is hometown Illinois-Chicago. Another indication of Goins' interest in USF is that he, his mother and Curie assistant Larry Wallace attended USF's road game at DePaul two weeks ago and met briefly with coaches after the game.
Not convinced Goins is a Big East player? Wallace said Goins showed a lot Saturday, when Curie went up against Chicago Farragut (where Kevin Garnett played) in the city playoffs and Goins held his own against 6-foot-9 Michael Dunigan, an Oregon signee who is a five-star recruit according to Scout.com, a McDonald's All-American rated as the No. 3 center nationally in this class. Goins finished with eight points and nine rebounds; Dunigan had 14 and seven as Farragut posted a 20-point win.
One more Goins note: he's a high school teammate of 6-foot-5 forward Wayne Blackshear, considered one of the top prep freshmen in the country. Curie opens the state playoffs tonight ...
Two new names to offer: USF coach Stan Heath was out in Idaho a few weeks ago to look at Juan Pattillo, a 6-foot-7 forward from the College of Southern Idaho, according to Barret Peery, coach at the juco powerhouse.
Pattillo has come on strong this season, leading a 26-0 CSI team with 17.7 points per game and ranking a close second on the team with 7.2 rebounds. It's also worth noting he's hitting more than 70 percent of his free throws. Pattillo, who is from Las Vegas, has some heavy hitters on him, with Arizona, UCLA and Oklahoma among his other top suitors, along with hometown UNLV. Pattillo won't set up visits until after his season ends in another two weeks or so, but USF figures to be in the mix.
Another juco forward USF is watching is Zvonko Buljan (sounds like bull-yon), a 6-8, 220-pound sophomore at Vincennes University in Indiana. Coach Everick Sullivan said Tuesday that USF has had coaches in to see him "a couple of times," but that Buljan has 15-20 schools interested and he won't start narrowing down his list for visits until after the season ends in 2-3 weeks. Buljan is averaging 13.0 points and 9.4 rebounds -- "a great rebounder, very skilled, can step out on the perimeter, very athletic, can guard 3s if he needs to," Sullivan said. I hesitate to even mention this, but Buljan is from the same Croatian city as former USF center Frane Markusovic. Again, that's all I know them to have in common. These guys don't have offers as Goins does, so all we're saying is USF's looking at them, and we'll check back as these guys start to line up visits ...