Hoops: Simmons enjoys visit; Flowers out
Two new developments over the weekend in USF's basketball recruiting, first being that Mott Community College guard Jeremie Simmons said he enjoyed his official campus visit to Tampa, but will still visit at least one more school.
"It was great. I like the guys," Simmons wrote Sunday in an e-mail to the Times. "They've got some good guards down there. It's easy to play with them. I enjoyed myself."
While Simmons is still very much in play, another junior college standout, Chipola College power forward Gary Flowers, won't be signing with the Bulls this spring, or anywhere for that matter.
Chipola coach Greg Heiar said Monday that Flowers -- who had USF and Seton Hall as his top choices -- has decided to return for a second season at Chipola rather than sign with a four-year school.
"He could graduate this summer, but he wants to play another year here and help us win a national championship," Heiar said. "That's what he wants to do, and he'll get another year to mature and develop, so when he does to Division I basketball, he can do it with a big splash."
That could very well be true, but it also seems likely that he either was not in position to fulfill the academic needs to jump to a four-year school, or sought a higher level of team than was recruiting him. USF has power forwards Eladio Espinosa and Gene Teague coming in, so this might have been anticipated by Bulls coaches.
The spring signing period starts in two weeks, and USF seems high on the list for Simmons, a prolific scorer who would further bolster a deep backcourt for the Bulls.
"From all indications the visit to USF went well," Mott coach Steve Schmidt wrote Monday in an e-mail to the Times, saying that Simmons will visit Butler as planned and possibly one or other schools.
There's a new name I can offer in USF's pursuit of a top-line center or two for next season: The Bulls are among seven schools being considered by Krys Faber, a 6-foot-11, 255-pound center from Los Angeles.
Faber is an incredible rebounder, having averaged 17.5 rebounds per game as a senior in addition to 16 points and 5.5 blocks per game. He's already visited Minnesota and Northern Illinois and is due to visit DePaul on April 10, with UCLA, USC and St. John's also in the final mix. He nearly signed with Minnesota back in November, but then again hasn't committed to Tubby Smith's program in the months since.
"He likes to bang, likes to rebound, but he also has a nice 15-foot shot," said Ribet Academy coach William Middlebrooks. "We're interested in Stan Heath and everything he's been able to do as a coach. It could be a good fit for us."
Middlebrooks, who knows Heath well from his time in Detroit, said Heath was in the process of getting out to Los Angeles for a home visit with Faber, and a campus visit could follow from there. Ribet, for the record, is pronounced rib-AY, though somebody there has a good sense of humor, as the school's mascot is the Fighting Frogs.
-- Former Bull Update: Guard Solomon Bozeman, transferring after two seasons at USF, has narrowed his choices to three schools: Georgia State, Arkansas-Little Rock and Tulsa. We'd mentioned Georgia State from the start, because Bozeman had signed with Rod Barnes out of high school at Mississippi. Bozeman visited GSU this weekend and was hosted by another former Bull, guard Dante Curry, who transferred there in December. He'll visit Little Rock on April 10 and likely Tulsa after that ...