With the USF Sun Dome undergoing renovation, our intrepid basketball reporter has followed the South Florida basketball team around the USF campus this season, as the team played its games in different buildings across the campus. This is the final installment of Campus Nomads, unless of course USF goes to the NIT and gets a home game. In other words, he really hopes he doesn't have to write another Campus Nomads story.
St. Petersburg - An ocean of syrup glides in the sky, permeated by cantilevered clouds, fly swatters and corded telephones. In the distance, a balloon both floats and falls. South Florida ends the season on a low note Saturday, falling to West Virginia in their final conference game 50-44. The game was held at The Salvador Dali Museum, about a ten-minute walk from the USF-St. Petersburg campus.
"We really wanted to reward our fans coming out tonight, and give them an experience unlike any other," said USF athletic director Doug Woolard.
Both teams were on the NCAA tournament bubble heading into the game. A few players also spent time on bubbles during the game.
"I was just sitting there, watching the guys play, when the chair turned into a bubble of helium and I started floating away," said forward Victor Rudd. "Luckily a fan popped the bubble with a slingshot and I landed on the student section, which did a good job of catching me."
The Bulls were held to their third-lowest scoring output of the season One culprit for the meager scoring was time management. The Bulls had a season-high 14 shot-clock violations, while WVU had 11.
"Reading the shot-clock was pretty tough since it was melted down the backboard and onto the floor," said guard Anthony Collins.
Even though they didn't score much, there was an added bonus when they did.
"After I hit a three, the net transformed into a bunch of butterflies and flew away." said forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick. "Then we would come back and the net would be there. They work quick here at The Dali."
While the Bulls had 17 personal fouls, no players fouled out. Each foul in the game came with an added penalty.
"Every time the ref whistled for a foul, it sounded like the horn from a train was coming out of the whistle," said forward Augustus Gilchrist, who had two fouls. "I couldn't hear for a few seconds afterwards. After a couple of those, we just played better defense and tried hard not to foul."
Notes: Freshman Jordan Omogbehin, a 7'3" center who is redshirting this season, took part in Kids . . . Dillydally with Dali, an interactive educational event at The Dali.
"The kids had me lay down and then made a life-size version of the game Operation," said Ohegbehin. "We even made life-size organs and bones. It was really fun!"
--For halftime entertainment, a bullfighter in a bull costume fought a bull in a bullfighter costume. When the fighter stabbed the bull, 12 children on tricycles appeared, purposefully ran into each other, and then materialized with each collision into the the limbs, head and torsos of Greek philosophers Aristotle and Socrates, which then combined. The two philosophers then sat at a card table in the middle of the floor and ate two McDonald's Happy Meals. The crowd 9,373 sat speechless.
"It's a critique of today's industrial consumerist food industry," said artistic director Sharon Scofield.