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College basketball briefs

By ANTONYA ENGLISH

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 19, 2000


Power forward commits to USF

TAMPA -- In the beginning, Brandon Brigman had no intention of attending the University of South Florida on a basketball scholarship.

The Philadelphia native was just looking for a free trip to Florida.

But the visit, along with the dogged persistence of USF coach Seth Greenberg, changed his mind.

The 6-foot-8, 253-pound power forward orally committed Wednesday to USF. Brigman, a 17-year-old senior at Philadelphia St. John Neumann High School, chose the Bulls over Virginia Tech and Massachusetts.

Along with the weather, players and the campus, it was Greenberg who helped sway Brigman.

"He recruited me the hardest," Brigman said. "A lot of the schools just let the assistants do it all. But when you're recruited the most by the guy who gives you all the minutes, that means a lot."

Neumann assistant coach John Mosco said the effort Greenberg put into recruiting Brigman was the deciding factor.

"Brandon was only thinking about going down there for a visit, but Coach Greenberg persisted," Mosco said. "They (coaches) did their job. They earned their money."

Brigman said a lengthy, one-on-one conversation with USF All-America candidate B.B. Waldon also played heavily in his decision.

"What B.B. did was tell me all the good and bad things about USF," Brigman said. "Most people talked just about the good things. I liked that he talked about both."

Last season, Brigman averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocked shots for a team on which six players averaged double figures. He was an All-Catholic third-team selection in consecutive years and scored 763 points in three seasons, although he played sparingly his freshman season. "He's very adept at stepping out on the perimeter and making shots and he's a physical presence," Mosco said. "He needs to work on his conditioning. He's got soft hands, good touch, and he's a good passer. He's very unselfish and very much a team player."

Brigman said he will sign during the November early signing period so he can enjoy his senior season stress-free.

"I can concentrate on my team now," he said. "People don't understand that when you're getting recruited you've got calls coming night and morning, all the time. I had a lot of offers so I really didn't have to wait."

ALABAMA: Freshman Gerald Wallace, the 2000 Naismith National Player of the Year, injured his neck in a collision during practice Monday, but no lasting effects are expected. Wallace spent Monday night in a hospital for observation.

DEPAUL: Freshman Andre Brown has been ruled academically eligible. He is expected to play at small forward and shooting guard.

SOUTHERN CAL: Leading rebounder David Bluthenthal will miss 2-4 weeks after having arthroscopic surgery to remove cartilage in his right knee.

- Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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