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USF men’s basketball departures up to six, reports indicate

Veteran point guard Xavier Castaneda is among those reportedly now in the transfer portal.
USF point guard Xavier Castaneda (1) ranked fourth on the team in scoring (8.5 ppg) this past season and possessed the team's best assist-turnover ratio (1.5).
USF point guard Xavier Castaneda (1) ranked fourth on the team in scoring (8.5 ppg) this past season and possessed the team's best assist-turnover ratio (1.5). [ OCTAVIO JONES | Times ]
Published Mar. 17
Updated Mar. 17

The exodus from the USF men’s basketball program has grown from modest to mass.

In the wake of confirmations that seniors David Collins and Justin Brown have entered the NCAA transfer portal, reports have surfaced indicating veteran point guard Xavier Castaneda and reserves Madut Akec and Rashun Williams have joined them.

Additionally, 6-foot-8 backup swingman Luke Anderson, who arrived at USF from Iowa State in January 2020, has transferred to the College of Southern Idaho. The junior college announced Anderson’s signing in a March 10 news release.

The departures represent the program’s greatest roster turnover since the end of the 2016-17 season, when eight scholarship players departed. USF finished that 7-23 season with an interim coach (Murry Bartow), and hired Brian Gregory in March 2017.

Related: Having built a home at USF, Jose Fernandez not pulling up stakes

Russ Wood, a Rivals national recruiting analyst who closely follows USF, was the first to report Castaneda’s decision. Arguably the team’s most vital reserve, the 6-1 point guard ranked fourth on the team in scoring (8.5 ppg) this past season and possessed the team’s best assist-turnover ratio (1.5) and 3-point percentage (38.7, 24-for-62).

The decisions of Williams and Akec to enter the portal was reported by verbalcommits.com. A 6-6 junior, Williams appeared in 19 of the Bulls’ 22 games, averaging 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds. Akec, a 6-7 redshirt sophomore, appeared in 15 contests, averaging 2.5 points and 1.7 boards.

Anderson, who starred at Lakeland High, never cracked the regular rotation, appearing in only four games and totaling seven points.

The Bulls, a trendy NCAA Tournament dark-horse pick in the preseason, finished 9-13, dropping five of their last six.