Decisions coming in late signing period

The late signing period for collegiate basketball opens today, and though neither the USF men or women’s basketball teams are expected to announce late signees until next week, both Bulls teams are expected to sign three new recruits.

USF women’s basketball coach Jose Fernandez has three scholarships available and expects to get a good gauge on who will get them when he hosts three junior college players for official visits this weekend.

“This is probably the biggest recruiting weekend ever for me at USF,” Fernandez said.

Though he would not give specifics, Fernandez said that the three players consist of a post player, a shooting guard and a point guard. There was no timetable for National Letters of Intent to be sent.

Fernandez signed two players to letters of intent during the early signing period in November 2003 — Tampa Bay Tech’s Chi Chi Okpaleke — the first local recruit for USF in the past 10 years — and Nicole Munneke from Centennial (Minnesota) High School.

Men’s basketball coach Robert McCullum is also expected to sign three players to go with Collin Dennis, a 6-foot-2 guard from Richland (Texas) High School and Solomon Jones, a 6-foot-10 forward from Daytona Beach Community College, who signed letters of intent with the Bulls in November.

The three players McCullum is expected to sign are Maurice Mobley, a 6-foot-5 center from Parkland (Ill.) Community College, Marius Prekvicius, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward from Weatherford (Texas) College, and Westover (Ga.) guard Montavious Waters.

According to, Waters, Mobley and Prekvicius have given verbal commitments to USF.

A press conference is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday to announce the men’s signees.

BULLS BANQUET: Junior forward Terrence Leather was named the men’s basketball team’s John and Cynthia Ruzic Most Valuable Player at the team’s annual banquet April 8.

Leather, who averaged 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game this past season, was the eighth player in school history to lead the team in both scoring and rebounding. Leather was a third-team All-Conference USA selection.

Senior center Gerrick Morris, who broke the team’s single-season and career marks for blocks this past season, was named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Morris ranked third nationally and second in C-USA in blocks per game, averaging 4 blocks per contest.

Senior walk-on Brian Graham was the winner of the Bull Pride Award, junior guard Bradley Mosley was named the Most Improved Player and junior guard Brian Swift earned the Academic Award.

Graham, who worked his way into the starting lineup after numerous players left the team this past season, averaged 3.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Mosley and Swift logged heavy minutes together in USF’s backcourt this season, oftentimes playing the entire game. Mosley finished second on the team in scoring, averaging 14.6 ppg, while Swift finished third at 9.9 ppg.

In addition to those honors, Morris earned the Richard K. and Rosalyn K. Wittcoff Endowed Scholarship Award; Swift earned the Wittcoff Family Endowed Scholarship Award; and Mosley earned the Bill Jones Scholarship Award.