Skip Holtz and B.J. Daniels continue their football mind meld when spring practice begins March 3.
Here's a summary of everything we didn't get to over the past week:
-- The big story was that USF announced its spring football schedule yesterday. 15 practices starting next Thursday, March 3, with a spring game on April 2, and the Green and Gold Bowl on campus on April 9.
Two really weird things about the entire schedule. First, the Bulls will have a few practices before spring break, then take nearly two weeks off before coming back to finish spring practice. I'd be concerned about losing all the continuity from one group of practices to the next, but of course Skip Holtz wouldn't have approved the practice schedule if he didn't agree with how they were doing it. Maybe they're taking those first five practices, breaking down what they saw, and using the spring break week to come up with a depth chart and re-evaluate their 2012 recruiting targets based on what they think they have in the 2011 team.
Second, I don't think I've ever seen a team have the spring game in their home stadium before the end of spring practice. I think I understand why they did this, though. Saturday, April 9 has been declared USF Day on campus, and they want to have a football scrimmage in the Track & Field Stadium that day to go along with some other on-campus sporting events -- there's a doubleheader for softball against Georgetown that day, and the baseball team hosts Rutgers that night. USF still needs to have an event at Raymond James Stadium because they sell a bunch of season tickets that day. But they couldn't start spring practice later and hold the spring game on April 16 because the Rays are hosting the Minnesota Twins in a nationally-televised game at Tropicana Field that afternoon. It starts at 4:10pm, which wouldn't leave enough time on either end of the day for fans to make it to both events. It's a weird setup, but I'm sure they'll make do.
-- The men's basketball team will play in the Hall of Fame tournament this coming November. The tournament begins with on-campus games on November 12 and 14, then heads to Springfield, Massachusetts, for a game on November 19 or 20 against either Old Dominion or Penn State. Following that, the Bulls could get a date with John Calipari and his
virtual D-League team, complete with payroll Kentucky Wildcats to end the tournament.
Not-so-fun fact: USF is 1-9 all time against Calipari, with all 10 meetings taking place when he was at Memphis. The Bulls' only win was by one point in 2003. All I remember about any of those games is how loudly Calipari stomped his foot on the Sun Dome floor with what must have been absurdly expensive dress shoes. Also the 2002 game that followed the patented Seth Greenberg Big-Game El Foldo Script, and where Dick Vitale uttered the now-infamous sentence, "One of these days you have to be able to win the big game at home."
-- One basketball recruiting note: USF hosted Houston Westbury Christian point guard Anthony Collins this past weekend, and Adam Adkins managed to track down Collins and talk to him about his interest in the Bulls. He also points out that Stan Heath would have to make room for Collins with all his scholarships already handed out for next year, but somehow I don't think that's going to be too much of a problem.
-- I read through Greg Auman's chat from last Wednesday and found a few interesting tidbits. Sounds like Terrence Mitchell may stay at receiver, which is kind of a surprise with some openings at cornerback this year. (Then again, he'll have an extra chance to shine with Lindsey Lamar out for spring practice with a shoulder injury.) We may be seeing more and less of Quinterrious Eatmon on the offensive line -- more because Holtz is excited with his progress, and less because he's lost 50 pounds since coming in at roughly 340 when he signed. And there was an interesting suggestion that maybe Derrick Hopkins should be given a track scholarship if he can't break through the pack at receiver this spring. Hopkins hasn't been on the field much, if at all, and he's been very successful on the track (see next clipping). By my count, the Bulls have four scholarship players over the 85-man limit, assuming everyone qualifies academically, and if this is one way they can make room under the limit, it's a much better option than a medical hardship or just flat-out cutting the guy.
-- Speaking of Hopkins, he cleaned up at the Big East Indoors track championships in Akron last weekend. He won both the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes, and came home with Most Outstanding Male Track Performer honors. Denise von Enyatten also won an event, taking first place in the pole vault by clearing 14 feet, 1.75 inches, a new meet record. Other top finishers included Monique Williams (second in the triple jump), Greg Fontus (second to Hopkins in the 200-meter), and Neamen Wise (second in the heptathlon).
-- Kind of a bummer for the men's soccer team, as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ryan Anatol is now the head soccer coach at Stony Brook. We wish Anatol the best, even though it's going to sting not having him around. But when you run a highly successful program like George Kiefer has, you're going to see assistants get promoted.
-- A couple of external links to wrap up. First, USF barely held on to 15th place in The UConn Blog's weekly Big East basketball power rankings, as Ken basically saved our bacon by putting the Bulls 14th. (Also Blue Demons Lair went crazy and put the Blue Demons 13th ahead of Rutgers, leading an irritated On the Banks to ask that he be removed from the poll.)
-- Card Chronicle transcribed Rick Pitino's latest press conference, and... um... yeah.
If you polled the coaches, they'd say Rutgers has the biggest home-court advantage in the Big East. Doesn't necessarily agree, but everyone in the league has a real strong home court advantage besides South Florida.
-- Finally, it's the USF-related YouTube of the Week, courtesy of Ballin' is a Habit and their POSTERIZED series. Here's #JAWANZA's late-game throwdown over Georgetown's Julian Vaughn on Saturday night. (Also thanks to reader Boku316 for catching this in a FanShot.)
South Florida's Jawanza Poland dunk.wmv (via Tmachir)