Huge pickup: Bulls get 7-3, 291-pound center
USF men's basketball coach Stan Heath has picked up his second commitment toward his 2011-12 frontcourt, picking up a pledge from Tolulope "Jordan" Omogbehin, a 7-foot-3, 291-pound center from Nigeria who is playing at Atlantic Shores Christian in Chesapeake, Va.
"I liked the whole program, the togetherness of the team and the coaching staff," said Omogbehin, 18, who visited USF's campus this past weekend.
Omogbehin, who came to the U.S. in January 2008, said he chose USF over Georgetown, Florida State and Marquette, and he'll bring considerable size to the Bulls' post, which loses senior center Jarrid Famous after this season.
"He is a massive human being, so obviously he's going to take up a lot of space and demand a double-team," said Walt Webb, his coach at Atlantic Shores Christian. "He can score in the paint, he's very aggressive with rebounds, and most guys his size can't shoot free throws, but I'm confident he's going to finish at over 75 percent this season."
Omogbehin -- that's pronounced oh-MAHG-ba-HEEN, he explains -- is recovering from a knee injury in April and has worked hard on getting his weight down -- he was at 320 pounds when he came to Atlantic Shores this summer and said he would like to be at 285 when he gets to USF next summer. He speaks fluent English and French, and Webb said he will "definitely" be a full qualifier academically.
Before the knee injury, he had interest from major schools like Connecticut, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech. Webb said his interest in USF was very high because of coach Stan Heath and the chance to play in the Big East.
"He is beyond excited about the opportunity to play for Coach Heath at South Florida," Webb said.
Omogbehin is the second big man to commit to USF this month, joining 6-10, 285-pound Andre Jackson of Lee College in Texas. That would presently account for all of the Bulls' available scholarships for 2011-12, but Heath is continuing to recruit, anticipating either a current player transferring or the possibility of junior forward Gus Gilchrist leaving for the NBA Draft after a strong season, as guard Dominique Jones did last spring.