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College

McCauley eliminates Pitt

Kevin Gorman
| Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004

Yough forward Ben McCauley, considered one of the nation's top 100 basketball players, has narrowed his college choice to four schools.

And Pitt isn't among them.

"It just seemed like they kind of stopped with me," McCauley said of the Panthers. "During the 'live' period -- when they were allowed to call me -- they didn't. It's too bad. I developed a good relationship with all the coaches, but I guess they decided to go another way. I just wish they would have told me."

The 6-8 McCauley has scheduled official visits to Xavier on Sept. 24, Ohio State on Oct. 8 and North Carolina State on Oct. 22. McCauley also plans to visit Cincinnati, but hasn't set up a date. He would like to decide before the early signing period.

"After I take these visits in the fall, I'd like to make my decision in November," said McCauley, who averaged 26.6 points and 14.5 rebounds per game last season. "I want to go into the visits with a level-minded approach, so I don't put one team on top."

Profeta picks St. Francis

Chartiers Valley senior Stephen Profeta has always dreamed of playing Division I basketball. What he needed was a school which believed the 6-foot-3 forward could play shooting guard in college.

When Profeta found a taker in Loretto's St. Francis, he didn't hesitate in making a verbal commitment to the Red Flash. He can sign a binding national letter of intent during the early signing period.

"I know if I work at it, I can do whatever they want me to," said Profeta, who played guard for the Pittsburgh J.O.T.S. AAU team this summer. "It's definitely going to be a big change going from forward to guard, especially at the collegiate level."

Profeta was Chartiers Valley's second-leading scorer last season (14.5 points per game) and made 69 3-pointers as the Colts claimed the WPIAL Class AAAA championship.

Profeta, who has started since his sophomore season, is the third Colts player to receive a Division I scholarship under Tim McConnell, following Ahmed El Nokali (Princeton) and Isaiah Stewart (Siena). Another, Amr El Nokali, was a walk-on at Pitt.

St. Francis followed Profeta on the summer circuit, watching him play at the Eastern Invitational camp and the AAU national championships in Orlando.

"His decision-making, passing and defending are the things they really liked," said McConnell, whose brother, Tom, is a former St. Francis coach. "He's very unselfish and team-oriented. One thing he needs to improve is his handle, and he's been working hard at it."

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