After the mass exodus that saw nearly half of the USF basketball team transfer after the firing of Stan Heath, Orlando Antigua was going to have to get to work on the recruiting trail to even form a viable team next season. He's passed with flying colors, landing his fourth and fifth players of the offseason in JUCO transfer Jaleel Cousins and Maryland transfer Roddy Peters.
These are two potentially huge pickups for the Bulls-- not just because the team needs bodies, but because both players have a world of potential. Cousins, a 6'10", 260 pound center, is the younger brother of Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and ideally will help to fill the void in USF's frontcourt left by the departed John Egbunu. He's still a bit of a project, averaging 7.1 points and 4.8 rebounds last season for Navarro College in Texas.
Peters could turn out to be a steal-- he was a four-star prospect at point guard out of high school, with 247 ranking him the 19th best player in his class. He didn't quite live up to the billing in his only year at Maryland, but still averaged 4.1 points and 2.1 assists in 32 games. A quick article from Testudo Times mentions "Peters showed promise but struggled with consistency -- specifically in his ability to hold on to the ball and a shot that needed a lot of work."
The pieces are starting to come together for Antigua's first squad, and while this next season is still likely to be full of growing pains, the youth and incoming transfers are good signs for the future. Here's a quick look at the Bulls' roster thus far:
PG - Anthony Collins
SG - Corey Allen, Troy Holston, Dinero Mercurius
SF - Nehemias Morillo, Dre Clayton, Bo Zeigler
PF - Chris Perry
C - Jaleel Cousins, Ruben Guerrero, Jordan Omogbehin
Allen and Collins (medical redshirt depending--also assuming he stays here) will be the only losses, and Peters and Marshall transfer Kareem Canty will fill in nicely at guard in 2015-16.
It's still early, but remember how Willie Taggart brought instant enthusiasm to the Bulls' left-for-dead football program? Antigua is doing the same for the basketball team thus far. This is far from a quick fix, but Coach O is taking all the right first steps.