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Can Bulls turn the corner in 2016-17?

USF forward Bo Zeigler (35) should be part of a far deeper Bulls rotation in 2016-17.

Romeo Guzman | CSM | Zuma Press

USF forward Bo Zeigler (35) should be part of a far deeper Bulls rotation in 2016-17.



When the Bulls' season formally ended Friday afternoon at Orlando's Amway Center, so too did their chronic depth issues. At least presumably.

Barring another sequence of on- and off-court catastrophes, USF should be far better equipped to compete in the American Athletic Conference in 2016-17, when Orlando Antigua -- 17-48 in his first two seasons -- is expected to be coaching for his job.

"They're going to be a tough, tough out in the coming years," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.

In Friday's 79-62 loss to Temple, Antigua had seven available scholarship players -- roughly the same number to which he has been confined this whole calendar year -- and eight total guys. Walk-ons Justin David (exam back at USF) and Tre' Bryant (concussion-like symptoms) were unavailable. Also on the Bulls' shelf:

F Tulio Da Silva (academic non-qualifier)
SG Troy Holston Jr. (torn ACL)
PF Isaiah Manderson (Texas Tech transfer)
PG Roddy Peters (foot fracture)
PF Luis Santos (personal matter)
G Geno Thorpe (Penn State transfer)

Presume, conservatively, that four of those six remain Bulls for the '16-17 season (a fair presumption considering the volatility of collegiate rosters). Then toss in heralded recruits Troy Baxter (Oldsmar Christian) and Andres Feliz (Orlando West Oaks Academy).

That's a nine-player rotation when adding veterans Chris Perry, Bo Zeigler and Ruben Guerrero (10 when including serviceable walk-on Jake Bodway). And no one believes for a moment that Antigua is finished adding to next season's roster.

So is this moribund program finally ready to turn a corner?

"I feel like it is," Perry said after Friday's loss. "We're definitely on the rise. We've got to keep our focus and play every single game and stick to what we do best, and I think we'll be just fine."

[Last modified: Saturday, March 12, 2016 10:41am]


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