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USF basketball gets another boost with signing of Yugoslavian guard

St. Petersburg Times

September 2, 1988


TAMPA - The South Florida basketball team needed all the help in the world to turn the program around after consecutive 20-loss seasons.

And the Bulls have gotten a world of help lately. South Florida announced Thursday the signing of 6-foot-6 guard Radenko Dobras of Yugoslavia. Earlier this year, the Bulls nabbed 6-11 center Tomer Shteinhaur of Israel.

In addition to the signing of Dobras, USF announced freshman guard Jay Smith of Tampa Bay Vo Tech will be ineligible for the upcoming season because he failed to meet Proposition 48 requirements on standardized testing.

The financial grant was available for Dobras (pronounced RUH-dank-o DOE-bra-s) because senior Rob Anderson did not have his scholarship renewed after failing to maintain the NCAA's required course load of 12 credit hours, according to USF coach Bobby Paschal.

Anderson reportedly dropped a class during the spring semester, jeopardizing his eligibility for the coming season. The 6-8 forward from Illinois would not have been eligible until January, Paschal said.

His scholarship was not officially withdrawn, however, until USF coaches discovered Dobras.

Dobras, 20, has been a member of the Yugoslavian Junior National Team for the past three years and was among the 20 finalists for his country's Olympic team, according to South Florida's release. Neither Paschal nor any of his coaches have seen Dobras play.

Paschal's staff was informed of Dobras by Doug Hatch, an instructor in USF's college of education. Hatch is a friend of Paul Hallgrimson, a former NBA player who coaches and works with exchange students in Germany.

Hallgrimson recommended Dobras and USF assistant coach Rickey Broussard contacted the player in Yugoslavia by telephone.

Dobras, who speaks broken English, said he had been offered a scholarship at Kansas and was ready to accept it, according to Broussard. Fortunately for the Bulls, a neighbor of Dobras' in Yugoslavia is a student at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne and suggested USF might be a better location.

''They told me to call back the next day so the neighbor could interpret for me,'' Broussard said. ''He talked to the parents about it and said it might be better for Radenko to be in Florida with somebody he knows.''

Dobras arrived in Tampa earlier this week and Paschal said his newest player has been busy getting enrolled at school. Dobras was not available for comment on Thursday but said in a prepared statement he was coming to USF to study computer science and further his basketball skills.

''I will be able to play basketball and study together,'' the statement read. ''It is very difficult to do both in my country.''

Paschal said he has been told Dobras can play either point guard or shooting guard, but the coach is reserving judgment until he sees his newest recruit in action when practice begins in October.

Dobras will have four years of eligibility at USF. Shteinhaur, 21, has three years because one season is lost for every year a player is over 20.

''There's no doubt the local area and the state of Florida in general is our primary area for recruiting,'' Paschal said. ''But we will follow up any lead we get, whether it's three miles down the road or all the way across the ocean.''

South Florida's roster has been completely renovated since the end of the 1987-88 season when the Bulls finished 6-22. Ten new players have been added to the roster of 18, although Smith and University of Tampa transfer Fred Lewis will not be eligible this year.


What an all-around and impact player at South Florida.

Bring it on BasketBull.


Hoops in the area

St. Petersburg Times

October 14, 1988


Starting after midnight tonight, college basketball teams around the country begin their pre-season practices. Here's a look at the area's Division I and Division II teams:

- BOB HARIG South Florida

Coach: Bobby Paschal, 14-42 in two years (167-127 in 10 years overall).

1987-88 record: 6-22 (7th in Sun Belt Conference).

Key veterans: Tony Armstrong, 6-foot-1 sophomore guard (8.1 ppg, 2.9 assists), Hakim Shahid, 6-8 senior forward (10.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg).

Other returnees: Maurice Webster, G, 6-1, So. (2.3 ppg); Matt Yobe, G, 6-0 Jr. (1.5 ppg), Gerald White, G/F, 6-5 Sr. (2.6 ppg).

Newcomers: Tomer Shteinhaur, C, 6-10, So. (14.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg for Maccabi-Haifa in Israel), Radenko Dobras, G, 6-5, Fr., Jimmy Bolden, G, 6-2, Fr. (18.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 5.7 assists for Country Day H.S. in Detroit, Mich.), Andre Crenshaw, G, 6-2, So. (10.0 ppg in 10 games at SW Louisiana State), Jon Belk, F/C, 6-9, So. (18.4 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 53 blocked shots at Hillsborough Community College), Gary Alexander, F, 6-7 So. (18.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg as a senior at Jacksonville-Raines. Sat out last season due to Proposition 48).

Outlook: Last season, the Bulls offense revolved around senior forward Darrell Coleman. Coleman is gone but the Bulls will be a better-balanced club thanks to the acquisition of Shteinhaur, Dobras and Belk. Armstrong finished as runner-up in the SBC Freshman of the Year balloting. He will team with transfer Andre Crenshaw.

Young Bulls enthusiastic about coming season

St. Petersburg Times

October 18, 1988

Author: Rick Butler

TAMPA - Ripe enthusiasm filled the air as the new-look University of South Florida basketball team hit the hardwood Saturday morning at the USF Sun Dome. The 9 a.m. practice had the Bulls looking more like newborn calves, struggling to find their legs after a long summer lay-off.

In many respects, the team is far different from last season's 6-22 squad. The youthful Bulls return seven players and just one senior. Of the seven, just three started games last season.

Of the remaining eight players on the USF roster, some are new to the school and some are new to the country but all are new to the team.

''We've got a lot of people here who we as coaches have to get to know,'' USF coach Bobby Paschal said. ''We've also got kids who haven't played together and some who haven't played in a year. We've got a lot to do in terms of getting to know each other.''

The first-day jitters were evident in Saturday's session as Paschal and his assistants mapped out numerous drills infront of the 20 or so spectators and media gathered to observe the practice.

Included among the noteable sights were reserve center Mark Flamme (6-foot-7, 215 pounds) shadowing Israeli import Tomer Shteinhaur up and down the floor. A move designed to give the 6-11 sophomore a physical introduction to the American game.

Gary Alexander, one of two USF recruits who sat out last season due to Proposition 48, opened eyes with his impressive jumping ability. The 6-7 sophomore and cousin of USF's leading scorer last season Darrell Coleman has a 28-inch vertical leap.

''I'm still pretty rusty, Alexander said. ''It's going to take some getting used to after not practicing in a year.''

Also of note were the ballhandling of sophomore tranfer Andre Crenshaw and freshman Jimmy Bolden, the passing of 6-7 Yugoslav guard Radenko Dobras, the hustle of sophomore Tony Armstrong and transfer Jon Belk's pit bull demeanor and high-piled haircut. Junior forward Hakim Shahid's absence due to a sprained left ankle also was noteworthy.

However, Saturday's most impressive performance belonged to a player who won't be in uniform when the Bulls open their season Nov. 9 in an exhibition with the Swedish National Team. Tampa transfer Fred Lewis, a 6-6 forward out of Tampa-Chamberlain, looked to be in the best shape of any of the players in camp but will have to redshirt this season due to NCAA rules.

''He's probably got more experince at this level than most of the kids out there,'' Paschal said of Lewis, the top freshman in the Sunshine State Conference last season.

Paschal said he will hold two-a-day practices intermittenly during the three weeks prior to the exhibition opener. He also said he plans to scrimmage at least once a week.

''These kids have a lot to learn and not much time to learn it in,'' he said. ''The purpose of the two-a-day sessions is to help them get a grasp on the intricacies of our offense and defensive sets. The scrimmages will help us evalute how well they are learning.''

Paschal said he believes his team will be able to conted with teams looking at last year's record as a barometer of this season's club. He said the Bulls will be competitive thanks to a blend of youth and experience. But he knows the the task ahead will be a great one.

''I was reading in a national publication where six of the top 50 teams in the country will come from the Sun Belt Conference,'' he said. ''This is a tough league and there are a lot of good, young teams but I think we can move up and maybe surprise some people.''


one of my all time favorite USF players ever

great competitor!

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