Andrew Koob (@AndrewKoob)
Dave Winfield Jr., son of former San Diego Padre and Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, verbally committed to Penn last Friday.
Harvard-Westlake (Ca.) head coach Greg Hilliard likes what he has seen from Winfield Jr., but admits that he has only seen the center in limited action.
“We haven’t had a chance to have him play a lot because he’s suffered through a lot of growing pains with his knees and he’s been in and out,” Hilliard told CoBL by phone on Monday. “He played anywhere from 6 to 15 minutes per game (in his junior year), so we’ve never actually had him as a full time player. We’re looking forward to it just from the little bits that we have seen him play at full strength.”
At 6-foot-10, 280 pounds, Winfield Jr. is a big body that can dominate the post. But, according to a report on philly.com, the big man has grown six inches in the past two years, which might explain the problem with his knees. However, the senior has been rehabbing with a well-known doctor after undergoing arthroscopic surgery.
“He’s using the same doctors that take care of (the Los Angeles) Lakers, Kerlan-Jobe,” Hilliard said. “They think the knee is probably fine now as far as the knee, but basketball-wise he’ll probably start somewhere around 75%.
“He’s got a ways to go, but he’s been going through a lot of rehab and he just hasn’t had any time on the court yet. We’re hoping by the time November ends, he’ll be at full strength and ready to go for the season.”
When Winfield is healthy and on the floor, Hilliard knows that the center can make a big impact.
“He’s very powerful, he keeps the ball up above his head and he move well under the basket and finishes strong. He blocks and changes shots without great leaping ability, he’s got great timing and at 6-foot-10, 280 pounds, he fills a lot of space.”
The senior’s impact was evident last year in a victory against Bishop Alemany (CA), one of the top teams in California last year.
“The best indicator of what he could be was in the biggest game of the year last year against Alemany, a team that was undefeated and went on to win the state championship in another division,” said Hilliard. ”We won that game, he was healthy and played the entire game and scored 21 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots and we beat them by 20 in their gym.”
More information coming soon.
Bagtas Also Commits
Winfield’s commitment on Friday was followed on Sunday by the second verbal commitment of the Quakers’ in Atlanta, Georgia point guard Tony Bagtas. A senior from Westlake High School (Ga.), Bagtas averaged 21.5 points per game and seven assists for the Lions last year, who went 17-5.
The 5-foot-11, 160 pound point guard uses his speed and great vision to get to the basket and set up his teammates for easy lay ups.
Bagtas has his own website, www.tonybagtas.com, that includes some highlights from his sophomore (2010-2011) year.
CoBL will highlight Bagtas this week.