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Found 36 results

  1. Nice article with some men's hoop history for those not familiar with USF MBB's travails ....
  2. 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."
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. 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."
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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 progressions...in order to get better." Knight article: USF journal: Cornerback-heavy defense shines
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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."
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Tuesday, November 8, 2016 2:01pm Though he hasn't been ruled out for Saturday night's game at Memphis, Bulls PK Emilio Nadelman's full recovery from a quad injury might require more than a bye week. Nadelman, injured late in the Bulls' 52-45 victory against Navy two Fridays ago, exited Tuesday morning's practice using a crutch. But Coach Willie Taggart said the week's still early. "You know around here, we heal differently," he said. If Nadelman -- perfect on seven field-goal attempts this season -- remains sidelined, Jacksonville University transfer Brandon Behr takes over. A 23-year-old junior, Behr had a 48-yard field-goal try blocked late in the fourth quarter against Navy, leading to a Midshipmen TD. Last season at JU, he was perfect on 41 PATs and hit 14 of 23 field goals including a long of 48 yards. In 2014, he was a second-team All-Pioneer Football League pick, connecting on 13 of 18 field goals including a 50-yarder against Drake. As a senior at Fleming Island High, he missed only two of 11 field goals. "We always say if a guy goes down, the next guy's got to be ready to go," Taggart said. "Same thing with Brandon. He's got to be ready to go and we know he'll get it done for us." Rest of article
  22. BULLS REPORT

    These are a couple of articles that were part of JK's weekly Bulls Report in the print version ... Offense on best pace in USF football history 'Trap game' not part of Bulls' terminology What I couldn't find online from the Report is a REAL small-yet-interesting stat ... Number of the day 14 - Offensive toucdowns by USF through its first two games. 11 - Offensive TDs for the Bulls in all of 2013
  23. (If this needs to be towed to another lot on our trailer park, mods feel free to do so.... ) http://www.tampabay.com/sports/college/fennelly-ucf-should-be-ashamed-of-oleary-statue/2290866