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Found 39 results

  1. By Joey Knight Published: December 13, 2017 Understandably, an anticlimactic vibe hovers over the Birmingham Bowl for many USF fans, who were hoping their season would end a bit farther east, at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta. But one still can't ignore this game's historical context: It's the last time Quinton Flowers — greatest player in school history — will put on the uniform. That in itself should compel a hearty legion to trek northward to (fittingly enough) Legion Field. And who knows? Flowers may add another mesmerizing play to his bulging catalogue. We've gone through it, clip by breathtaking clip, in an effort to compile the top 10 Flowers plays at USF. Truth be told, selecting the top 10 gumbos in New Orleans might've been easier. Our list is sure to elicit some debate, but that's what makes it fun. Speaking of fun, thanks Q, for all the entertaining, electrifying, enthralling moments. Here are your 10 best (in order) as we see them (with links to the clips of each play): 1. vs. Connecticut (Oct. 15, 2016) Quintessential Quinton, plain and simple. On this 54-yard touchdown run, Flowers dropped back as if to pass, then tucked it. He eluded one down lineman in the backfield, then feinted left and darted right, duping no fewer than four UConn defenders near the line of scrimmage. Spotting a hole to his left, he sprinted upfield toward the left sideline, and caught blocks from TE Mitchell Wilcox (near the 30) and WR Rodney Adams (near the 10) en route to the end zone. (at 0:27 mark of this link) 2. at Memphis (Nov. 12, 2016) Few players in America are as adept at creating something out of nothing as Flowers. Exhibit A may be this game-winning 22-yard TD run in the final two minutes of a 49-42 victory. After running into TB Marlon Mack in the backfield, Flowers turned a broken play into a brilliant one. He scrambled to his right, stutter-stepped, turned upfield, juked a Memphis defender out of his cleats at the 10, and ran into the end zone. (at 4:41 mark of this link) 3. at Memphis (Nov. 12, 2016) Exhibit B of Flowers' uncanny ability to transform a lemon into lemonade. Two plays before his game-winning 22-yard scoring run, Flowers faced third-and-8 from the Tigers 41. On a clear passing situation, Flowers got pressure from an edge rusher to his right and a linebacker dashing untouched up the middle on a delayed blitz. As both converged on him, Flowers stepped up in the pocket and the two Tigers ran into each other. He then darted to his right, where he was wrapped up by a defensive back. Just before his knee hit the ground, he flung the ball to Rodney Adams, who raced down the right sideline for a 13-yard gain. (at 4:25 mark of this link) 4. vs. FAMU (Aug. 5, 2015) Chronologically, this is probably the first of Flowers' collegiate highlight clips, occurring in the 2015 season opener (his second career start). As his pocket rapidly collapsed, Flowers did a literal 360-degree turn in the backfield to elude a defensive tackle, slipped, regained his footing, then scrambled right. He somehow dodged DE Adarrius Smith then — while on the run — flung a pass across his body to D'Ernest Johnson in the left rear of the end zone for a 22-yard TD. (at this link) 5. at UCF (Nov. 24, 2017) Flowers said this one's his personal favorite. Down by eight with less than two minutes remaining at UCF, he took a simple shotgun snap and launched a throw that traveled 50-plus yards in the air to Darnell Salomon, who had gotten behind a busted coverage on a post route for an 83-yard score. Simple throw and catch? Not hardly, considering the circumstance and the fact Flowers had a raucous USF student section at his back. (at 5:32 mark of this link) 6. vs. South Carolina (Dec. 29, 2016) This was Q in the clutch. On USF's first offensive play in overtime of the Birmingham Bowl, Flowers — flushed from the pocket — rolled to his right and flung a 25-yard strike to TE Kano Dillon, who had gotten behind two defenders in the end zone. A fumble (forced by a Mike Love sack) on the ensuing South Carolina possession sealed a 46-39 Bulls triumph. (at this link) 7. vs. Syracuse (Oct. 10, 2015) The play in the game that altered the trajectory of USF football (and saved Willie Taggart's job). A day or so before, Taggart had agreed to un-shackle Flowers from the power-based, paint-by-numbers offensive scheme that was going nowhere, and turn him loose. On this play, Flowers took a shotgun snap and handed it to Marlon Mack, who handed it to Rodney Adams on an end-around. Eluding a tackler in the backfield, Adams tossed it back to Flowers, who completed the flea-flicker with a 42-yard scoring pass to quarantined receiver Ryeshene Bronson. (at 1:18 mark of this link) 8. at Memphis (Nov. 12, 2016) Yes, our list features three plays from one game. While other clips on this list showcase Flowers' arm, improvisational flair and/or elusiveness, this 48-yard TD run brandishes his speed, plain and simple. On fourth-and-3, Flowers faked a jet-sweep handoff to Rodney Adams, ran to his left, found a seam between two Memphis defenders at the Tigers 45, and was gone. (at this link) 9. vs. SMU (Oct. 24, 2015) No. 2 on Flowers' personal list. He took a shotgun snap, pump faked, then scurried left, hurdling RB Darius Tice (who had just executed a key block). From there, it was a sprint down the left side, with Flowers outrunning the Mustangs until a cornerback with a nice angle ran him down and forced a fumble. TE Marlon Pope recovered, however, preserving a 67-yard gain. (at 1:52 mark of this link) 10. vs. Northern Illinois (Sept. 10, 2016) In our opinion, this is the prettiest throw Flowers — mostly unappreciated for his arm strength — has ever made in a USF uniform. He took a simple shotgun snap, spotted Ryeshene Bronson in single coverage down the left sideline, and launched a spiral that traveled 55 yards in the air. Bronson caught it in stride for a 73-yard touchdown. (at 0:29 mark of this link)
  2. By Joey Knight Published: December 12, 2017 He enters the Birmingham Bowl needing 67 yards to break former Lakewood High teammate Rodney Adams' single-season receiving yardage record at USF, but senior Marquez Valdes-Scantling has more pressing priorities these days. History, in fact, is No. 3 on his agenda, behind victory and philanthropy. Valdes-Scantling tweeted Sunday he plans to spend Christmas Day handing out duffel bags (filled with clothes, toiletries, bottled water, etc.) to the homeless in the bay area. He's currently accepting donated items for the endeavor, and will continue to do so until the Bulls leave for Birmingham on Dec. 19. "Growing up, I've always had a soft spot for homeless people because it's situations that they can't control, they fall on hard times," said Valdez-Scantling, who enters the bowl game with 746 receiving yards on the season. "So I spoke with my mom a while back and said I want to open up a homeless shelter once I get (financially) well enough to do that. … I just wanted to give back to the community that raised me." Those wishing to donate can contact Valdes-Scantling via Twitter (@MVS_11).
  3. Joey KnightTimes staff writer Published: December 12, 2017 Updated: December 12, 2017 at 09:31 AM TAMPA — Having spent 11 games watching Tyre McCants in the flesh — all 236 pounds of it — USF coach Charlie Strong seems convinced his team’s leading receiver down the stretch could be someone’s leading rusher down the road. "I think he can do a whole lot (at the next level)," Strong said recently. "And he can play a lot of different positions, too. I think he’s a guy that can play running back." Niceville High coach John Hicks sure thought so, and his hunch helped the Eagles to a historic season in 2013. Needing a victory against Tate High in a one-quarter district shootout to earn a playoff berth, Hicks took his burly senior slot receiver and inserted him as a tailback in the I-formation. On the Eagles’ first scoring drive, McCants ran for 48 yards on four carries. Niceville won the shootout, 14-0, and ultimately advanced to the Class 7A state title game. "Ran power every play and they could do nothing about it," said Niceville running backs coach Adron Robinson, a close family friend whom McCants refers to as his uncle. "He told me in the locker room, ‘Feed me and we’ll get this win.’ After the first handoff, you could tell they were in trouble." Four autumns later, McCants was brandishing his dual threats — an ability to run downfield and downhill — to a national TV audience against UCF. On the third play from scrimmage, he took a screen pass from Quinton Flowers at midfield, broke a tackle and raced up the right sideline for a 47-yard touchdown. The indelible image is McCants dragging 230-pound linebacker Chequan Burkett, who had a handful of McCants’ jersey, the last 15 yards. "When he gets the ball and it’s one-on-one," Strong said, "I’m gonna say he’s gonna win it most of the time." Meet the most physically distinctive offensive weapon you’re likely to see in the upcoming Birmingham Bowl. At 5-foot-11, 235 pounds, McCants — who will line up as a slot receiver — will be as big or bigger than three of the four linebackers on the two-deep Texas Tech depth chart. Yet Hicks confirms McCants ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds as a high school junior. "That’s where he gets you at, ’cause he’s got great speed," Bulls senior nickelback Deatrick Nichols said. He’s coming off the game of his life. In his nine-catch, 227-yard performance at UCF, McCants broke the Bulls’ single-game receiving yardage record in the first half (six receptions, 210 yards). Four of his catches went for 33 or more yards. And while he had established himself as a viable downfield threat long before that game, he was more noted for being arguably the best blocker on a receiving unit that takes immense pride in it. In the season opener at San Jose State, McCants had two critical blocks on the same D’Ernest Johnson 50-yard touchdown run. "A lot of times when you’re a little guy, you just run through ’em and you’re gonna knock them back," Strong said. "But he’s got a base where can sit down, he can put his hands on you. If he gets his hands on you then he can move you out of the way because of his size." The robust frame made McCants a fledgling force of nature in Niceville, where he was an only child raised by a single mom and grandmother. Robinson remembers seeing him at age 3 in his front yard playing football against himself. "I mean, he’s throwing balls, he’s running down and catching ’em, he’s juking his imaginary self," Robinson said. "And then he comes in crying and I said, ‘Tyre what’s wrong?’ And he said, ‘I lost.’ That’s when I knew I had something, if it mattered to him that much to where he wasn’t letting himself win." At Niceville High, Hicks employed him at running back, receiver, cornerback, safety, linebacker and kick returner. Though robust even then (200 pounds as a senior), he finished his prep career with more than 3,200 all-purpose yards and evolved into a three-star recruit. "USF actually did recruit me as a running back at first," said McCants, who had 818 receiving yards and 560 rushing yards as a senior. "And then when Marlon (Mack) and D’Ernest (signed), they said, ‘Oh, we’re gonna move you to receiver.’ " He really beefed up after tearing his left ACL in 2014, when he redshirted. He had only seven catches the following season, but three went for 34 or more yards. The breakthrough occurred in 2016, when he caught 25 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 15.4 yards per catch. It has been all downhill — in the dominant sense — ever since. McCants enters the Birmingham Bowl with 30 catches, 598 yards and a team best 19.9 yards per reception. "If you get him in the open field one-on-one, and you … get him on the safety, I’m gonna say he’s gonna win it 90 percent of the time," Strong said. "And it’s got to be one of those tackles where they’ve got to hit him before he gets started, because he can catch it and if he can get his pads squared up, he’s gonna win it and he’s gonna take the ball the distance."
  4. Nice article with some men's hoop history for those not familiar with USF MBB's travails ....
  5. Joey KnightTimes staff writer Published: November 7, 2017 Updated: November 7, 2017 at 10:11 PM TAMPA — Long before her team’s season ended on a buzzer beater in the NCAA Tournament’s opening round against Missouri, Laia Flores had become an authority on excruciation. Technically, she was the only healthy point guard on USF’s roster, which is to say, the only one not confined to a knee brace. Flores tore ligaments in her right ankle in the opening minutes of a Feb. 5 loss at Memphis but chose to trudge onward, subsisting on tape jobs and tenacity. In that 66-64 loss to Missouri, she was among three Bulls — bereft of depth at that point — to play all 40 minutes. "It was really hurting me," said Flores, who played in all 33 games and averaged a team-high 36.8 minutes. "I’m not gonna lie now that it’s over." No one epitomized the Bulls’ 2016-17 plight more than Flores, one of four players to average more than 35 minutes. The team’s most versatile player (wing Laura Ferreira) was limited to nine games by plantar fascia issues, and the most heralded freshman (Denmark national teamer Enna Pehadzic) had to redshirt due to knee surgery. The grind of a 4?1/2-month season further decimated the roster. USF used only six players against Missouri. "I mean, we stumbled," coach Jose Fernandez said. "Last year’s team won 24 games, but we were hurting." These days, the hurt has been supplanted by hype. Once Pehadzic returns (perhaps in another week) and 6-foot-2 Northern Arizona transfer Alyssa Rader becomes eligible in early December, Fernandez could have the deepest team of his 18 seasons. And maybe even his best. "We’re gonna play about nine guys," said Fernandez, whose club was ranked 23rd in the Associated Press preseason poll. "There are gonna be three guys on this team that are very talented that are not gonna play. It’s just the nature of where this program’s at." Six of the top eight scorers return, led by first-team All-American Athletic Conference picks Kitija Laksa (19.2 ppg) and Maria Jespersen (14.7 ppg, 9 rpg), and 6-1 freshman of the year Tamara Henshaw (7 ppg, 6.8 rpg). Flores (6.1 assists), who needed no surgery, now is backed by fellow Spain native Alba Prieto, a scoring/distributing dynamo for Spain’s under-18 national team. Ferreira, meantime, says she feels like her sophomore self, which averaged 9.6 points and might have been the Bulls’ best perimeter defender. "She’s just a great addition to what we already have," Jespersen said. The stated objective now is to scale the NCAA bracket instead of stubbing its toe on it. USF never has escaped the tournament’s opening weekend in five career appearances. Fernandez speaks as if anything less would be a failure. An excruciating one. "Seventeen percent of teams that play Division I basketball play in the NCAA Tournament, so that means only about 7-8 percent move to the second weekend out of the 350 schools," Fernandez said. "So a lot of people don’t understand how difficult that is. "But that’s where our program’s at."
  6. As the coach of a preseason conference title favorite, Charlie Strong continually has warned his players they will get their opponents' best shot. Verbal shots included. Saturday at Tulane, the Bulls returned fire, and Strong suggested it nearly cost them. "I said to our guys the other night, 'We were up, and on defense we kind of lost our edge when we started talking, chirping,'" said Strong, whose team surrendered 21 unanswered second-half points in a 34-28 victory. "And I said, 'Just keep playing. You don't need to chirp, just keep playing.' And then it turned into a chirping game. So now you lose your edge, you lose your focus." Tulane collected 208 of its 415 yards in the game's final 18 minutes, scoring touchdowns on three of its last four possessions. Before that, USF appeared on pace for its fourth consecutive victory by a margin of 30 or more points. Then the Green Wave began chipping -- and chirping -- away. "But the great thing about it is, they owned up to it," Strong said of his players. "It's like, 'Coach, you know what, you're exactly right. If we had just kept playing...'" Article
  7. No nostalgia on menu as Shaun King returns to Tulane Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Friday, October 20, 2017 5:00pm He remembers his startling orientation to indigent bayou cuisine. Shaun King, then Tulane's quarterback, was at the Houma, La., home of teammate JaJuan Dawson, staring at platters of possum and raccoon."That was my introduction to that real, born-and-raised Louisiana menu," King recalled with a laugh. "I didn't try it. ... I was very respectful when I said no thanks, but I watched him eat it and it looked like it was really good, but I stuck with the chicken."One of the greatest players in Green Wave history, King -- now USF's running backs coach -- returns to New Orleans this weekend. In lieu of nocturnal creatures, nostalgia will arrive at him in heaping portions. But once again, the 2004 inductee into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame will politely decline."What we accomplished during my tenure at Tulane is something that everybody that was a part of it is always gonna have," said King, the Gibbs High alumnus who led the 1998 Green Wave team to a 12-0 record as a senior. "But it's a business. I'm all in with South Florida now and we're going up there to get us a W. That's the focus, that's the goal and that's the end of it really, to be honest." more... Rest of Story
  8. Tuesday, October 17, 2017 3:54pm Twice already this season, college football's convoluted targeting rule has resulted in senior DT Deadrin Senat's ejection. But not his dejection, he insists. Speaking for the first time since his disqualifications, in the first half of the San Jose State and Illinois contests, Senat said the incidents changed "nothing that I do." Case in point: 14 of his 18 tackles have come in his last three games. "All it did was just help me get better, help me learn different ways of tackling," Senat said Tuesday. After his second ejection, Senat said he sat down with Coach Charlie Strong and his defensive coaches, asking what -- if anything -- he needed to do differently. Strong's message to him: Play your game and do your best, Senat said. "I didn't change anything I do," he added. "All I do is, now I've got to lower my target. But I'm still playing aggressive, I'm still coming off the ball, I'm still trying to hit the quarterback, trying to get the most hits on the defense." FLOWERS' FRUSTRATION: Those watching the Bulls' 33-3 romp Saturday of Cincinnati -- either in person or via ESPNU -- might have noticed QB Quinton Flowers betraying signs of frustration on a couple of occasions. Afterward, Flowers insisted he was frustrated at himself. On Tuesday, Strong said the same, indicating Flowers was angry over a couple of inacccurate throws toward 6-foot-5 senior Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and the failure to see slot WR Tyre McCants on an open seam route. Through six games, Flowers' efficiency rating -- 135.5 -- is down slightly from this time last year (148.8), which stands to reason. In lieu of bubble screens and swing passes, he's taking more downfield shots. "The thing about Quinton is, he's not one of those guys that will ever point a finger," Strong said. "He's not a finger pointer at all, so if he's ever frustrated at all, he's frustrated at himself." Strong said he has advised Flowers not to place so much pressure on himself, to no avail. "You can say that to him, but it's just who he is," Strong said. "And he knows that the only way the offense is gonna go, he's got to go and he's got to play well, and he makes everyone else around him better. And that's what you talk about, a guy is a competitor when he can make everyone else around you better, and that's what he does." WHERE'S THE SAFETY? Most Bulls fans -- not to mention Strong -- were perplexed Saturday night when a booming Jonathan Hernandez punt was touched by a Cincinnati return man in the end zone before rolling out of bounds. No safety was called, and Cincy took over at its own 20. NCAA rule 8-4-2-b states: "If a scrimmage kick (other than one that scores a field goal) goes out of bounds behind a goal line, the ball becomes dead and belongs to the team defending that goal line." Strong's argument was, the Cincinnati player may have purposely tried to deflect the ball out of bounds. "That's what I said to the (official), 'He just can't knock the ball out of the end zone,'" Strong said. "That's when something should've been done, but sometimes they miss those calls." NO SEPARATION: Count Strong among the legion of Group of Five coaches/administrators not in favor of a separate playoff for Group of Five teams. Strong was asked the playoff question Tuesday, shortly after indicating he would match his 16th-ranked team with anyone in America. "Even when you look at the Group of Five, we feel like we can go in the Power Five and beat some of those teams," he said. "I don't know how many we could go beat, but at least we could go play with them. So you just don't ever want that separation there." ODDS AND ENDS: Strong said S Tajee Fullwood, who has missed the last four games with an ankle injury, should be ready to play Saturday at Tulane. ... USF enters the Tulane contest last in the American Athletic Conference in penalty yards per game (91.0) despite Strong's deterrent system. "You get a penalty, you get punished," he said. ... Clay Malvick (play-by-play) and Kirk Morrison (analysis) will call the USF-Tulane game for ESPN2. ... Tulane hasn't defeated a higher-ranked opponent since Nov. 27, 1982. ... Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of USF's most recent loss (46-30 at Temple). AUDIBLE: "He's always upset; he doesn't take his medication no more. He'll tell you he don't take his medication no more. But he's a very, very strict coach, and that's what we need." -- Senat on Strong, who was clearly perturbed after his team's win Saturday (which featured 14 USF penalties)
  9. Joey is not covering the game - the Bulls beat writer is covering the Gators. Taste that for a while. In place of Joey, you get ****** ******** and the Times' Pro sports beat backup writer, Roger Mooney (I'll call that the good news). So be prepared for a nasty, poorly worded hit piece from F-e-n-n-e-l-l-y later today.
  10. TAMPA — In the wake of the latest solar eclipse, USF fans eagerly await the next astronomical phenomenon. Already, they can see the planets aligning gloriously for their 2017 team. Prolific quarterback, proven coach, comfy schedule — it's all taking shape. Or it all could be an illusion. This type of cosmic convergence — an undefeated season — happens so rarely. Try convincing veteran Plant High coach Robert Weiner there was no external force at work in 2006, when the Panthers finished 15-0 and won the Class 4A state crown. They even entitled their scrapbook of that surreal autumn, "Season in Sync." "And that's because it seemed like not only was it just magical that we had kids with ability and we made a lot of plays and stuff like that, it seemed like every bounce went our way and we won every crucial moment," Weiner said. "Some of it was like, 'Wow.'" Rest of article ..... which includes my most favorite CCS piece of advice up to this point: "The players hear it, and you know how it is with anyone, they want to read about themselves," coach Charlie Strong said. "And I tell 'em all the time, it's why you've got to get off social media, because that's the driving force behind it." Also includes a quote from one of the greatest sports movies of all time: "I'm sure going to the state finals is beyond your wildest dreams, so let's just keep it right there."
  11. In the story linked in this thread, Joey claims this is most anticipated season ever Would you agree? Certainly it may be so in the last 5 years. But it wasn't so long ago when we had similar hype that extended to Phil Steele suggesting we were dark horse nat champ contenders. May need to put it to a poll.
  12. I found it interesting: ...." the veer-and-shoot differs from other spread schemes in that it's essentially an option offense with a vertical component. A power -- but not necessarily ball-control -- run game lulls defenses to the box, creating mismatches out wide. And if linebackers get sucked into trying to stop the run, well, tight ends can find themselves quarantined.Moreover, Gilbert is a proponent of having his players execute without thinking, a process he has termed "mind-muscle memory." Such a philosophy, of course, doesn't lend itself to a thick playbook.Which might explain why the Bulls have no playbook. Quarterbacks have said Gilbert diagrams a play, and they copy it down themselves." Full story
  13. Scrimmage reveals tackling still an issue Jeff Odom Saturday, August 5, 2017 5:12pm USF’s first full preseason scrimmage Saturday provided a solid initial glimpse of what Coach Charlie Strong hopes will be an improved defense across the board. While the group certainly passed the eye test on a sweltering morning -- with freshman CB Bentlee Sanders providing arguably the biggest highlight with a would-be pick-six of Brett Kean from the goal line -- that doesn’t mean Strong was content. “You can’t give up the big plays; you’ve got to tackle well,” he said. “We’ve got to do a better job of tackling. But just overall, we know the mistakes and they can be very correctable.” ... Link to full report
  14. Excerpt: IF THE SEASON STARTED TODAY: Sunday's first-team defense featured Nichols, Wilkins and Hampton at the corners, with Thomas and Devin Abraham at safety. MLB Auggie Sanchez was flanked by WLB Nico Sawtelle, with the front featuring ends Greg Reaves and Mike Love, and tackles Bruce Hector and Kevin Bronson. "Mike (Hampton) is coming along quite well," Adams said. "He's done some things in the spring, and then he's continued to do some great things, as is Mazzi. Ronnie (Hoggins) is doing some good things, so I think overall the guys are taking the next order to get better." Knight article: USF journal: Cornerback-heavy defense shines
  15. USF journal: Jean-Mary bracing for limited linebacker corps Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Tuesday, July 25, 2017 9:10pm A day after Coach Charlie Strong reiterated his concern about the Bulls' linebacker depth, new coordinator Brian Jean-Mary quantified it. Ideally, Jean-Mary said he'd like to suit up 10-12 linebackers each game, "just because they're so vital on special teams." But as it stands, only six scholarship linebackers are on the roster, including freshman Keirston Johnson. Toss in a hybrid guy such as Sickles alumnus Josh Black or Jefferson graduate Juwuan Brown, and the number increases to eight. "And that's probably stretching it," Jean-Mary said after Tuesday's practice. "But just because of injuries...and the ability to take some guys off the field and let 'em rest, we'd like to have eight guys." Slightly more plausible is Jean-Mary's goal of a six-tackle rotation. The first four -- seniors Deadrin Senat and Bruce Hector, junior Kevin Bronson and sophomore Marlon Gonzalez -- appear set, with some intriguing candidates behind them such as converted LB Mi'Cario Stanley. ... Full Story, plus Odds and Ends
  16. USF opens preseason workouts with defensive improvement a priority Joey Night, Times Staff Writer TAMPA — To prevent preseason wear on his three normal practice fields, new USF coach Charlie Strong is staging the first phase of the 2017 preseason on the fields used by the original Bulls two decades ago. If that's not throwback enough, he's trying to install another retro component: a defense with an edge. You know, the gritty, relentless Jim Leavitt units of yesteryear. Certainly not last year. "Defensively, we know that's got to be our biggest improvement," Strong said around dusk Monday, after the Bulls' first preseason workout. "We have to improve on defense, and we have to get better, and there's no reason for us not to." Rest of story More: USF journal: Bulls healthy as camp commences
  17. AAC preview: Ranking the conference's QB situations Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Saturday, July 15, 2017 9:00am ... 1. USFQuinton Flowers, enough said. The two dudes behind him, Brett Kean and Chris Oladokun, appear pretty promising also. 2. MemphisSix-foot-4 senior Riley Ferguson, arguably the conference's top QB draft prospect, threw for nearly 3,700 yards and a program-best 32 touchdowns last season. Considering three of his top four seniors (and nearly his whole offensive line) returns, Ferguson likely will flirt with 4,000 this fall.3. HoustonGreg Ward Jr. (aka Houston's heart and soul) is gone, but Texas A&M transfer Kyle Allen steps in. Say what you will about his turbulent tenure in College Station(including three pick-sixes in one game against 'Bama), there's zero substitute for experience, and Allen made 14 starts over two seasons. Moreover, senior Kyle Postma, who will challenge Allen in the preseason, has made 19 career appearances. ... Rest of Story
  18. Some excerpts from JK .... My favorite part is where Joey creatively substituted "polarizing" for "bat **** crazy" ... When asked a follow-up question, Frost threw in this polarizing proclamation: "Orlando's the best college town in this state."
  19. At times, his demeanor was a demerit. Ruben Guerrero's former coach wanted him meaner, scrappier. Even today, beleaguered USF fans wouldn't mind seeing Guerrero wield an elbow — or even an expletive — on occasion. Bulls interim basketball coach Murry Bartow gets it. And to be sure, Bartow would like his junior 7-footer to be more aggressive — and consistent — on the court. But he's also smart enough not to try to defy human nature. Which is to say, it's futile to try to coax Guerrero into brandishing a scowl as profound as his sneaker size (16). A scowl wouldn't befit one of the nicest guys on USF's campus. "I think he is who he is," Bartow said. "I think what you try to do with every player is build on who they are and not try to maybe make them something they're not." This is who Ruben Guerrero is: native of Marbella, Spain; honor student (3.7 grade point average as a finance major); scathing self-critic and immaculate housekeeper (almost to a fault). He's a member of USF's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; a two-time recipient of USF's Spirit Award, given to the athlete who shows the most support for the other teams, and winner of the 2015-16 NCAA Division I Male Sportsmanship Award. It's just not in him to elicit trash, even in a dumpster-fire season (7-17 record, 1-12 in the American Athletic Conference after Saturday night's victory over East Carolina). Take that women's tennis match last spring on campus. A few USF fraternity guys were giving opposing players and even coaches the business. Instead of joining them, Guerrero — a towering fixture at Bulls' sporting events — admonished them. "I just went over there and was just like, 'C'mon, guys,' because they were actually hurting our girls, too. They couldn't focus and stuff," Guerrero recalled. "I was like, 'Just keep it down, just cheer on our team and forget about the opposite team.' " They stopped. "As good a young man as I've ever been around," Bartow said. Rest of article
  20. USF center Ruben Guerrero is the only recruit from the Orlando Antigua era to have any sort of lasting impact on the program. College basketball never has held a monopoly on virtue. Like most other segments of society, it has long since succumbed to the undertow of instant gratification. Hence the reason the quick fix has evolved into standard operating procedure in the sport. From Westwood to Krzyzewskiville, one-and-dones are prevalent. And there's a mercenary feel to the way some players with baggage (i.e. transfers, jucos) are summoned to help a foundering program suddenly flourish. Can't blame coaches for maximizing how the system's set up. And to be sure, it works splendidly at some places. But it has flopped recently at USF. And whomever is hired as the program's 10th permanent coach must avoid the allure of such a philosophy at all costs. Time to rebuild the Bulls with patience and pragmatism. Adding a local player or two also would help. Rest of article
  21. Following Tuesday afternoon's practice, USF interim men's basketball coach Murry Bartow, promoted following the dismissal of Orlando Antigua, spoke to a couple of news outlets (including the Tampa Bay Times) inside the Muma Center. A bulk of the conversation is transcribed below. I know you can't read the players' minds, but what does the mood seem like among the team? "It was good today. I mean, any time there's a change it's not easy, there's a lot of emotions. But we had a great practice, guys were very upbeat and I thought we had a good day." So there seems to be a sense of optimism that this season can be salvaged? "Oh I think so. We've got a lot of good players, and we've got a lot of student-athletes that are hungry to be good. I saw a great energy today, it was a great enthusiasm today. We've obviously got a lot of work to do and keep building, but today was a good start." Did Coach Antigua have a chance to talk to the guys before he left? "I'm not sure if he did or he didn't. I don't think he did but I'm not sure." Rest of interview
  22. TAMPA — This wasn't how the defensive tactician initially drew it up. The Charlie Strong of a quarter-century ago, as studious as he was dirt poor, could not have fathomed the greeting he received Thursday morning at USF. Not the ballroom, and certainly not the boosters or band. In a previous life — before stints in South Bend and South Carolina, before dodging visors in Gainesville and vitriol in Texas — the Bulls' newest football coach thought he would be delivering lectures instead of pep talks. "I always wanted to be a college professor," Strong said. "I always told him … he was wasting his mind," added University of Central Arkansas track coach Richard Martin, a football assistant at the school in the early '80s when Strong starred as a defensive back. "He was really too smart to be a college football coach." But Strong was barely ankle deep into adulthood when, like many other coaches cutting their teeth in the profession, he discovered coaching was teaching. It was more gradual realization than epiphany, but it evolved into a conviction and calling. Rest of article
  23. It would be great to have an actual reporter do the actual game articles instead of JK in his wannabe columnist mode ... Before a generously announced Sun Dome crowd of 2,206, the Bulls (1-1) had more turnovers (10) than field goals (nine) in the first half. Four of Elon's 10 3s came during a 16-0 first-half run that pushed its lead to 24-12.