Villanova kept one of the best in the Philadelphia area close to home with the decision of Mikal…
Bridges to Give PSU the Once-Over
Penn State basketball coach Pat Chambers has made it no secret that he wants players with "Philly swagger," as guard D.J. Newbill put it during the 2012-13 season. The commitment of Roman Catholic guard Shep Garner over the weekend gives the third-year coach the opportunity to sign his first Philadelphia area prospect in the Class of 2014. Another from the area will visit Sunday. Garner's Team Final AAU teammate and Great Valley (Malvern, Pa.) FOX Sports NEXT four-star small forward Mikal (Mi-call) Bridges will make the trek to University Park Saturday, and the senior-to-be says he is excited to learn more about the Lions' program. "They really started to recruit me after my high school season, and I think they came to a few of my AAU games," Bridges said. "I've talked to coach Patrick Chambers, and he's a good guy. He tells me he likes that I'm versatile, and that he sees me being good when I get older." The 6-foot-6, 185-pound prospect averaged 20 points last winter for Great Valley, and when asked to evaluate himself, he said that a mix of shooting and passing are what makes him a valuable asset, along with his ability to play in the paint. He touts offers from George Washington, Saint Joseph's and Temple, along with Penn State. He's heard plenty about Penn State growing up, and expects to learn more from Garner after he ended his recruitment and selected the Lions. He's also excited to see what State has to offer with his own eyes, and his family coming will give him an extra help evaluating the university. "It's a really big school, and I know a couple of my friends are going there next year," Bridges said. "It's a really big campus, and the gym is nice, I hear. My boy Shep is going there, too, and I love playing with him." The two only met this past season when Team Final began practicing, yet Bridges says they have formed a quick relationship. Bridges noted that he and Garner often work off each other, which suits his style perfectly. "It felt good to play with him. I like how he plays, and I play good when he plays good," Bridges said. "He shares the ball good, and always finds me open. And I always find him open." As for this weekend, he's anxious to see what he finds in Happy Valley. "I want to see how much they really want me to go there, and I want to see the coaches," Bridges said. "Then, I'll continue playing in my AAU season. "I like playing against the best kids in the country, and getting prepared for the next level. Hard competition makes me play better, and show me what I have to work on."
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