Yet another: Bulls lose Curry for season
Can't remember the last time we didn't refer to USF's men's basketball team as injury-riddled or injury-depleted or something along those lines. The bad luck has struck Robert McCullum's squad again, with news Wednesday that freshman guard Dante Curry will miss the season after injuring his Achilles' tendon during conditioning drills Monday.
Curry was running "suicides" -- the awkwardly titled drill where players sprint increasing distances up the court and back -- and as he made the turn, his ankle popped. No contact, just another injury that further decimates McCullum's roster, especially for the opening six games.
Until transfer guard Jesus Verdejo becomes eligible when the Bulls head to Las Vegas on Dec. 17, USF will have three scholarship guards -- point Chris Capko and freshmen Solomon Bozeman and Amu Saaka -- to fill two guard spots, though forward Melvin Buckley will likely see time in shooting guard, as he did for much of the team's summer trip to Italy. Walk-on Eddie Lovett is also available, but Curry's absence puts more pressure on Saaka, the last addition to the freshman class, and the sheer lack of guards will hurt USF's ballhandling, especially against teams that press.
If there's good news on the Bulls injury front, it's that redshirt freshman Chris Howard, recovering from a second ACL tear, is making encouraging progress with the hopes of rejoining the team as early as January. McCullum said he was impressed during the tour of Italy when the team visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Howard went all the way to the top -- all 263 steps. My knees are jelly just thinking of that, but getting Howard back healthy will be a major boost to USF's backcourt depth.