Monday, November 15, 2010

It's USF on Wednesday night

Fresh off a recent way-out-of-left-field (if we can mix sports metaphors) call by a sportswriter in the Sacramento Bee for former Don and longtime Chicago Bull center Bill Cartwright to take over the program, Coach Rex Walters and his USF squad come to Walt McPherson Court 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening.

Walters was hired in April 2008 and charged with rebuilding the once storied basketball program. This after an internecine 'war' between the former head coach (who was fired and is suing) and the AD (who recently resigned). After playing at Piedmont Hills High in San Jose, he originally signed with Northwestern and then was a star backcourter at Kansas after transferring there and also spent some time in the NBA.

It's been a struggle for Walters but that was expected early on in his tenure. No longer can/will USF land (a-f-f-o-r-d) the Cartwrights, the James Hardys, the Winford Boynes and the (late) Quintin Daileys because the payments for such services got USF into NCAA trouble and actually led to a shutdown of the program from 1981 to 1985.

Games this season

USF took down Seattle (a December 18 SJSU road foe) 97-76 on November 12, primarily by forcing the Redhawks into a half court game. On November 7, it was a 95-62 exhibition contest win against Menlo College

Currently, the point production is well distributed among the team, with Angelo Caloiaro and Michael Williams averaging 18 per game and Marko Petrovic and Moustapha Diarra at 14 apiece. Petrovic especially (all five of his made shots have been from long distance), and Williams have been the most skilled outside shooters early on.

Who started against Seattle? It was 6-foot-2 freshman backcourter Cody Doolin, 5-foot-10 redshirt frosh point Dominique O'Connor plus 6-foot-4 junior Rashad Green as the outside players and 6-foot-8 junior Caloiaro and 6-foot-10 senior Diarra upfront. Caloiaro also has shooting ability from distance.

As for predictions, the West Coast Conference Coaches poll had USF finishing in sixth place come March.

The Players

Here's the Don roster -- a mini-United Nations (by position and alphabetized)

Walters has a very young squad -- boasting of just seven years of returning D-1 experience.

Straight out of Bad Krotzingen? And someone else from Babylon? These must be some nefarious dudes.

Osekalome Akhile G 5-11 178 freshman Oakland, CA/The Branson School
Cody Doolin G 6-2 170 freshman Austin, TX/Westlake HS
Chad Eppley G 6-1 165 junior Boone, NC/Watauga HS
Rashad Green G 6-4 195 junior Babylon, NY/Manhattan
Avery Johnson G 6-3 180 freshman Huntington Beach, CA/Ocean View HS
Dominique O'Connor G 5-10 165 freshman Los Angeles, CA/Westchester HS
Marko Petrovic G 6-3 200 freshman Zagreb, Croatia/Findlay Prep
Jay Wey G 6-2 185 junior Cupertino, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS
Michael Williams G 6-0 170 sophomore Van Nuys, CA/Taft HS

Perris Blackwell F 6-9 240 sophomore Etiwanda, CA/Etiwanda HS
Angelo Caloiaro F 6-8 225 junior Saratoga, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS
Cole Dickerson F 6-7 230 freshman Federal Way, WA/Federal Way HS
Khalil Murphy F 6-7 235 freshman Willingboro, NJ/Fishburne Military School
Antoine Roy-Condron F 6-8 210 freshman Long Beach, CA/St. Anthony HS
Charles Standifer F 6-5 185 freshman Sacramento, CA/Capital Christian HS

Moustapha Diarra C 6-10 235 senior Marseille, France/Sheridan JC (WY)
Justin Raffington C 6-9 225 freshman Bad Krotzingen, Germany/Urspring Academy

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