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The 2015 Voodoo Five Awards (Part 1)

It's time for our (almost) annual look back at the year that was in USF athletics.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2014-15 USF athletics season almost over (only track athletes Matthew O'Neal and David Shepherd are still competing), it's time to take a look back at the year and honor the best, and sometimes the worst, of USF in the past time. It's the Voodoo Five Awards!

In Part 1, we make our picks for the best teams and athletes, along with our most surprising team and most disappointing team. Guess what! Not everyone voted for football!


Collin: I hate the bias of recency, but I'm going with men's golf in a squeaker over men's tennis. Both won their conference tournament, and both got to the final event of their sport, but men's golf got to the round of 8 and tennis the round of 16. In a vote closer than Kennedy over Nixon in Illinois, men's golf gets the nod here.

Honorable mention to women's basketball. if they had beat Louisville it very well might be them here.

Elliot: Women's basketball. They put together a great season and were ranked at the end. Golf and tennis were also great, but the women's basketball team was very exciting for the whole community.

Gary: Other teams went further in the postseason, but women's basketball gets my vote. They awakened the fan base in a way we haven't seen in awhile, they were fun to root for, and they accomplished great things. And almost the entire team is coming back.

Matthew: Men's golf. They were unbelievable.

Ryan: It feels wrong not giving this to women's basketball after they totally galvanized the USF fanbase down the stretch, and it's a testament to how good USF's winter and spring seasons were that I'm not giving it to them. Men's golf had a real, legitimate shot at winning a national title, and that's something that hasn't come around very often. Getting to match play in itself was a tremendous achievement.

Jamie: Men's golf matched the deepest run in a Division I tournament USF has ever seen, and they might be even better next year. Collin talks about the good old days in C-USA where we pretty much owned in the Olympic sports, and those days seem to be on the way back, but none of them did this well. This will be USF's first team with legit national title aspirations since {NULL SET}.


Collin: Roberto Cid has been the best player for men's tennis for quite a while, and I'm giving it to the junior just barely over Claudio Correa from men's golf. Cid struggled down the stretch a bit, but he kept the opponents #1 at bay all season long, and that's got to count for something.

Next year they should both be back on campus, but I bet I'm voting the other way next season. Or for baseball's Kevin Merrell, who could be a really special player.

Elliot: Marlon Mack. He was the best rusher in the conference if my memory is correct. He carried the team to the Western Carolina victory and scored big TDs in the Memphis and Tulsa games.

Gary: Marlon Mack had an amazing freshman year. USF needs to build an offense around him.

Matthew: Marlon Mack by far. He's NFL bound. Roberto Cid a close second, and Claudio Correa rounds out my podium.

Ryan: Too often we fail to properly reward incredible performances on losing teams (hi, BJ Daniels!), and Corey Allen Jr. suffered from that this season. He was the only senior on a ridiculously young team, and really the only player who could score for much of the season, and still managed to have an amazing season. His performance was made even more impressive by the fact that he was actually vaguely efficient despite being the Bulls' only source of offense (44% from the field on upwards of 12 attempts per game, and 35% from three). It's absolutely cruel that he didn't get to finish out his senior season, so pour one out for Corey, a 150-pound blur of pure electricity and a USF basketball hero.

Jamie: Roberto Cid was a monster for men's tennis. I also want to call out Corey Allen Jr., who had his career pointlessly cut short by the NCAA, but not before a season where he was clearly basketball's best player and had massive performances against FSU and Tulsa.


Collin: THIS IS SO HARD. Demi Stokes is going to play on the England World Cup team (ed: whoops... she was left off the final World Cup roster as one of the last cuts) starting next week and was so far and away the best player on the pitch for her team that she looked like a true starting EPL #10 playing against high schoolers, and Courtney Williams is an absolute freak and could never play another game and retire as the best USF women's basketball player ever (my apologies to Jessica Dickson).

Both are worth the price of admission, and both are insta-USF Hall of Famers. I'm taking Courtney only because Demi had to leave her team for a bit of time this season for workouts with the England team, and missed a few games. I'm betting the rest of you are all voting for Courtney too, so this will probably be unanimous.

Elliot: Courtney Williams or Demi Stokes. Williams was great on the court all year; Stokes is great on paper but I didn't see her come through in clutch situations. Everyone says Erin Fairs is great, but I don't know much about volleyball.

Gary: Courtney Williams. Erin Fairs deserves honorable mention.

Matthew: Courtney Williams, AKA Miss Chef Curry.

Ryan: Courtney Williams is very similar to Corey Allen, except she plays on a great team. I don't think it's possible to overstate how much she meant to USF basketball this season. Even in the three games the Bulls played against UConn this year, where they were drastically overmatched against a bunch of basketball titans, the Huskies had no answer for Courtney. She was that good. It's very rare that we actually recognize a legend while they're still playing; Courtney is one of those players. I'm honestly a little frightened of what she might do on next year's team.

Jamie: Courtney Williams would easily be the best women's basketball player in the league if UConn was not also in the league. Getting into Wanda Guyton territory with her.


Collin: Baseball wasn't good, and rung out every inch of ability out of what was a very limited roster. All the right buttons got pushed, and them getting to the NCAA's with the players they had and actually winning a game was pretty amazing. I think Mark Kingston is going to build a monster program here. If he can do that with this roster, imagine what he can do once he gets his kids?

Elliot: Baseball. New coach and Kevin Merrell came out of nowhere to get us into the tournament.

Gary: Baseball. Making a regional in Mark Kingston's first season was incredible.

Matthew: Baseball. Mark Kingston is a boss.

Ryan: Absolutely baseball. I don't think there was a single person who thought it was possible for them to make the NCAA tourney this year. The future is so bright for this program.

Jamie: We all knew Mark Kingston was a good hire for the baseball team, but getting to an NCAA regional with a pretty meager team was amazing work. The future for USF baseball is very bright after a long stretch of mediocrity and indifference.


Collin: Motion for unanimous consent? All in favor? I mean there's only one choice here. And I anticipate them repeating in this category in 2016 too.

Elliot: Football or men's soccer. I thought we'd see more from both of them this year because they had so many good players.

Gary: Volleyball. Fairs is a superstar, and any team with her on it should have been better.

Matthew: Football. Is there really anything else? The blocked punt against Maryland cost us the game and the season. All momentum was lost.

Ryan: I get that no one expected football to be good, but no one expected them to be borderline worse than 2013, either. Football was incredibly disappointing.

Jamie: I guess you have to say football, but we knew they wouldn't be any good last year, so can you really call them disappointing? True disappointment might belong with the other kind of football. I'm officially concerned about men's soccer, who missed out on postseason play after a 9-7-1 regular season and seem to be stuck in neutral after their run to the last 8 in 2011.