Within the next week, the USF men's and women's basketball teams officially could begin fortifying their respective rosters in the wake of significant departures.
The NCAA's month-long spring signing period for nearly every sport (except football) begins Wednesday and continues to May 16. Initially, the Bulls women are expected to add at least two players, the men one.
Those numbers could grow.
Signing for the women will be former North Carolina commitment Makaela Kestner and Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy PG Sydni Harvey, who led her team to a state title earlier this year.
The men, at nine scholarship players including their trio of fall signees, will sign 6-foot-10 Casper (Wyo.) standout Antun Maricevic. They remain in contention for other veteran transfers including Motlow (Tenn.) State Community College wing Rashawn Fredericks, a Chamberlain High alumnus who visited last weekend.
If no one actually signs and submits a letter of intent Wednesday, it's hardly cause for concern. Maricevic isn't expected to sign until early next week. Kestner, a 5-11 combo guard from Liberty High in Bealeton, Va., will sign at her school Friday afternoon.
Noted for her agility and smooth jump shot, Kestner finished her prep career as Fauquier County's career scoring leader (girls or boys) with more than 1,500 points.
Harvey, a two-time Division II-AA Miss Basketball in Tennessee, also exits her school as its all-time leading scorer.
The Bulls women lost senior F Maria Jespersen — an honorable-mention All-American who averaged nearly a double-double — and resilient PG Laia Flores from this past season's NCAA Tournament team.
The men lost three graduate transfers and veteran F Isaiah Manderson when the season ended; and recently bid farewell to 6-10 F Malik Martin and SG Troy Holston, who depart as grad transfers.