Jersey boys: Two new names in for visits
Big developments in Stan Heath's recruiting efforts, with two new names that could turn to commitments for the Bulls after official campus visits this weekend. USF is in strong position for point guard Dwan McMillan, from one of the top prep schools in the country, and Gene Teague, a 6-foot-8, 295-pound power forward/center who could help fill USF's frontcourt needs.
McMillan is a 6-foot point guard at St. Benedict's, a Newark prep-school powerhouse which was ranked as high as No. 1 in the nation last season and has sent impact players to the Big East in Seton Hall sophomore Eugene Harvey and Villanova freshman Corey Stokes, as well as Louisville signee Samardo Samuels. His coach there is the well-respected Dan Hurley, the former Seton Hall guard and son of New Jersey prep coaching legend Bob Hurley.
"Very creative point guard with great speed and quickness," Dan Hurley wrote in an e-mail to the Times on Wednesday. "Typical NY city guard."
McMillan (he pronounces his first name like D'Juan) started his high school career at Boys and Girls High in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, and made a name for himself with the New York Panthers, an AAU program that has produced a ton of Big East stars, such as Khalid El-Amin, Charlie Villanueva, Curtis Sumpter and Taquan Dean.
"He likes South Florida a lot," said Panthers founder Gary Charles, who coached McMillan for two years. "I think he's a good fit for them. Stan's in a prime position to get a great point guard. He has quickness up and down the court, and he has that New York mentality. He wants to win all the time. He's a Big East guard."
The Bulls also got a boost when Providence fired coach Tim Welsh last week, as the Friars were USF's closest Big East competition. Hurley said McMillan is still considering Providence, pending their coaching change, as well as La Salle and George Mason.
The other promising new name is Teague, of Vineland, N.J., who just got on USF's recruiting radar in the past month but has quickly grown to like the idea of joining the Bulls and making an immediate impact in the Big East.
"He's very interested in USF, and I think there's a great possibility he attends school there," his father, Eugene, said Wednesday. "They came up here and liked what they saw, and we're going to try to make it happen. Gene has always liked the Big East."
Teague, due in for an official visit Thursday, played three years at St. Augustine Prep in Richland, N.J., averaging 17.1 points per game as a junior, but transferred two months ago to Living Faith Academy, whose prep ranks including two 6-foot-9 Kansas signees. He's on the high school team there, but has left an impression on the school's prep coach, Rich Marcucci.
"He can be a reckoning force inside," Marcucci said. "He's big, and he's very comfortable from 15 feet in. He's developed a lot faster than we even gave him credit for. He's already made tremendous improvement."
Teague, who averaged about 24 points and 10 rebounds in his short time at Living Faith according to Marcucci, drew early interest from Georgetown and Clemson and is also considering Iona, Delaware and Wright State. When Philly.com made its "Nifty Fifty" list of the top prospects in Philadelphia, its suburbs and south Jersey, Teague made the list at No. 38. His father said Heath made a strong impression on the family during a recent visit.
"I've been around basketball all my life, and I know who's talking reality and who has the far-fetched fantasy-type talking," Eugene Teague said. "That coaching staff, you can tell they're determined."
There you have it: two new names to add high on the list of potential Bulls. USF is still working the junior college route hard as well and could wind up with more than the current three scholarships available, so I'm curious to see just how big this incoming class could get. Thoughts? Questions?