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USF basketball facts

USF men's basketball

Coach: Stan Heath (12-19, second season at USF; 124-96 overall)

Last season: 12-19, 3-15 in Big East, tied for 15th.

Notable: The NCAA's decision to grant a hardship waiver allowing 6-10 freshman Gus Gilchrist to play starting Dec. 14 has brought a new optimism. C Kentrell Gransberry, a two-time Big East rebounding champ, leaves a big hole in the post, where 6-9 senior B.J. Ajayi will start. There's little proven depth in the frontcourt, but the Bulls make up for that at guard, with four solid veterans competing for three spots. Dominique Jones was the first Big East freshman to score 30 in back-to-back games since Allen Iverson — can he handle being the focus of opponents? Can Gilchrist or G Jesus Verdejo emerge as a secondary scoring threat? Can freshman F Eladio Espinosa, who has a 42-inch vertical, hold his own enough for the Bulls to play an all-freshman frontline? Heath's success will be measured by whether USF breaks out of the bottom four in the league. He's setting his sights on nothing less than postseason play, a huge step for a program that hasn't seen even the NIT since 2002.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

Roster

No. Player Ht. Pos Class

1 Eladio Espinosa 6-7 F Fr.

2 Mike Mercer* 6-4 G Jr.

3 Chris Howard 6-3 G Jr.

4 Gaby Belardo 6-2 G Fr.

5 B.J. Daniels** 6-1 G Fr.

10 Justin Leemow 6-1 G Fr.

11 Alex Rivas Sanchez 6-10 C Jr.

15 Ryan Kardok 6-3 G Jr.

20 Dominique Jones 6-4 G So.

21 Mitch Emory 6-6 F Fr.

23 Jesus Verdejo 6-4 G Sr.

24 Gus Gilchrist* 6-10 C Fr.

32 Aris Williams 6-9 F Sr.

33 B.J. Ajayi 6-9 F/C Sr.

* eligible Dec. 14 ** will join team after football regular season

Schedule

Today SMU 7

Wednesday at Virginia 7

Nov. 25 High Point 7

Nov. 29 Northeastern 7

Dec. 3 at UAB 8

Dec. 6 at Central Florida 7

Dec. 14 Niagara 1

Dec. 16 at Vanderbilt 7

Dec. 20 Murray State* 5

Dec. 21 Wright State* 7:30

Dec. 22 Oral Roberts* 7:30

Dec. 27 Iona 7

Jan. 2 Syracuse 8:30

Jan. 7 Louisville 7

Jan. 10 at DePaul 2

Jan. 14 at Pittsburgh 7

Jan. 17 at West Virginianoon

Jan. 20 DePaul 9

Jan. 24 Villanova noon

Jan. 28 at Louisville 7

Feb. 1 at St. John's 2

Feb. 6 Marquette 7

Feb. 10 Providence 7

Feb. 15 at Notre Dame 2

Feb. 18 Georgetown 7

Feb. 21 at Connecticut 2

Feb. 25 at Seton Hall 7

March 1 West Virginia 4

March 3 Cincinnati 7

March 7 at Rutgers 2

March 10-14 at Big East tourney

* San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico.

USF basketball facts 11/13/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 13, 2008 10:50pm]
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