Prep center Gardner picks Marquette over USF
Davante Gardner, the 6-foot-9, 280-pound center from Suffolk, Va., announced Monday that he has signed with Marquette, choosing the Golden Eagles over an offer from USF.
"He felt that would have been the best situation for him," said Josh Worrell, his coach at Kings Fork High School. "He liked things about both schools, and had mixed emotions. That's why it took this long for him to decide."
Gardner made an official visit to USF last month and had narrowed his choices to the Bulls and Marquette. USF has four returning post players in Gus Gilchrist, Jarrid Famous, Ron Anderson and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, so there isn't a pressing need for another post player beyond establishing depth for beyond next season.
USF has already signed five players for next season -- point guard LaVonte Dority, combo guard Shedrick Haynes, guard/forwards Hugh Robertson and Jawanza Poland and center Waverly Austin, with seven players back from last year's team.
Marquette was able to add Gardner despite already having the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships accounted for, with eight returning scholarship players and five recruits already announced as signees for next season. That likely means one of the current players won't return, or one of the signees won't qualify academically.