USF hoops transfers: Where Are They Now
You don't realize just how many former USF men's basketball players are playing elsewhere until you try to put together an update on the lot -- nine players once on scholarship at USF under Stan Heath are dotted all over the country, and while none is playing in a league comparable to the Big East, six are scoring in double digits and some even leading their teams in scoring. It's unlikely they'd have comparable numbers had they stayed as Bulls, but here's the nostalgiac rundown ...
Amu Saaka, Furman: Saaka showed promise as a freshman at USF, but he's shined with the Paladins and is their leading scorer and rebounder as a senior, averaging 16.5 points and 6.9 rebounds. He's also hitting 87 percent of his free throws in Furman's 10-4 start.
Orane Chin, Cal-Fullerton: Chin was Heath's first signing at USF but left after an up-and-down freshman year. Still just a junior, he's playing well for the Titans, averaging 15.0 points and 6.0 rebounds and hitting 41 percent of his 3-pointers. Fullerton is just 5-10, but Chin is within a point of being their leading scorer.
Solomon Bozeman, Arkansas-Little Rock: The senior point guard, who remains USF's all-time leader in free-throw percentage after hitting 87.9 percent of his shots at the line, leads the Trojans at 15.1 points per game. He also has the team lead in assists for the 8-9 Trojans, who have former USF assistant Charles Cunningham on their staff.
Aaron Holmes, Tulane: The former St. Petersburg Catholic star has bounced around -- he was at Florida State before his brief time at USF, then a junior college before Tulane -- but he's putting up good numbers for the 11-3 Green Wave. Holmes is averaging 11.2 points per game and is a crazy 13-for-21 on 3-pointers.
Dante Curry, Georgia State: Curry played just six games at USF as a redshirt freshman before transferring, and he's still usually off the bench but is averaging 10.5 points for the Panthers. He's hitting 48.5 percent of his 3-pointers -- 32 for 55 -- which ranks as the 10th-best 3-point percentage in college basketball.
Gaby Belardo, Canisius: Belardo barely played at USF, but after sitting out a season, he's found a home at Canisius -- he hit the game-winning shot with 11 seconds left in a 1-point win against Siena on Friday night. After scoring just 0.7 points per game at USF, he's averaging 10.2 for the 7-7 Griffins and leading the team in assists.
Justin Leemow, N.C. Central: After transferring at midyear last year, Leemow is eligible now at NCCU and averaging 6.2 points and 4.9 assists per game -- he had a double-double last month with 19 points and 10 assists against Div. II Allen. His head coach and I went to high school together in Raleigh, which makes me feel both old and underachieving.
Eladio Espinosa, Marshall: Espinosa started 12 games as a true freshman at USF but averaged just 1.8 points per game, and after sitting out last season, he's averaging 2.1 points and 2.4 rebounds off the bench for the Herd. He suffered a neck injury in practice Tuesday and was in an Orlando hospital even after Marshall had returned home after playing at UCF.
Jordan Dumars, Michigan: The son of former Pistons standout Joe is now a walk-on at Michigan, newly eligible last week though he hasn't yet played for the Wolverines. He's not the only son of an NBA star there, as Tim Hardaway Jr. is a starter at Michigan.
Mitch Emory, Florida Southern: Here's a bonus 10th player -- the former USF walk-on, who played in one game in his one season at USF, is now at the Div. II school in Lakeland. He's played sparingly, getting six points in four games.
There are other USF signees playing elsewhere, guys who took summer classes at USF but weren't admitted academically -- big man Gene Teague is doing well at Southern Illinois, averaging 10.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, and 6-foot-11 Teeng Akol is now at Western Kentucky (just got eligible, 5 points in 3 games) after playing just five games at Oklahoma State. Another Bulls signee, point guard Dwan McMillan, is now at Hofstra after time in junior college, averaging 6.8 points and starting all 11 games he's played in.