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Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer

Joey Knight

A fourth-generation Floridian, Joey Knight was born in Tampa and raised in Zephyrhills, where he still resides. He moved to the Times in July 2006 after 15 years at the Tampa Tribune, which included a seven-year stint (1997-2004) as University of Florida beat writer. He began covering the University of South Florida athletic department for the Times in 2013. A married father of three, he enjoys running, classic television and classic heavy-metal music.

Phone: (813) 310-6328

E-mail: jknight@tampabay.com

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  1. USF's Courtney Williams makes first-team All-AAC

    Blog

    USF junior G Courtney Williams, the American Athletic Conference's top scorer, has been selected unanimously to the coaches' All-AAC team.

    The teams were released Thursday afternoon, with seven total players from top-ranked Connecticut sprinkled among the first, second and third teams and All-Freshman squad. Williams joined three Huskies players as unanimous first-team picks.

    Major individual awards will be announced Friday. USF was shut out of the five categories (including Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year) announced Thursday.

    A first-team pick as a sophomore, Williams becomes only the third player in program history to earn multiple first-team all-conference honors. The second player in team history to eclipse 600 points in a season, she enters this weekend's league tournament as the Bulls leader in scoring (20.8 ppg), steals (54), assists (3.3 per game) and minutes (32.6). She needs only 57 points to reach Jessica Dickson's USF single-season record (682).

    Classmate Alisia Jenkins, a 6-foot-1 forward, made the All-AAC second team for a second consecutive year. The program's No. 2 alltime rebounder, Jenkins (12.4 ppg, 11.6 rpg) enters the AAC tourney ranked fourth nationally in double-doubles (21).

    Portugal native Laura Ferreira (8.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg), who reached double figures in eight league games, made the All-Freshman team....

    USF junior Courtney Williams was among four players chosen unanimously for the All-AAC first team by league coaches.
  2. USF routs UCF in Bulls' best game of season

    College

    TAMPA — On the same night his former team faced the Washington Generals across town, USF coach — and former Harlem Globetrotter — Orlando Antigua was the one presiding over a laugher.

    With their top scorer and rebounder sidelined, the shorthanded Bulls (9-21, 3-14 AAC) led wire to wire in a 74-45 embarrassment of UCF before a Sun Dome crowd of 3,417.

    The point total was the Bulls' highest in more than two months, and their field-goal percentage defense (UCF shot 26.4 percent) was their best of the season....

    South Florida Bulls guard Troy Holston Jr. (25) celebrates the win with fans at the Sun Dome in the second half at the Sun Dome in Tampa on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. USF beat UCF 74 to 45.
  3. 2015 AAC women's basketball tournament

    College

    AAC women's tournament

    When/where: Friday-Monday; Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.

    Friday: UCF vs. Cincinnati, 4; Memphis vs. SMU, about 6; Tulane vs. Houston, about 8

    Saturday: Temple vs. East Carolina, noon; UCF/Cincinnati winner vs. Connecticut, about 2; Memphis/SMU winner vs. USF, 6; Tulane/Houston winner vs. Tulsa, about 8

    Sunday: Semifinals, 5:30 and 7:30...

  4. USF-UCF basketball preview

    College

    .Tonight

    USF vs. UCF

    When/where: 7; Sun Dome

    TV/radio: ESPNU; 1010-AM

    Records: USF 8-21, 2-14 AAC; UCF 12-16, 5-12

    Notable: UCF won 73-62 in Orlando three weeks ago. … The Bulls will play their second straight game without top rebounder Chris Perry (unspecified health issue) and top scorer Corey Allen (suspension). As a result, PG Anthony Collins will be called on to transition from distributor (5.1 assists per game) to rim attacker. The Bulls also could use another sparkling night from freshman Troy Holston, who had a career-best 22 points (including five 3-pointers) in Sunday's 72-55 loss at Houston. … UCF, loser of three in a row, will try to attack the basket with its guard-heavy lineup. The Knights' top three scorers are guards....

  5. Bulls to recognize Corey Allen Jr. on senior night

    Blog

    Suspended USF SG Corey Allen Jr. will be on the Sun Dome floor in his final home contest, if only in a pre-game cameo.

    The school confirmed Tuesday that Allen, handed a six-game suspension over the weekend for receiving impermissible benefits at his previous school, will be recognized as the Bulls' lone senior during their home finale Saturday afternoon against Tulane.

    "We certainly would look to honor what he's been able to do for us and this program," Coach Orlando Antigua said.

    Allen, the American Athletic Conference's second-leading scorer (15.4 ppg), still can practice and attend classes. He was seen in the Muma Center in practice attire prior to the Bulls' workout Tuesday....

  6. UConn loss might be a gain for USF women's NCAA hopes

    College

    TAMPA

    Momentarily set aside the 24 victories, 15 conference triumphs, lofty RPI and seven wins against top-100 RPI foes.

    The Bulls women's basketball team (24-6) might — just might — have added more polish to its NCAA Tournament resume in a recent defeat than it did in earlier dominance.

    Today, the Bulls' NCAA fate isn't a matter of if, but where; specifically, where on the 64-team bracket the Bulls will land. After Monday's 88-65 loss to top-ranked Connecticut, coach Jose Fernandez's club could find itself with the most favorable perch in program history....

    USF guard Shalethia Stringfield, left, pressures Connecticut guard Moriah Jefferson during the first half of Monday's game in Tampa. [AP photo]
  7. USF women end best regular season ever with loss to No. 1 UConn

    College

    TAMPA — If all the seeds hold true in the upcoming American Athletic Conference women's tournament, USF will get another crack at its daunting New England nemesis in less than a week.

    In the wake of Monday night's humbling proceedings, some fans may deem that cruel bracketology. For the Bulls, it's consolation.

    "Hopefully we play them two more times," junior guard Courtney Williams said....

    Connecticut forward Breanna Stewart, coming down with a rebound in the first half, scores a game-high 29 to help the Huskies win their 28th straight game and finish unbeaten in the AAC for the second straight year.
  8. 2015 Blue Jays, Phillies and Yankees spring training previews

    The Heater

    Toronto Blue Jays

    Key additions: 3B Josh Donaldson, C Russell Martin, LF Michael Saunders

    Key losses: OF Melky Cabrera, LHP J.A. Happ, INF Brett Lawrie, OF Colby Rasmus

    Spring storylines

    Homecoming: The Jays' biggest offseason splash occurred in November, when Toronto-born veteran catcher Russell Martin signed the second-largest contract (five years, $82 million) in club history. Though not in dire need of an upgrade behind the plate, the Jays got one. Martin shined — both defensively and as a clubhouse cornerstone — the past two seasons in Pittsburgh. Signing a hometown guy never hurts at the turnstiles, either....

  9. Tomey hire will cost USF less than $85,000

    Blog

    Veteran Division I coach Dick Tomey's 10-month hitch as administrative overseer of USF football will cost the school less than $85,000.

    Tomey's contract was released Monday following a public-records by the Tampa Bay Times. Tomey, 76-year-old former coach at Hawaii, Arizona and San Jose State, began work Feb. 20 and is set to depart "approximately" Dec. 31, according to the contract.

    He'll earn a salary of $3,192.85 on a bi-weekly basis, which equates to $83,333.33 annually. Tomey waived the right to all regular employment benefits (i.e. life, health, dental, retirement, etc.) but is being provided a courtesy vehicle by the university.

    Tomey, a longtime mentor of Bulls athletic director Mark Harlan, has appeared at all four USF spring practices so far. In a recent news release, Harlan said Tomey would work with him, Coach Willie Taggart and the entire football staff "to help us move forward" in the wake of 2-10 and 4-8 seasons.
    ...

  10. USF goes international for women's basketball talent

    College

    TAMPA — The disparity between Connecticut and its league counterparts remains profound. Closing the gap requires broadening horizons. It doesn't suffice to merely think outside the box; one must think outside the borders.

    Hence, USF women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez has gone to great lengths — upward of 5,000 miles — to try to narrow that chasm.

    "We're going to try to get the players here in our program. It doesn't matter where they're from," said Fernandez, whose NCAA Tournament-bound team hosts the top-ranked Huskies tonight. "If they're right down the road or you've got to go across the country or across the world to get them, that's what we'll do."...

    USF starting point guard Laura Marcos Canedo, near right, driving on Connecticut guard Saniya Chong, is a native of Spain and one of six scholarship players on the Bulls from Europe.
  11. USF-UConn women's basketball, 7 p.m. Monday, Sun Dome

    College

    >>TONIGHT

    Women: USF vs. No. 1 Connecticut

    When/where: 7; Sun Dome

    TV/radio: ESPN2; 1010-AM

    Records: USF 24-5, 15-2 AAC; UConn 28-1, 17-0

    Notable: The Huskies won the season's first meeting 92-50, improving their all-time record against the Bulls to 15-0. … Expect an audience of more than 6,000 for this senior night rematch, in which Sweden native Ivana Vuletic and Boca Ciega alumnus Tamara Taylor will be recognized. … USF junior G Courtney Williams, who scored 23 in the teams' first meeting, needs one point to become the second player in program history to score 600 in a season. … UConn and USF rank first and seventh in the nation, respectively, in field-goal-percentage defense, but the Huskies shot 51.4 percent from the floor in the first matchup....

  12. Spring football: No visible No. 1 QB so far

    Blog

    Four practices into spring camp, the only apparent slow element of USF's high-tempo offense has been the installment of the edited playbook. Coach Willie Taggart's approach: Have his team master a handful of plays at a time.

    As a result of this spoon-fed philosophy, coupled with the fact three quarterbacks are splitting reps, no apparent front-runner has emerged behind center. On Saturday, amid a steady, cool afternoon drizzle, senior Steven Bench, freshman Quinton Flowers and junior Mike White all took snaps -- often in that order.

    "With four practices, and you've got three guys competing for a job, they don't get as many reps as one guy would like, but all of them are important...and they understand what it's gonna take to be the quarterback," Taggart said following the two-hour workout.

    "I told them before, they're gonna pick who the quarterback is by the way they play; by the way they come out here and practice daily and lead our team and lead our offense and command our offense. That's gonna be the guy we're gonna go with."

    Each had their respective moments Saturday.

    White seemed to elicit praise from the offensive staff for noticing a defensive alignment at the line of scrimmage, then tucking the ball and scrambling to his right for a nice gain. Bench found sophomore WR Ryeshene Bronson for a couple of deep completions. Flowers threw a high pass over the middle that former QB Evan Wilson pulled down and converted into a 60-plus-yard TD in seven-on-seven work.

    "Everyone's waiting on (the starter to emerge) and those guys know that," Taggart said. "And we're challenging them: 'Hey, you've got to come out and step up and be the guy we all know you can be.'"

    SPEAKING OF WILSON...: Count Taggart among those who have been impressed by Wilson, a redshirt sophomore walk-on from Sarasota's Out-of-Door Academy who didn't take a snap his first two seasons on campus.

    Taggart said Wilson expressed a desire to change positions, and teammates urged the staff to oblige him. "They just kept coming up to me like, 'Coach, I'm telling you, Evan's gonna be a player for us. He makes plays,'" Taggart said.

    "With our numbers being limited at the receiver position, that's something Evan wanted to do, to come out and help the football team. And I tell you what, every day that we've been out here he's made a play."

    DEFENSE BY A NOSE: The offense's installment of very few plays, combined with the defense's installment of very few checks, has resulted in the defense holding the upper hand in scrimmage situations after Week One.

    "But I wouldn't say it's far (apart)," said Taggart, clearly pleased by the fleetness and energy displayed in new defensive coordinator Tom Allen's 4-2-5 scheme.

    "It's easy to have a lot of energy when you're not thinking much. ... They can see things and now go play and don't have to think about a lot of checks and a lot of different things, and that's how it should be. ... And then the kids can play. They can play football."

    ODDS AND ENDS: The Bulls adjourn for a week in observance of USF's spring break, and resume camp March 9 at 9 a.m. ... Another previously unheralded Bull shining so far in camp -- junior DL Clavion Nelson, whom Taggart singled out for his effort during the post-practice team huddle. ... Backup RB Darius Tice, listed at 206 pounds on the spring roster, said he's actually up to 215. ... Sophomore TB D'Ernest Johnson, addressing the media for the first time in his college career, indicated he's a first cousin of former NFL Pro Bowl RB Edgerrin James. The most significant piece of advice James imparted: "Pass-blocking is the first key to being a running back," Johnson said.

    AUDIBLE: "I think Reilly Gibbons is gonna be a great one when it's all said and done. There's just something about the kid. He's really smart and he just understands the position. ... He's fast but he's not in a hurry, and that helps, especially up front. He rarely gets himself in a bad position and that's going to help big-time." -- Taggart on the former St. Petersburg Catholic star (and Stanford transfer)...

  13. USF-Houston basketball preview

    College

    . TODAY

    USF vs. Houston

    When/where: 3; Hofheinz Pavilion, Houston

    Radio: 1010-AM

    Records: USF 8-20, 2-13 AAC; Houston 9-18, 1-14

    Notable: The American Athletic Conference's most short-handed teams meet in an effort to escape the league basement. … A victory by USF, 69-67 winner against the Cougars 12 days ago, locks up the 11th (last) seed for Houston in the league tourney. … USF will be without top scorer Corey Allen (six-game suspension) and PF Chris Perry (unspecified health issue). Houston, which suited up nine players in the first meeting against USF, will be missing PG L.J. Rose, who had a career-high 25 points in that game. … Bulls PG Anthony Collins (7.2 ppg, 5.1 assists) guided Houston's Westbury Christian to a pair of state titles....

  14. USF's Corey Allen ruled ineligible for six games by NCAA

    College

    TAMPA — USF senior guard Corey Allen, the Bulls' leader with 15.4 points per game, has been ruled ineligible for six games by the NCAA for receiving impermissible benefits at a previous institution.

    The school announced the suspension in a three-paragraph statement Saturday morning. The announcement means the collegiate career of Allen, who arrived at USF in 2013 after two seasons at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif., essentially is over....

    Senior guard Corey Allen’s college career likely ends with his six-game suspension.
  15. USF top scorer Corey Allen Jr. benched by NCAA

    Blog

    For all practical intents, the college career of USF senior G Corey Allen Jr. is over.

    The school announced Saturday morning that Allen, the Bulls' top scorer (15.4 ppg), has been ruled ineligible for six games by the NCAA for receiving impermissible benefits at a previous institution. Allen arrived at USF in 2013 after two seasons at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif.

    The NCAA's decision does not affect USF's won-loss record this season or last. Whether Allen will be honored as an outgoing senior at next Saturday's home finale against Tulane remains unclear....

    USF leading scorer Corey Allen Jr. has been suspended six games by the NCAA>