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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 adds ex-Purdue coach Danny Hope to staff

    Sports

    TAMPA — The reconfiguration of USF coach Willie Taggart's staff is nearly complete with Friday's announcement that former Purdue coach Danny Hope joined the Bulls as a co-offensive coordinator/line coach.

    Hope will oversee USF's run game while David Reaves, promoted from quarterbacks coach to the other co-coordinator role, will direct the passing game. Taggart, however, will resume all play-calling duties, a USF news release indicated....

    Danny Hope is USF’s new co-offensive coordinator/line coach.
  2. USF-FSU basketball, 2 p.m. Saturday

    College

    .Today

    USF vs. Florida State

    When/where: 2; BB&T Center, Sunrise

    TV/radio: Sun Sports; 1010-AM, 1040-AM

    Records: USF 5-5, FSU 5-5

    Notable: This is the opening game of the Orange Bowl Classic, which features Florida and Wake Forest in the second contest. … The Bulls enter on a four-game skid marked by lineup fluctuations (they've had a different starting five in each of their past four games) and woeful long-range shooting. During the losing streak, USF is 21-for-60 (21.7 percent) from 3-point range, including 0-for-9 in Thursday's 89-69 home loss to Seton Hall. Opponents are shooting 34-for-79 (43 percent) from 3-point range in the same stretch. … FSU, also struggling mightily (24.2 percent) from long range, recently lost top scorer Aaron Thomas (14.8 ppg), a 6-foot-5 junior guard declared ineligible by the school for undisclosed reasons. In his absence, 6-8 G Montay Brandon and 7-footer Kiel Turpin combined for 43 points in Wednesday's 93-77 win against North Florida....

  3. Danny Hope aboard as new USF staff takes shape

    Blog

    Barring an 11th-hour glitch, USF coach Willie Taggart could have his coaching staff formally replenished before Christmas.

    The makeup of Taggart's reconfigured staff really began taking shape Friday with the school's announcement that former Purdue coach Danny Hope has joined the Bulls staff as co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach.

    Quarterbacks coach David Reaves has been promoted to the other co-coordinator role. While Reaves will oversee the Bulls passing game and Hope will coordinate the run game, Taggart will "resume all play-calling duties" next season, a USF news release said....

  4. Nine Bulls honored by Phil Steele

    Blog

    Bulls freshman RB Marlon Mack, P Mattias Ciabatti and KR Chris Dunkley lead a cavalcade of nine USF players selected to national college football analyst Phil Steele's All-American Athletic Conference team.

    Mack, Ciabatti and Dunkley -- the AAC leaders in rushing, punt average and kick-return average, respectively -- all were first-team picks. Mack and Ciabatti also were first-team selections on the coaches All-AAC squad.

    Senior TE Mike McFarland, who rallied from an early-season injury to finish second on the team with a career-best 27 catches, earned second-team honors with senior OL Quinterrius Eatmon. Employed at guard and tackle in 2014, Eatmon graduated with 46 career starts, second-most in USF history.

    Third-team honors went to school career receiving leader Andre Davis, senior C Austin Reiter (36 starts in last three seasons), sophomore OLB Nigel Harris (77 tackles, six forced fumbles) and senior PK Marvin Kloss (13-for-17 FGs, 23-for-23 PATs)....

    USF senior kick returner Chris Dunkley was among three Bulls earning first-team honors on Phil Steele's All-American Athletic Conference squad.
  5. 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....

  6. 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....

  7. 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."
    ...

  8. 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....

  9. 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]
  10. 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....

  11. 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]
  12. 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....

  13. 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]
  14. 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....

  15. 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.