USF gets recruit

The guards just keep on coming for Stan Heath.

The USF basketball coach received his third guard commitment of the 2009 class when prep-school star Mike Burwell Jr. signed his letter of intent Wednesday.

Burwell led South Kent prep school in Connecticut with a team-high 16 points per game last season. He averaged 81 percent from the line and will boost USF’s last-place free-throw shooting in the Big East.

“We’re excited to add Mike to the Bulls basketball family,” Heath said. “We really feel we’ve addressed our need to improve our shooting. Mike has more versatility than just being a shooter.”

Burwell helped South Kent to a 26-7 record — and a top-10 national ranking — by shooting 41 percent from the three-point line. Heath said, however, that Burwell can help in other areas, too.

“He puts the ball on the floor, he has good size, he can rebound, he runs well and he has been a part of winning programs his last three seasons,” Heath said. “He will do whatever he can to help his team be successful.”

Before attending South Kent, Burwell, who’s listed as 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, attended Cardinal McCarrick High School in New Jersey and was named Associated Press first-team all-state as a senior.

He joins Jordan Dumars and Shaun Noriega in the 2009 class. Guard Anthony Crater, who transferred last semester from Ohio State, will also be eligible to play next season.

“He will fit in very well with our program and we look for him to be a guy who can step on the floor and contribute right away,” Heath said. “We struggled with our depth last season and we certainly felt we needed to improve our shooting skills, but we also have players we can bring in that can continue to allow us to produce on the floor.”