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FGCU eyes Tampa Catholic’s Dziagwa

September 5, 2015
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FGCU has gotten commitments from an adept mid-range scorer and versatile, do-everything forward.

The only thing missing for the class of 2016 is a dead-eye outside shooter.

With the last of three scholarships it’s offering this year’s high school senior class, FGCU is in heavy pursuit of 6-foot-4 Tampa Catholic shooting guard Thomas Dziagwa, who will make his official visit to FGCU on Sept. 11-13 as one of his six finalist schools, according to his father and high school coach.

“They’ve done a great job recruiting him,” said Don Dziagwa, also the Tampa Catholic athletic director, noting FGCU coach Joe Dooley and assistant coach Michael Fly attending a fleet of his son’s games this summer. “Kids notice that.”

Dziagwa, who shot almost 38 percent (119-316) on 3-pointers last season for Tampa Catholic and 48 percent beyond the arc this summer for the Adidas Florida Suns, has narrowed his 22 scholarship offers to six finalists: FGCU, USF, UNF, Butler, Oklahoma State and Stephen F. Austin.

After he makes his official visit to USF on Friday, FGCU is second on the list, a potential advantage.

“A lot of players don’t make that,” the elder Dziagwa said of later scheduled visits. “USF, they’ve got the president of the university meeting him. They’re pulling out all the stops.”

All the schools other than Oklahoma State will visit Tampa Catholic on Sept. 9, the first day of the next recruiting period, Don Dziagwa said.

FGCU has loaded up on size and athleticism under Dooley and also will have three potential point guards vying for playing time this year and next: redshirt freshman Zach Johnson, true freshman Reggie Reid recently signed UCF transfer Brandon Goodwin, who will be a redshirt junior after sitting out this season.

But Dziagwa, who has already made an unofficial visit to FGCU this summer, would give the Eagles the pure outside shooter they’ll be losing with the graduation of fifth-year senior Filip Cvjeticanin.

Dziagwa, who averaged 26.8 points a game last season for Tampa Catholic, is ranked 25th in Florida in the 2016 class by FloridaHoops.com.

FGCU already received a commitment from 6-4 Jacksonville Bishop Kenny guard Christian Carlyle, ranked No. 20 by FloridaHoops, and Compton, Calif., small forward Raysean Scott.

“He’s really worked hard at it,” said Don Dziagwa, recalling his son asking to get to school an hour early beginning in his freshman year to practice his shot. “He’s done that pretty rigorously for three years. He was in the gym this morning. He gets out there and just works at it.”

College coaches cannot comment on unsigned players. The early signing period begins Nov. 11.

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