South Florida Bulls

by Andrew Force | November 12th, 2007

2006-2007 Record: 12-18 (3-13), T-14th
Postseason Games: NA

Returning Statistical Leaders:
15.6 ppgKentrell Gransberry
11.4 rpgKentrell Gransberry
5.9 apgChris Howard

Starting Lineup: Key Stat:
C Kentrell Gransberry 6’9 Sr. 31% of the rebounding last year
F Orane Chin 6’7 Fr. 12.1 rebounds per, as a HS senior
SG Jesus Verdejo 6’4 Jr. Worst USF guard from line (58%)
G Chris Howard 6’3 So. 3.6 turnovers a night
PG Solomon Bozeman 6’0 So. 88% FT shooter

Key Player Losses: McHugh Mattis.

All season long the USF statistics included a seemingly obvious misprint. Eight blocks in one game? 109 by season’s end!? The numbers were silly, but the culprit was even more bizarre.

An unassuming, thin, 6’6” McHugh Mattis. With legs too thin and too bouncy to be pogo sticks, Mattis swatter away shots with regularity.

His quick-leaping and uncanny timing compensated for a serious dearth of post defenders.

Impact Newcomer: Dominique Jones. The combo guard can get to the basket easily. His talent is unquestioned, but Jones must work on shot selection.

Once Amare Stoudemire left his high school, DJ took on the lion’s share of the scoring load. The Bulls would do better with a balanced attack.

Tough Question: Can someone make a 3-point shot?

The graduated Melvin Buckley showed nice form from the outside. Randomly selected Timeout-occupying students made more threes than the remaining 2006-2007 Bulls.

Three points are worth more than two, which is a nice incentive to shoot behind that colored line.

Also, USF won two measly road games all year. For an underdog to win on the road (and USF will be the underdog in every Big East game again this year), they need to hit some outside shots.

The Great Equalizer: learn to love it, South Florida Bulls.

Too Much PT: Stan Heath hasn’t yet coached a minute. Until that moment, no player will have played too much.

Get Him on the Floor: Dante Curry.

Former coach Robert McCollum deserved to get fired. Then again, McCollum might have earned another year had al the intended pieces been in place. Season-ending injuries became an inescapable trend first semester.

The most painful injury to the coach must have been that of his point guard, Dante Curry. McCollum, in all his departed wisdom, needed little foresight to envision the bright future of Curry.

His time was then. And even though Curry returns this year, McCollum’s time at USF is no more.

Point Guards’ Impact: The likely candidate, Solomon Bozeman is a coaches’ son. His father, Eric, coaches Southern Arkansas and spent seven years assisting Rod Barnes at Ole Miss.

Bozeman will follow directions, make smart decisions, and hold onto the ball.

Dante Curry warrants a look at the point simply because he is at once both explosive and innovative.

The dude dunked two-handed over his mom to win the 2006 Senior Showcase All-Star weekend. This USF program needs a jolt of enthusiasm. Starting Curry is a step in the right direction.

Expectations: When the University of South Florida started to lose a lot of games, it became an attractive transfer destination. Minutes were available and the Big East Conference has extraordinary visibility. Three players of note sat out 05-06 expecting to make a 06-07 splash.

KG and Verdejo did just that while Aris Williams accrued multiple knee injuries.

Surgery became necessary and AW did not dress for any games in the 2007 portion of the schedule. Williams might not ever be a regular contributor in Tampa, but he has another chance.

Final Word: Ugh.

–Andrew Force


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