Tuesday, December 18, 2012
UCF recruit impresses at City of Palms
By Dave Telep
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- You can never have enough good players, and Central Florida coach Donnie Jones has recruited himself a Will Sheehey-light type of player in senior small forward Steve Haney (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas).
Before we get into what he does well, Haney’s missed free throw in the waning seconds did prove pivotal in a buzzer-beater loss to host Bishop Verot (Fla.) on Tuesday at the City of Palms Classic. That one will sting him for a few games. Regardless, the kid can play.
The first thing you notice is how versatile Haney is. He’s a sneaky athlete with a good shot but an even better feel for the game. This is a guy who will hunt his buckets as needed but is equally effective as a passer and sees the floor. He has tremendous balance to his game. You’d think fundamentally sound, smart players would be easier to find, but the truth is they’re almost as rare as bigs these days.
Here’s what Haney’s Central Florida arc will look like. In year one, he’ll learn the rhythms of the system and receive solid backup minutes. After that, expect him to work his tail off and either beat someone out or entrench himself in the rotation. He’s the guy who typically grows in the confines of the program and proves ultra valuable.
Good teams need program players like him. And because he can handle and shoot, he has a chance to be a 25-plus-minute kid for three years.