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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. Seton Hall routs USF Bulls by 20

    College

    TAMPA — Ten games into the Orlando Antigua era at USF, no one's suggesting the new-car smell has dissipated. It's just that lately it has been overcome by a familiar stench.

    Suddenly the Bulls are putrid again from long range.

    The team that struggled to buy a 3-pointer the past two seasons has only clangs for currency again. The funk continued Thursday night against Seton Hall, which connected on 11 treys — 11 more than the Bulls — in an 89-69 romp before a Sun Dome crowd of 3,330....

  2. New AAC format has Bulls bound for Navy

    Blog

    USF's first season of divisional play in the American Athletic Conference will feature a new destination: Annapolis, Md.

    A trip to Navy -- coming aboard as the conference's 12th team next fall -- highlights the Bulls' league road slate in 2015. That visit, and all other Bulls home and road conference games for the next four seasons, were announced Thursday by the AAC.

    Dates and times for future conference games haven't been announced.

    The addition of a 12th team allows the split into East and West divisions and addition of a conference title game, to be held at the home site of one of the division champions. The glaring geographic discrepancy: Navy is in the West Division, Cincinnati the East.

    Starting in 2015, schools will play every opponent in their division and three from the opposite division annually, ensuring each school plays every AAC foe at home and on the road at least once in a four-year cycle....

  3. Men's hoops: Bulls seeking a brisk start

    Blog

    As we reported in today's editions of the Tampa Bay Times, the Bulls men's basketball team must compensate for their lack of depth and experience with scrappiness. It's essential in this year of transition, where the schedule is devoid of gimmes and high on grinds.

    But in addition to battling until the 40th minute, Orlando Antigua wouldn't mind a brisk start in the first or second.

    Playing catch-up has evolved into a bothersome trend for this squad, which hosts its former Big East nemesis, Seton Hall, tonight.

    "We've got to turn it up early," sophomore PF Chris Perry said.

    In Monday night's 68-63 loss to Georgia Southern, the Bulls found themselves down by nine with roughly seven minutes to play in the first half. In an 82-71 loss at Alabama, they trailed by that same margin 5 1/2 minutes into the game.

    Though they later rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to defeat Hofstra, the Bulls nonetheless trailed by 10 with 1:41 to go in the first half. At N.C. State, they were in an eight-point hole less than four minutes into the contest.

    "My challenge to our student-athletes is, let's not keep putting ourselves in that position so that we have to exert so much energy to get back in the game," Antigua said following the Georgia Southern loss, his team's third in a row.

    "How 'bout starting the game that way. How 'bout competing early on the way we want to compete on every possession, which is what we talk about every day in practice, and not putting ourselves in a position where we have to swim upstream so much."
    ...

  4. Danny Hope reportedly set to join USF's staff

    Blog

    Former Purdue coach Danny Hope, who has a connection of sorts to Willie Taggart, is expected to be named USF's new offensive line coach, Sports Illustrated's Thayer Evans reported Thursday morning.

    Evans' tweet cited an unnamed source. If true, Taggart would have one remaining vacancy on his staff and two unfilled jobs: secondary coach and offensive coordinator.

    It is believed former Manatee High coach Joe Kinnan, for whom Taggart played in the early 1990s, remains in consideration for an offensive-assistant spot, which could result in new defensive coordinator Tom Allen doubling as a position coach....

  5. Win or lose, scrappy USF Bulls battle

    College

    TAMPA — The first four of what could be a procession of lumps for USF men's basketball have arrived. In a recent 10-day span, they came in triplicate, courtesy of Alabama, Detroit and Georgia Southern.

    In this season of transition, when depth is scarce and greenness is at a surplus, first-year coach Orlando Antigua knows the Bulls (5-4) will sustain their share. Only three guys on the roster had played in a Division I game before this season. Welts were inevitable....

    Such is the Bulls' 2014-15 tagline: Every game can be a battle, but only if they battle every game. [AP photo]
  6. USF-Northern Colorado women's basketball preview

    College

    . TONIGHT

    USF women vs. Northern Colorado

    When/where: 7; Sun Dome

    Records: Northern Colorado 6-3, USF 7-3

    Radio: 1010-AM

    Notable: The Bears lost by only seven to 12th-ranked Nebraska two weeks ago. … In the wake of a two-point home loss to St. John's, USF went from the cusp of the top 25 two weeks ago to receiving no votes in the latest poll. … To a degree, the Bulls' junior tandem of F Alisia Jenkins (11.5 ppg, 10.4 rpg) and SG Courtney Williams (18.2 ppg, 8 rpg) is being liberated by the emergence of freshman Laura Ferreira (7.6 ppg) and Boca Ciega alumnus Tamara Taylor (9.1 ppg) on the perimeter. The two sank eight 3-pointers in Sunday's 67-47 win against College of Charleston....

  7. USF Bulls draw big praise for hiring Tom Allen

    College

    TAMPA

    Willie Taggart's widely hailed home-run hire remained on an upward trajectory Tuesday, gaining more loft by the hour. Locally, former pupils and peers of Tom Allen continued trumpeting the integrity and acumen of USF's newest defensive coordinator.

    "USF Defense will be strong this year!" tweeted Jesuit offensive coordinator Joe Gerena, Armwood's quarterback when Allen ran the Hawks defense for two seasons (1995-96). "Great Coach even Greater Man!"...

    For the last four seasons, Tom Allen - Ole Miss' linebackers/special teams coach - has worked under the guidance of grizzled Rebels defensive coordinator Dave Wommack. His base look: a 4-2-5 with assorted packages. [AP photo]
  8. USF falls to Georgia Southern for third straight loss

    College

    TAMPA — USF showed no sign of a pulse from 3-point range, and it periodically lacked a heartbeat everywhere else on the Sun Dome floor Monday night.

    It was during one particularly lethargic stretch, when Georgia Southern opened the second half with a 12-0 run, that Bulls coach Orlando Antigua replaced all five starters at once.

    "We just weren't there mentally," sophomore forward Chris Perry said....

  9. USF appears set to hire Tom Allen as defensive coordinator

    College

    TAMPA — Ole Miss linebackers coach/special teams coordinator Tom Allen, whose Tampa roots run nearly a quarter-century deep, is expected to be named USF's defensive coordinator as early as today.

    ESPN.com's Derek Tyson, who played for Allen at now-defunct Temple Heights Christian School and later was an Armwood quarterback when Allen served as Hawks defensive coordinator, reported the hire Monday morning....

    Mississippi llinebackers coach Tom Allen celebrates with the team mascot during a 2012 game. [Associated Press]
  10. A closer look at Tom Allen

    Blog

    A few facts -- both random and relevant -- about Tom Allen, reportedly hired as USF's new defensive coordinator.

    * Allen graduated from New Castle (Ind.) High, alma mater of Indiana University basketball legend Steve Alford and home to the largest high school basketball gym in the world (capacity 9,325).

    * In 1994, Allen led now-defunct Temple Heights Christian School to a 7-4 record and Class 2A playoff berth, the first postseason appearance in the school's 18-year history. Allen eventually was named the St. Petersburg Times' Coach of the Year for Hillsborough County.

    * During Allen's two seasons as Armwood's defensive coordinator in 1995 and '96, the Hawks posted the school's best two seasons (8-2, 10-2) to that point. The '96 team, in fact, captured the program's first playoff berth.

    * The first NFL player Allen coached? Would have to be Mike Pearson, a former Gators All-American left tackle and the Jacksonville Jaguars' second-round pick in 2002. Pearson played for Allen at Temple Heights and later followed him to Armwood.

    * Allen has worked for Hugh Freeze at three different colleges: Lambuth (Jackson, Tenn.), Arkansas State and Ole Miss

    * Allen was Ole Miss' special teams coach of record in October 2013 when PK Andrew Ritter nailed a 41-yard field goal with two seconds remaining to clinch a 27-24 win against then-No. 6 LSU. It was the Rebels' first victory against a top-10 program in four years....

  11. Report: USF hires Tom Allen as defensive coordinator

    Blog

    Ole Miss linebackers coach/special teams coordinator Tom Allen, whose Tampa roots run nearly a quarter-century deep, is expected to be named USF's new defensive coordinator as early as today.

    ESPN.com's Derek Tyson, who played for Allen at now-defunct Temple Heights Christian School and later was an Armwood quarterback when Allen served as Hawks defensive coordinator, reported the hire Monday morning....

    An Indiana native who shares an alma mater (New Castle High) with UCLA men's basketball coach Steve Alford, Allen has spent the last three seasons on the Rebels staff at Ole Miss, but has worked for Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze at various stops since 2008.
  12. USF-Georgia Southern basketball, 7 p.m. Monday

    College

    .Today

    USF vs. Georgia Southern

    When/where: 7; Sun Dome

    Radio: 1010-AM

    Records: USF 5-3, GSU 4-2

    Notable: Both teams essentially are coming off bye weeks. The Bulls haven't played since a 10-point loss at Detroit on Dec. 6; the Eagles' last game was a two-point loss at UCF on Dec. 2. … This begins a stretch of four games in nine days for the Bulls. USF must hope its layoff, which included exams and two-a-days, didn't hamper the rhythm of two-guard Corey Allen, averaging 22.3 points over the past four games. … Bulls junior PG Anthony Collins leads the American Athletic Conference in assists (6.5 per game) and assist-turnover ratio (plus-2.5). … The Eagles are led by fifth-year senior G Jelani Hewitt, a preseason All-Sun Belt Conference pick averaging 21.5 points....

  13. USF-Charleston women's basketball, 2 p.m. Sunday

    College

    . TODAY

    USF women vs. College of Charleston

    When/where: 2; Sun Dome

    Records: USF 6-3; College of Charleston 0-7

    Radio: 1010-AM

    Notable: Charleston won last year's meeting 71-64 but lost four starters and coach Natasha Adair (a USF alumnus) from that team. … The Bulls, who just completed exam week, haven't played since last Sunday's 55-52 home loss to St. John's. That's a long time to stew over a defeat in which coach Jose Fernandez questioned his club's toughness. … Junior Courtney Williams eclipsed 1,000 points for her career in that game but went 5-of-19 from the floor (15 points). … Freshman Laura Ferreira had a career-high 14 points against the Red Storm. … The Cougars have lost their past five by double digits....

  14. Final stampede: 31 USF athletes to walk across stage

    Blog

    Thirty-one USF student-athletes, including 13 football players, are receiving diplomas this weekend at the school's fall commencement ceremonies.

    The weekend's first graduation exercise was set for Friday evening, with three more ceremonies on Saturday.

    USF posted a program-record 83-percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) earlier this year. Seven of the 31 are graduating with honors, and nearly half (14) finished with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, according to the school....

    USF athletic director Mark Harlan with many of the Bulls student-athletes set to graduate this weekend.
  15. Former Armwood assistant joins names of USF candidates

    Blog

    Some of the latest tidbits we've gleaned regarding USF's ongoing search for two new coordinators and a defensive backs coach:

    * Ole Miss linebackers/special teams coordinator Tom Allen, a former Tampa high school coach, has interviewed for the defensive coordinator job. Allen, wrapping up his third season on the Rebels staff, was defensive coordinator at Armwood in the mid-90s and served as head coach at now-defunct Temple Heights the three seasons before that. Over the last two decades, the teams on which he has coached amassed a record of 208-57, according to his Ole Miss bio.

    * UCF coach George O'Leary said Thursday evening Knights defensive backs coach Kirk Callahan hasn't informed him of his interest in the same job at USF. An Armwood High alumnus and son of ultra-successful Hawks coach Sean Callahan, Kirk Callahan is believed to be in strong consideration for one of the Bulls' defensive vacancies. "That would be up to Kirk," O'Leary said. "I let all the coaches talk to whoever they need to talk to, as long as I know about it."

    * Legendary former Manatee High coach Joe Kinnan still appears to be a viable candidate for an offensive spot on Coach Willie Taggart's staff. Published reports from Sarasota and Manatee counties have indicated such, and people who have worked with Kinnan, 69, say he's interested. Taggart was quarterback on Kinnan's 1992 Manatee team that won a state title.

    * Another possibility -- albeit remote -- for the defensive coordinator job is D.J. Durkin, who has served in the same capacity at Florida the last two seasons and is serving as the Gators' interim coach for the Birmingham Bowl. Durkin worked on the Stanford staff (2007-09) the same time as Taggart.
    ...