The USF men's team was picked by league's coaches to finish last out of 16 teams, the Big East announced Wednesday from its annual basketball preseason media gathering at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The Bulls went 3-15 last season and are 7-43 in three seasons in the Big East, including 1-24 on the road. The preseason pick makes it easy for USF to overachieve this season.
Coach Stan Heath is still waiting to find out if freshman forward Gus Gilchrist, a transfer from Maryland, can get an NCAA hardship waiver allowing him to play this season.
Bulls sophomore guard Dominique Jones has a little motivation of his own, as he wasn't among 11 players selected for the preseason all-conference team, nor was he among three honorable mentions.
Jones ranked seventh in the league in scoring as a freshman, at 17.1 points per game; that ranks fourth among returning players.
Connecticut was chosen to win the title, getting nine of 16 first-place votes. Louisville and Pittsburgh were next with three first-place votes each, and Notre Dame came in fourth, with one first-place vote.
BACK AFTER STABBING: Santa Clara center John Bryant is back on the court a month after being stabbed in the back three times.
"I didn't feel anything," Bryant recalled in his first interview since the ordeal. "The adrenaline was just pumping. It was a shock."
The West Coast Conference's top rebounder and shot blocker and second-leading scorer last season was attacked in an altercation late last month outside a party only a few blocks from the Broncos' arena.
The 18-year-old man who injured him has been arrested and faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon and second-degree robbery.
GEORGIA TECH: Senior guard and captain D'Andre Bell will have season-ending surgery to correct a spinal condition, but said he still hopes to complete his career in the 2009-10 season.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: USF got its second oral commitment in as many days, as 5-foot-10 guard Sequoyah Griffin of Columbus, Ga., said she'll play for the Bulls next season. Griffin, who signed with USF in 2006 but did not qualify academically, is at Chipola College in Marianna. She sat out last season recovering from a torn ACL, so she'll have three years of eligibility with the Bulls.
EAST CAROLINA: Running back Jonathan Williams was facing new charges after two people said he hit them with a beer bottle outside a Greenville, N.C., apartment complex last weekend. He turned himself in to police and was arrested and charged on two misdemeanor counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
GEORGIA: Linebacker Akeem Hebron (broken left ankle) will miss the rest of the season.
Times wires contributed to this report. For news on other sports from our instate colleges, go to tampabay.com/sports and click on More Sports.