Football notes, basketball upcoming ...
Back from USF's first football practice in a week, and there's not a whole lot to report there. Offensive tackle Marc Dile, who made a quick recovery to play against Cincinnati despite a toe injury, is back with a walking boot on his left foot. Linebacker/defensive end Chris Robinson wasn't participating -- not sure what his injury is -- and linebacker Brouce Mompremier is only at practice as an observer, so there's nothing to change the thinking that he won't play again this season.
I did not see freshman tackle Danous Estenor at practice, so we'll check on his status. I did see junior Danny Tolley lined up at tackle for the first time this season -- he's missed the better part of two seasons with injuries, though I don't think he would play in a game without additional injuries to the line.
I'll blog live from the men's basketball exhibition tonight against West Florida. Remember, you won't see Mike Mercer or Gus Gilchrist playing tonight, as Mercer isn't eligible until the seventh game of the season and Gilchrist is still awaiting word from the NCAA on a hardship waiver that would allow him to play this season.
The newcomers you should see the most of are power forward Eladio Espinosa, who has looked solid in practice, and point guard Justin Leemow, who is the first guard off the bench until Mercer joins the team. Watching practice Monday, the Bulls have nearly all of their injured players back available -- Aris Williams, Gaby Belardo and walk-on Mitch Emory were all back at what looked to be full strength, and center Alex Rivas Sanchez continues to make progress recovering from leg injuries. I'll be curious to see what if anything he's able to do tonight.
USF coach Stan Heath mentioned Monday that the four players -- Chris Howard, Dominique Jones, Jesus Verdejo and Aris Williams -- who played in a sanctioned summer league without getting permission from the athletic department have all had their eligiblility reinstated by the NCAA without any problems. None will be suspended from any games, nor will be Mercer, who had an off-field arrest in September.
More to come from basketball tonight, as well from our first conversation with Jim Leavitt since Thursday's loss at Cincinnati. We should note that both coordinators declined requests to be interviewed after the game, so it'll be our first chance to speak with them as well ...