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No easing into the season for USF men, women

Both Bulls teams will begin with no fans at home games, at least through mid-December.
Forward Alexis Yetna, left, and the USF men will start their season at home Wednesday against Florida College.
Forward Alexis Yetna, left, and the USF men will start their season at home Wednesday against Florida College. [ Times (2019) ]
Published Nov. 21, 2020

TAMPA — The USF men’s and women’s 2020-21 basketball schedules feature a busy first three weeks, including several games against high-powered opponents.

On the women’s side, USF opens the season Nov. 28 against Jacksonville before taking on 2019 national champion Baylor and Mississippi State at home on Dec. 1 and Dec. 5, respectively. The women begin their American Athletic Conference schedule at Memphis on Dec. 16 before returning home Dec. 19 for their league home opener against Houston.

“It’s been a challenging scheduling year to say the least,” USF women’s coach Jose Fernandez said. “Going to 20 league games (because of pandemic issues) has made it difficult, and losing out on our multiple-team event (Battle 4 Atlantis) didn’t help as well. We are still in need of one more non-conference game, but with the need for strength of schedule/RPI parameters on our part, it has not come to fruition. We are playing two in-state Atlantic Sun programs and two top-10 programs in the country.”

The men’s schedule includes highlight games in the Basketball Hall of Fame Air Force Reserve Tip-Off Tournament in Connecticut against Rhode Island and Virginia Tech (Nov. 28-29), followed by a game against LSU in Atlanta on Dec. 12. The Bulls, who open the season with a home game Wednesday against Florida College, will begin their conference schedule Dec. 16 at Cincinnati.

“We felt it was important to open the season with a home game before going on the road for a week to play in Connecticut,” Gregory said. “We had a number of different teams show interest in coming to Tampa for our season opener, but different situations and scenarios developed that made those potential match-ups unworkable.”

Because of safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the USF men’s and women’s seasons will be played without any fans in attendance at least through Dec. 15. A limited number of players’ and coaches’ family members may be admitted via pass list to attend home games in person.

USF men’s schedule

Nov. 25: Florida College, 11:30 a.m.

Nov. 28: vs. Rhode Island (at Uncasville, Conn.), 5:30 p.m.

Nov. 29: vs. Virginia Tech (at Uncasville, Conn.), 8 p.m.

Dec. 4: Florida A&M, 5 p.m.

Dec. 8: Stetson, 5 p.m.

Dec. 12: vs. LSU (at Atlanta), 2:30 p.m.

Dec. 16: at Cincinnati, TBA

Dec. 22: Wichita State, TBA

Dec. 29: at Memphis, TBA

Jan. 2: UCF, TBA

Jan. 6: Tulsa, TBA

Jan. 9: at East Carolina, TBA

Jan. 14: Houston, TBA

Jan. 20: East Carolina, TBA

Jan. 24: at Wichita State, TBA

Jan. 27: Temple, TBA

Jan. 30: Cincinnati, TBA

Feb. 3: at Tulsa, TBA

Feb. 6: at SMU, TBA

Feb. 13: Tulane, TBA

Feb. 17: at UCF, TBA

Feb. 20: SMU, TBA

Feb. 24: at Temple, TBA

Feb. 28: at Houston, TBA

March 3: Memphis, TBA

March 6: at Tulane, TBA

USF women’s schedule

Nov. 28: Jacksonville, 4 p.m.

Dec. 1: Baylor, 7 p.m.

Dec. 5: Mississippi State, 7 p.m.

Dec. 13: Stetson, TBA

Dec. 16: at Memphis, TBA

Dec. 19: Houston, TBA

Dec. 22: at Cincinnati, TBA

Dec. 30: at Tulsa, TBA

Jan. 2: East Carolina, TBA

Jan. 6: Wichita State, TBA

Jan. 13: at Tulane, TBA

Jan. 17: Memphis, TBA

Jan. 20: at Wichita State, TBA

Jan. 23: at East Carolina, TBA

Jan. 27: Temple, TBA

Jan. 30: Cincinnati, TBA

Feb. 3: at SMU, TBD

Feb. 7: at UCF, TBD

Feb. 13: Tulsa, TBD

Feb. 17: SMU, TBD

Feb. 20: Tulane, TBD

Feb. 24: at Temple, TBD

Feb. 27: at Houston, TBD

March 2: UCF, TBD