"Shaun Verbally committed to USF about an hour ago," said North Port coach Curt Allen. "He really loves Coach Heath, and feels very good and excited about his decision."
Before committing to the Bulls Wednesday, he was being recruited by Butler, Washington State, and all the mid majors in Florida.
"A big part in his decision was location, he wanted to be where his family can see him play, being in the Big East, the level of play, and education of course. When he checked off all the boxes, it all seemed right and he felt very comfortable with the coaching staff."
Noriega was a third team All-State selection for class 5A North Port after averaging 24.1 PPG, 4.1 Rebounds, and shot 39 percent from beyond the arc with 85 3-pointers on the season. He was also named Charlotte Sun-Herald First-Team All Area, and class 5A player of the year. Noriega also owns North Port's career scoring record with 1,282 points in just three seasons.
"He's a high character kid, very loyal, and a great shooter," said Allen. We went 21-7 as a team this year and he was a big part of that. He also played for the AAU Florida Elite and was used to playing against some stiff competition."
From an athletic standpoint Noriega is a 6'4 195 pounds kid whose strength is scoring, and averaged over 30 points per game over the last 10 games of the season. He's steadily improved every year after averaging 19 points as a sophomore and is ranked #1 in the class of 2009 in South West Florida by SWFLHoops.com.
"His strength is catching, shooting but has improved steadily in every area, said Allen. "Playing in a pretty strong league, he sees a lot of boxes and is used to be guarded hard, but he is strong and athletic enough to fight through it. He'll be the kind of kid that can read screens, and open up spacing for players when they come out to guard him."
What he'll bring to USF is the ability to spread the floor, and with his range, and with the line being moved back will be a plus factor for him.
"He really wants to come in and help build the program, and help establish it again, said Allen. "He feels they have a lot of talent, but he'll bring a different dimension to the team. He's going to be that guy that can come in and make shots."
During the recruiting period there are tons of calls, letters and texts, and even though he could have waited, getting his decision done early was important to him.
"He's the kind of kid that will come in and work hard with the team and by him self, with the commitment behind him he can just focus on his play and get ready to play in the big east at the next level."
Noriega has a 3.4 GPA, is is set to take his placement tests shortly.
"He's very excited about his choice, when he looked at everything. The USF coaches, his family is important so playing close was big, playing on ESPN in the Big East, getting the education that he wants it all seemed like the perfect fit."
After practice Wednesday we caught up with Shaun who added to what his coach already said. "It a real good fit for me," said Noriega. It's a great school with an up an coming program, and the location is great. I like the coaches and I feel like I'll fit in well with the offense. I'm very excited."
Stay tuned with USFNation.com as we'll have more on Shaun Noriega Shortly.
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