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More Impressive Turnaround


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It is February 12th and we are about to play another very meaningful men's basketball game. This hasn't happened this late in the season since 2011-2012. That really got me to thinking about which season-to-season improvement was more impressive, 2011-2012 or 2018-2019. When you talk about pure expectations and exceeding those expectations, I would have to say 2018-2019 is more impressive. However, if you are talking about season-to-season improvement, that 2011-2012 squad might be the most improved in USF history.

The 2010-2011 team finished 10-23 overall and 3-15 in conference. Those conference wins included 2 wins over an abysmal DePaul (7-24, 1-17) and one win over Providence (15-17, 4-14). Somehow, the Bulls managed to knock-off NCAA tournament team Villanova in the 1st round of the Big East tournament. 

The 2011-2012 team finished 22-14 overall and 12-6 in conference. 5 of their 6 conference losses were to teams ranked in the top 25 at the time they played them. USF beat two ranked teams that season (#24 Seton Hall and won @ #19 Louisville) and the Louisville victory remains our last win over a team ranked in the top 25 at the time we played them. The in-season improvement is what probably stands out the most to me about that squad. To go 7-6 against a tough, but not impossible OOC schedule and then turnaround and go 12-6 in the toughest conference in the nation was really impressive. Then to win two tournament games (one was technically a play-in game) and end up 2 possessions away from the Sweet 16 was extremely impressive. The over-achievement was visible the next season when the team regressed to the mean, going 12-19 overall and 3-15 in conference play. 

The 2017-2018 team finished 10-22 overall and 3-15 in conference, with almost identical results to the 2010-2011 team, albeit against much lighter competition. This year's squad sits at 17-6 overall and 7-4 in conference. We still don't know how things will turnout this season, but I don't expect us to see the dramatic drop-off that we saw from the 2012-2013 Bulls. 

When taking into account the crazy disparity in competition, I would have to say that the 2011-2012 team is still the most impressive squad in USF history and had the most impressive season-to-season turnaround, but I would be quick to change that opinion if this season's squad somehow went on a run and made it to the Big Dance. 

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and CSH was BE COY.  CBG will be AAC COY.

GO BULLS!

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I’ll answer this question when these next four games are played. Right now we have no tier 1 wins. The other squad had a handful including at Ville on senior night. 

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Here is the thing. While both squads were awesome and fun, and the 2012 team right now is the high point in our program history ....

We can look back on it as an anomaly. (that means no disrespect to the players and coaches that year) but we now have enough historical perspective to know it was a shot in the dark, where all the planets aligned and for that one year we were awesome. We were bad the year before and we were bad the year after. It never built to anything. 

This year's team hasn't accomplished what 2012 did (yet, but they may not, and that is ok). But, the potential is there for this to be something we haven't had since the early 1990's, a program that can build on success and string together successful seasons. 

Our coach has never had a disappointing season with us. (Last year he improved on what we had the year before) 

Our team is winning and there is no reason to assume this is an anomaly, we are young and should be better next year. 

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I'd still have to say this team.  The 2011-2012 team had played together the season prior, even though they finished with an abysmal record.  This team, most of these guys are playing together for the first time.  They had to find chemistry on the fly, that is difficult  Also, this team has more hustle imo ... but that 2012 team was my favorite team until this seasons.  

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15 hours ago, Calibull said:

I'd still have to say this team.  The 2011-2012 team had played together the season prior, even though they finished with an abysmal record.  This team, most of these guys are playing together for the first time.  They had to find chemistry on the fly, that is difficult  Also, this team has more hustle imo ... but that 2012 team was my favorite team until this seasons.  

2 of the key contributors to that 2011-12 team were playing for the first time, AC and Rudd, so it's not like it was a whole grizzled, veteran team returning. I think BP nailed it with the NCAA team being the more impressive turnaround because of the "the crazy disparity in competition" between the two years ....... especially when you throw in that the 2011-12 did it with a true freshman running the team. I love the current team but it would have to get to the 2nd weekend of the Big Dance for me to push them past 2011-12 ........ although, considering this team is doing what it's doing directly under the shadow of The Curse, I could be persuaded with a little lesser finish.

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This year’s team is more impressive since they’re playing on campus. The 11-12 team benefited from not playing home games on the Indian burial grounds.  

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3 minutes ago, SANJAY said:

This year’s team is more impressive since they’re playing on campus. The 11-12 team benefited from not playing home games on the Indian burial grounds.  

Word on the street is that next year there will be at least three games back in downtown Tampa. 

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The 2011-2012 team was one of the few teams to beat jay Wright’s Villanova squad 3 times in the same season including a win at the pavilion on home opener for nova

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13 hours ago, Mike Stuben said:

Here is the thing. While both squads were awesome and fun, and the 2012 team right now is the high point in our program history ....

We can look back on it as an anomaly. (that means no disrespect to the players and coaches that year) but we now have enough historical perspective to know it was a shot in the dark, where all the planets aligned and for that one year we were awesome. We were bad the year before and we were bad the year after. It never built to anything. 

This year's team hasn't accomplished what 2012 did (yet, but they may not, and that is ok). But, the potential is there for this to be something we haven't had since the early 1990's, a program that can build on success and string together successful seasons. 

Our coach has never had a disappointing season with us. (Last year he improved on what we had the year before) 

Our team is winning and there is no reason to assume this is an anomaly, we are young and should be better next year. 

It was Ice Palace magic!

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