Close, again: Another one-point loss for Bulls
For the second time in five days, USF's men's basketball team was one shot away from a key Big East win, but again, the Bulls came up one point short. USF had three shots in the final five seconds to get its first Big East road win, but all of them missed, and Cincinnati eked out a 52-51 win Wednesday night. Here's our story, from correspondent Ryan Ernst.
The latest close loss all but ends USF's hopes of reaching the Big East tournament. The Bulls (11-16, 2-12) will be eliminated from contention with a loss Tuesday against Seton Hall. As it stands, the only chance USF has to make it to Madison Square Garden is to win its four remaining games and have Villanova, Seton Hall or DePaul lose their final five games, with St. John's and Providence winning no more than one of their remaining four games.
Football news: We'd told you late last season that USF coach Jim Leavitt wanted to seek a sixth year of eligibility for tackle Jared Carnes. Carnes' mother, Jean, said Wednesday that the extra year is not going to happen, so Carnes' USF career -- earning a scholarship after transferring in as a walk-on and making occasional starts the last two seasons -- is over.
Offensive tackle may be USF's thinnest position, with starter Marc Dile returning as a senior, but barely anyone else with significant game experience at tackle. The initial plan is to shift guard Ryan Schmidt -- who has played some tackle at USF -- to tackle this spring, with senior Matt Huners likely taking his old starting spot at guard. The other options at tackle -- walk-on Jacob Sims, redshirt freshman Thomas Edenfield, and Danny Tolley, who has missed most of the last two seasons with a pelvic injury -- are largely unproven.
We had this in Wednesday's paper, but neglected to write here that Eric Setser, USF's starting long-snapper for the past two seasons, will be on scholarship for his final season with the Bulls. Setser is the latest in a long line of walk-ons to earn scholarships, including returning players like Ben Williams, Justin Teachey and Colby Erskin.
The most recent departures of scholarship players hit hardest on the defensive line, where the entire second line is up for grabs. Looks like redshirt freshmen Keith McCaskill and Darren Powe will be the second-team tackles going into spring football. End obviously gets a boost in the fall with junior college transfers David Bedford and Craig Marshall, but I'm not sure who the second-team ends would be to open spring drills. If you consider Chris Robinson an end, he'd be there, but it's still unclear whether he's an end or a linebacker ...