UD basketball eyes top-level guards

The senior guard from Mount Vernon High School near New York City vowed to coach Bob Cimmino to have a breakout senior year to catch the eye of college basketball recruiters, and he’s done exactly that.

The University of Dayton has offered Cousins a scholarship, as have Virginia Tech and several New York-area schools.

“He played on a pretty good AAU team and had a so-so summer,” Cimmino said. “They were up and down. Even he himself told me at the end of the summer, ‘Coach, I’m not going to get the kind of looks I want with my summer play. I’m really relying on our season.’ He’s just a workaholic when it comes to basketball. He’s gotten better and better.”

Cousins just won a Mr. Basketball award in Westchester County.

“He attacks the basket well,” said Cimmino, who has won four state titles and was picked to coach in the McDonald’s All-American game last season. “He also has a little New York chip on his shoulder.”

Asked if Cousins is interested in UD, Cimmino said: “Oh, definitely. Coach (Archie) Miller, I think the world of him.”

“He’s still wide open, obviously. He’s got a nice list of colleges following him. He’s listening. He’s taking everything in right now. He wants to really enjoy his senior year.”

The Flyers have signed three seniors and have two scholarships left to give in the 2012 class. Another coveted guard who has grabbed their attention is 6-2 Jerron Wilbut of Downers Grove South High School in suburban Chicago. He’s also being courted by Oregon, Clemson, Nebraska, Florida State and DePaul.

“He’s unbelievable,” coach Jay Baum said. “He gets to the rim easily and plays above the rim. He’s a great 3-point shooter. He’s long. He causes a lot of havoc on defense for us. He’s good in the open court. He’s a big-time player.”

Baum said Wilbut has been hearing from UD coaches but that colleges are still waiting to see whether the Rivals.com top-150 player works out some academic issues to avoid having to go the junior-college route.

Softball: The Flyers finished sixth in the Atlantic 10 last year, qualifying for the league tourney for the first time since 2000, and they’re looking to build on that after returning seven starting position players and top pitcher Alysha Isaacson.

First baseman Lauren Nacke was a first-team all-league pick as a junior last season after leading the A-10 in home runs (18), RBIs (48) and slugging percentage (.843).

UD begins the season Friday at a tournament in San Marcos, Texas.

Track and field: The UD women’s team will be seeking its third straight A-10 indoor title in Kingston, R.I., this weekend.

Last year, UD swept the major awards. Mallory Barnes was the most outstanding field performer, Maureen Bulgrin the most outstanding track performer and Adam Steinwachs coach of the year.

Barnes and Bulgrin have graduated, and Steinwachs has been replaced by Jason Francis, who was associate head coach for seven years at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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