USF's men's basketball team, projected to finish last in the American Athletic Conference by at least two national online publications, has received a little more love from the conference coaches.
But not much more.
The Bulls, coming off a 12-19 season, were picked eighth in the American's preseason coaches' poll released at the start of the league's media days Wednesday in Memphis. The news release, with the entire poll, can be found here.
Reigning national champ Louisville, which returns three starters from its championship team, was a unanimous pick to win the inaugural American title. The Cardinals received the first-place vote from all nine opposing coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own team.
Additionally, Bulls junior PG Anthony Collins and senior F Victor Rudd were second-team picks on the preseason all-conference team. The tandem will be complemented this season by a lauded six-player recruiting class featuring impact low-post freshmen John Egbunu and Chris Perry.
No matter to some pundits. Despite the return of Collins and Rudd, and the infusion of girth and talent, CBSSports.com and athlonsports.com both pick USF to finish in the American basement.
The Bulls host Barry in a Nov. 4 exhibition at home, then open the season Nov. 9 against Tennessee Tech at the Sun Dome.