February 14, 2014

Florida guard could be sleeper

Coaches across country are searching for sleepers to sign in the spring of 2014. Dinero Mercurius may be one.

A 6-foot-4 combo guard at Brandon (Fla.) Faith Baptist Christian School, Mercurius has been playing some as a point guard. His ability to play on and off the ball landed him his first high major offer when Stan Heath offered him a scholarship to play at USF.

"It felt good to get the offer," Mercurius told Rivals.com. "I knew Coach Heath would be at our game and I didn't want to blow that opportunity.Coach Heath likes that I can shoot the ball and that I'm a combo guard."

A native of New York, Mercurius also holds offers from UT-Martin and Southern to go along with interest from Niagara, Florida A&M, The Citadel, Florida International, Georgia Southern and East Tennessee State.

"His move from the shooting guard to the point has been the biggest reason for his success," said Faith Baptist head coach Kenny Gillion. "It improved his offensive awareness in that he sees the floor better and he improved his ball handling so that he is not just a catch and shoot player."

With Mercurius averaging 17 points and six assists in his prep season at Faith Baptist it's not difficult to see why there was a sudden rush of interest in the local talent from USF staff.

"Coach Roc (South Florida assistant coach Steve Roccaforte) and I have definitely been keeping in contact for a while," said Mercurius. "He'll check to see how I'm doing and get to know me, just building a relationship."

The combo guard recently took an unofficial visit to USF for their game against Rutgers.

"Going to the game opened my eyes a bit," he said. "We went around campus and after the game the coaches talked to me about how I can come in next season and contribute. They've made a really good impression which means a lot. I feel very confident in them."

Mercurius would like to get his commitment out of the way soon but indicated that he would like to see and learn more of what South Florida has to offer educationally before making that decision.

"I don't really have a set timetable for a decision," said Mercurius. "(USF) and I talked about going on a visit next Friday and Saturday. Most likely my mom will be with me. When it comes time to make a college choice I'll talk to my mom and my coaches and listen to their opinions.

"I want to go somewhere that even without basketball I can succeed with my major in in my career. I'm looking for a school that really wants me and fits my playing style."


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