Gilchrist to USF; Doesn't Rule out Md. Return

The winding path of Gus Gilchrist made a stop in the Sunshine State this weekend, resulting in him making a verbal commitment to the University of South Florida. The question remains, though: will the prized 6-foot-10 forward be there past the summer, and what are the odds he could return to Maryland?'s Jeff Ermann has the answers …

Terrelle Woody, Gilchrist's personal trainer and mentor, told TSR that Gilchrist committed to South Florida after a visit this weekend and will begin summer school there June 28. But Gilchrist will not sign a Letter of Intent, instead waiting to see if the NCAA grants a waiver that would make him eligible to play at the start of the 2008-2009 season.

Gilchrist, who was recently granted a release by Maryland, is seeking to avoid sitting out the first semester of the season, Woody said, which was the impetus for his move to a non-Atlantic Coast Conference school; the conference has denied two appeals asking that he be deemed eligible to play immediately after originally signing a National Letter of Intent with another ACC school, Virginia Tech.

The Terps' staff continues to hold out hope that the gifted big man will return to College Park if his waiver appeal – to be filed by USF – is denied. Woody said it's a possibility, though Gilchrist and his family are optimistic about his chances of becoming eligible.

At Maryland, he would miss only the first few weeks of games. Elsewhere, unless his appeal is granted, he'd seemingly be required to sit the entire year -- his second in a row.

"We'll cross that bridge when we get there. There could be a chance of that, but we'll see what happens. We'll go from there [after the NCAA's response]," Woody said. "Gus loves his teammates at Maryland and Gary Williams and all the coaches. But he also needs to explore his options.

"They have let us know that Gus would be welcomed back, and they still call to check up and see how Gus is doing," Woody said.

A major selling point for USF was the presence of guard Chris Howard, who, like Gilchrist, attended Friendly High in Fort Washington, Md. The two have always wanted to play together, Woody said, and Howard helped sell him on the idea of playing at USF, which competes in the Big East.

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