Meet Steve Goins, 6-foot-10 center and maybe one of the top sleepers in the country. He's averaging 12 points, 8 rebounds and 5 rebounds. As important as the numbers and improvement has been Goins' approach to the game. Since transferring from Leo to Curie this year, Goins has found his niche.
"He came in not being really interested in basketball," Oliver said. "He didn't play much and lost interest. He got hurt his sophomore year. Now he's come a long, long, long way. I believe brighter futures is ahead for him.
"Right now he's a mid-major but he's 6-10 with a lot of skills. He's getting motivated and the light bulb is starting to come on. He knows he can go to college and there aren't too many things you can do at 6-10 on a normal job."
Goins' first three years at Leo were marked by little to no playing time and almost no zest for the game. Oliver said that since arriving at school he's bonded with basketball and the change in his love for basketball is evident.
"We know we can trust him now. He's motivated. There used to be a time where he didn't care. Over Christmas he didn't play well. He was down and concerned about his performance. I was glad to see that he was really showing emotion and he really cares about basketball and his performance."
Goins is excited about watching his game expand. "I've gotten way better. At Curie they're working with me and they do a lot of conditioning. They do one-on-one coaching.
"I think I'm way better. I don't know if I were to grade myself. Last year I would be B or whatever. Right now I think I'm at the top of my game so far in my career."
South Florida came up and offered him. Illinois-Chicago has too along with Detroit and Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. Plenty of biggies are looking. From DePaul to Minnesota (Goins says he talks to Kentucky assistant Tracy Webster), he's not lacking suitors.
"He's wide open right now," Oliver said. "Every time he plays he gets more interest. South Florida came and likes him. Marist offered him. He's got like 5 offers on the table but I told him not to be in any rush and take it one day at a time. This is all new to him and his family."
Goins doesn't get Tom Brady treatment in Chicago but there are rumblings of his improvement. The city has cranked out lots of late bloomers and we're tabbing Goins as THE under the radar prospect this time around.
"They talk about and you see my name around more."