Dave Pisarcik realizes he is a bit biased, but the Nature Coast boys basketball coach is firm in his belief that Sharks C Tyler Bergantino is the most talented player around.
And, the coach boasted, it's not even close.
"By far, he's the best in the bay area," Pisarcik said.
If you reside in Hillsborough or Pasco counties, right about now you're probably wondering, who is Tyler Bergantino?
People to the north already know the answer.
A 6-foot-9, 260-pound sophomore at Nature Coast, the 16-year-old Bergantino just completed a season in which he averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks a game while leading the Sharks to a Class 4A boys basketball region final.
USF already has offered Bergantino a scholarship.
Ditto for Buffalo and Ohio.
"I'd pick Tyler over any big man in the state," Pisarcik said.
At his current size, Bergantino is bigger than most Division I post players, and it's conceivable he could be a 7-footer someday.
"My doctors say my torso still has lots to grow," Bergantino said.
Bergantino might be big, but Pisarcik said his player runs the floor well and is conditioned enough to make it through an entire game, something many young players his size struggle with.
Bergantino, who carries a solid B average, doesn't seem content with where he's at, another good sign. Right now, he's taking part in a jump program.
"I'm trying to strengthen my knees to get more explosive," he said.
Bergantino said he will wait awhile before thinking too much about college. That said, he admits he's excited about the prospects of receiving more offers.
"Playing for a major D-I school has always been my dream," Bergantino said.
COMBINE COMING: The Ignite Football Combine, sponsored by Mega Sports Camps, will be held April 11 at Hillsborough High. The event, which organizers say will be covered by recruiting gurus from ESPN.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com, is open to all athletes with remaining eligibility. Players will work with area coaches, a laser clock will be used for timing and everything will be filmed. Organizers plan to provide information from the event to more than 600 college programs. The combine, which costs $45 to attend, is capped at 240 participants. For more information, e-mail Jackson@bigcounty preps.com.
SHORT STUFF: Mitchell RB Ricky Trinidad, who rushed for more than 1,300 yards as a junior, says he has received little attention thus far from colleges. But he hopes to change that with a strong performance at a March 27 combine at the University of Miami. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound speedster believes his future might be as a slot receiver. … Land O'Lakes cross country and track standout Matt Schwartz will attend Georgia Tech. Schwartz, who has a 4.45 grade-point average and plans to become an engineer, isn't yet sure if he will attempt to become a walk-on there. ... Tarpon Springs RB Adrian Golden, a St. Petersburg Times' first-team All-Pinellas pick after gaining 1,500-plus yards in 2009, is still undecided about which school he will attend this fall. A decision, however, could be made soon, he said.