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DraftExpress projections on USF's in BE


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<font size=4>South Florida </font><br />

Projected finish:  16th<BR />

<br />

<b>2005 Record: (14-16, 5-11) <br />

Postseason: None <br />

Head Coach: Robert McCullum <br />

<br />

Key Losses: </b><br />

PG Brian Swift (15.9 ppg, 5.4 apg) <br />

SG Marlyn Bryant (8.0 ppg) <br />

SG Marius Prekevicius (5.7 ppg) <br />

PF Terrence Leather (18.2 ppg, 9.6 ppg) <br />

PF Konimba Diarra <br />

<br />

<b>Newcomers: </b><br />

6’1 PG David Sills, jr, College of Southern Idaho <br />

6’2 PG Chris Howard, Lorton, VA <br />

6’6 SF Melvin Buckley, jr, transfer from Purdue <br />

6’6 SF Mattis McHugh, jr, St Petersburg (FL) JC <br />

6’6 F Zaronn Cann, Seffner, FL <br />

6’7 PF Melyvn Richardson, Lon Morris (TX) JC <br />

6’10 C Frane Markusovic, Kent (CT) Prep <br />

<br />

<b>Rotation</b> <br />

PG – 6’1 David Sills, jr <br />

SG – 6’2 James Holmes, sr <br />

SF – 6’2 Collin Dennis, so <br />

PF – 6’6 Melvin Buckley, jr <br />

C – 6’10 Solomon Jones, sr <br />

<br />

PG – 6’2 Chris Howard, fr <br />

SF – 6’6 Mattis McHugh, jr <br />

PF – 6’7 Melvyn Richardson, jr <br />

F – 6’6 Zaronn Cann, fr <br />

C – 6’10 Frane Markusovic, fr <br />

<br />

All analysis, prognosticating, and roster-digging aside, how is a fairly awful Conference USA team losing three starters and two standout statistical performers supposed to compete in a power conference like the Big East? Robert McCullum may have been able to get by in the C-USA this season without getting embarrassed, but that’s highly unlikely in the new Big East. Gone are Terrence Leather and Brian Swift, both all-conference caliber performers, as well as fellow starter Marlyn Bryant and promising bench scorer Marius Prekevicius. McCullum has brought in a giant recruiting class, but the word giant is describing the number of players coming in, not their talent. Purdue transfer Melvin Buckley is probably the closest thing on this roster to a go-too scorer. In short, it is going to be a long season for the South Florida Bulls. <br />

<br />

Gone is Brian Swift, one of the more productive point guards in the C-USA last year. In his place will be a two-man platoon, featuring freshman Chris Howard and the well-traveled David Sills. Sills spent time at three different junior colleges before finally finishing his degree, but contributed at powerhouse College of Southern Idaho two years ago. If McCullum can get him to reign things in on the court, Sills could fill a valuable role for this team. <br />

<br />

The Bulls have more experience at the wing, where Purdue transfer Melvin Buckley is expected to step right in and play major minutes. After a decent sophomore season at Purdue, he will bring his length, athleticism, and scoring ability to South Florida. Also on the wings are holdovers Collin Dennis (6.1 ppg), and James Holmes (6.0). Neither has done much to earn their playing time in the last two seasons, but both know the system and will be relied upon that much more this year. If either could develop into a legitimate spot up shooter, things would get more comfortable for everybody on this team. JC transfer Mattis McHugh may also figure into the mix. <br />

<br />

As ugly as it looks in the backcourt, the guards might be the strength of this team. Senior center Solomon Jones (6.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is the one returnee. Jones is rail-thin, but contributed as a shot blocker and rebounder in his first season after junior college. From there, it gets ugly. JC transfer Melvyn Richardson comes in with little fanfare, and you can say the same thing about Croatian big man Frane Markusovic. Zaronn Cann is an intriguing freshman with some bullish athleticism, but is undersized and it will take time for him to adjust into a division one contributor.<br />

<br />

The C-USA was essentially split into two halves, and the Bulls are the only new Big East team that was in the second, mid-major division. There just haven’t been enough opportunities to take advantage of Big East status on the recruiting path, although McCullum is already making progress in that area for 2006. Thus, McCullum has the toughest job of any Big East coach this season, as not finishing in last place would be a pleasant surprise at this point. <br />

<br />

<b>Recruiting Update:</b> <font color=blue>McCullum is going to have to build this program up from basically nothing, and needs to find high-caliber kids quickly. He is actually off to a decent start, with commitments from touted combo forward Rob Thomas, the humongous Franklin Jackson, and combo guard Dante Curry. All three have what it takes to compete in the Big East. If the Bulls could land highly recruited big man Jeremy Mayfield, this would be a truly standout class.</font>#enable_html

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