Women's basketball

Messina to leave USF for UT

TAMPA — USF freshman basketball player Gianna Messina, a two-time Hillsborough County player of the year at Academy of the Holy Names, has requested a release and is expected to transfer to the University of Tampa, where she'll be reunited with her twin sister, Catriana.

"That's definitely the main reason I wanted to make a change," said Messina, a 5-foot-6 guard who started eight games at USF and averaged 4.8 points and 2.3 rebounds. "I'm very excited. There were ups and downs this season, but I have only good things to say about the coaches and players at USF."

Messina's three years of eligibility will begin immediately.

Catriana averaged 3.2 points as a freshman at UT.

Another USF reserve, sophomore forward Caitlyn Mitryk, is expected to transfer to UT, with two years of eligibility left.

FERNANDEZ INTERVIEW: USF women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez, who led the Bulls to the postseason five years in a row, will interview for the UNLV job today in Las Vegas. He and 16 others interviewed with UNLV officials in Tampa last week. Former UCLA coach Kathy Olivier, a UNLV graduate, had a campus interview.

DICKSON JOINS WNBA TEAM: Former USF guard Jessica Dickson, the Bulls' all-time leading scorer, has signed with the WNBA expansion Atlanta Dream. Dickson, who was with three WNBA teams last preseason, has been playing professionally in Croatia.

USF MEN: Senior center Kentrell Gransberry and freshman guard Dominique Jones shared the team MVP award.

Men: Kansas State's Beasley going to NBA

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State All-American freshman Michael Beasley said he will enter the NBA draft, where he could be the No. 1 pick.

The agile 6-10 power forward, the Big 12 player of the year, had the second-most rebounds and third-most points of any freshman in NCAA history, leading Kansas State to its first NCAA Tournament victory in 20 years.

He averaged 26.2 points and a nation-leading 12.4 rebounds.

"I think I've proven myself over the course of the year, and I felt I was ready for new challenges," said Beasley, who struggled with the decision before finally making up his mind Monday.

He said he was swayed by being able to help his family financially.

Fellow freshman Bill Walker also will make himself eligible for the draft, but won't sign with an agent to keep his option of returning to school.

FAU LOSES COACH: San Francisco hired coach Rex Walters away from Florida Atlantic to take over for Jessie Evans, who was fired last month. Walters was 31-33 in two seasons.

TENNESSEE: Guard J.P. Prince, the SEC sixth man of the year, had arthroscopic reconstructive surgery on his left shoulder and is expected to be fully recovered for practice in October.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Messina to leave USF for UT 04/14/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 11:09am]

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