- USF women's basketball player Inga Orekhova was chosen in the 2nd round of the WNBA Draft by the Atlanta Dream. Dream GM Angela Taylor called Orekhova "an incredible shooter who spaces the floor with range beyond the three-point line, and will fit our system nicely."an incredible shooter who spaces the floor with range beyond the three-point line, and will fit our system nicely - See more at: http://www.wnba.com/dream/news/dreamdraftpicks041414.html#sthash.bQQ1tD9R.dpufincredible shooter who spaces the floor with range beyond the three-point line, and will fit our system nicely - See more at: http://www.wnba.com/dream/news/dreamdraftpicks041414.html#sthash.bQQ1tD9R.dpuf"We identified and targeted Inga very early in our draft process," said Taylor. "She is an incredible shooter who spaces the floor with range beyond the three-point line, and will fit our system nicely." - See more at: http://www.wnba.com/dream/news/dreamdraftpicks041414.html#sthash.bQQ1tD9R.dpuf
There's also a personal connection here: the Dream are coached by former USC head coach Michael Cooper, who originally signed Orekhova out of high school. (Yes, the Michael Cooper who played for the showtime-era Lakers.) Also, one of her teammates in Atlanta will be a familiar face: the team's first round pick was USF tormentor Shoni Schimmel.
Orekhova would be the first USF alum to play in the WNBA. Two others have been chosen in the draft: Andrea Smith last season (35th, Connecticut) and Jessica Dickson in 2007 (21st, Sacramento), though both played in Europe rather than the WNBA. By the way, Smith has been playing in Poland, but had to return to the U.S. for treatment of a knee injury.
- Jose Fernandez added two new point guards to replace the outgoing Orekhova and Akila McDonald. Bre Brooks is a junior college star, and Laia Flores Costa played on the Spain Under-18 national team with USF sophomore-to-be Ariadna Pujol.
- Switching to men's basketball,
there are no new signings to report. This is not surprising, in light of the coaching change, and the new coach being occupied with his former team national championship game. There's no official word yet on local guard Dinero Mercurius, who verballed to USF earlier this year. (Troy Holston has already signed with USF, during the early signing period.)
UPDATE: Reports are that Mercurius has signed with USF. If this is true, expect an official announcement from GoUSFBulls.com later today.
- Twitter rumors are that Seton Hall has scheduled a home-and-home series with USF. The Bulls would host Seton Hall next season, and travel to South Orange in the 2015-16 season. Which means we get to revisit our final game in the Big East. Joy.
- Also next season, the Bulls will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl classic, on December 20. The game will be at whatever the Florida Panthers' home arena is called these days, in Sunrise. It's part of a doubleheader with Florida-Wake Forest, so those of you that were hoping to see Danny Manning coach will still get to do so.
USF-Florida State was a long-running home-and-home series, until about ten years ago. I'm not sure why it ended at that time, but hopefully this is a step towards resuming it. USF also played Florida State in a tournament at Daytona Beach, in November 2007.
- In an expected move, Josh Heath was granted his release from USF. He will reportedly land at Georgia Tech.
In the no-news-is-good-news department, we have yet to see any other roster attrition due to the coaching change.
UPDATE: Zach LeDay announced on Twitter that he is transferring out.
- The AAC Men's Basketball Conference Tournament will be played in Hartford's XL Center next season, and Orlando's Amway Arena in 2016 and 2017. This is a good thing for USF. The conference tournament has never been held in a place convenient to USF's fan base. (Only once was it held in Florida, and that was Jacksonville in 1981.) Having two local teams should also be a boon to attendance.
- Former USF starting quarterback Matt Floyd has transferred to South Alabama.
- WR Ruben Gonzalez is also leaving the football team, per Joey Knight.
- Belated April Fool's Day bonus: former USF relief pitcher Kevin Quackenbush has a role in this film about an elaborate prank on Jeff Francoeur.