For USF fans eager to move on from the football team’s bleak, COVID-ravaged, injury-plagued rebuilding year, some exciting news dropped on Friday afternoon when the men’s and women’s basketball teams released their 2020-21 schedules. Both teams will play a limited non-conference slate before diving into American Athletic Conference play in December.
Driving the anticipation on the men’s side is the return of Alexis Yetna, who is back from the knee injury that knocked him out of the entire 2019-20 season. Along with him, five of last year’s top six scorers are back, and the Bulls add top-100 combo guard Caleb Murphy to the lineup, plus two transfers in Prince Oduro and Luke Anderson. USF was picked to finish fifth in the preseason coaches’ poll, and Brian Gregory’s team will be back in postseason contention after struggling to a 14-17 record last year.
After a warmup game against our dear friends at Florida College on Wednesday, the Bulls head to the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut for the... let me make sure I get this right... Basketball Hall of Fame Air Force Reserve Tip-Off Tournament. USF is scheduled to face Rhode Island next Saturday, November 28, followed by Virginia Tech the next day.
Following home games against Florida A&M and Stetson, USF then visits State Farm Arena in Atlanta for a neutral site game against LSU on December 12. Then it’s straight into a 20-game AAC schedule, beginning with Cincinnati on the 16th.
With 11 teams in the league and 20 games, the schedule is a double round-robin. Everyone plays everyone else home and away. Key home games include:
- C - January 2
- Houston - January 14
- Cincinnati - January 30
- Memphis - March 3
UConn and their whiny baby coach and their prissy fans
As part of The American’s TV deal with ESPN, any basketball game that doesn’t air on a broadcast channel will be available to stream on ESPN+.
Speaking of UConn, now that they’re out of the league, USF women’s basketball finally has a clear shot at winning a conference title. Jose Fernandez brings back nearly everyone from last year’s team, including Bethy Mununga, Elisa Tsineke, Kristyna Brabencova, and Elisa Pinzan. The team also gets Maria Alvarez back, who was lost for the season in the Bulls’ AAC opener last January.
— USF W. Basketball (@USFWBB) November 20, 2020
USF announces 2020-21 season schedule, which includes defending national champion Baylor and Mississippi State at home, and home-and-home games with all 10 @American_WBB foes.
Click ➡️ https://t.co/OOFZunKmvA to take a #HornsUp pic.twitter.com/Z3TWhML1TT
As always, USF’s non-conference schedule is a doozy. Following the season opener with Jacksonville, the Bulls welcome Baylor to Tampa on December 1. A rematch of a rough-and-tumble affair in Waco last year, the game will mark Baylor’s first visit since the Lady Bears won the most recent national championship at Amalie Arena in 2019. Right after that, USF hosts Mississippi State, who was 27-6 last season and reached the Elite Eight in the 2019 tournament.
After one more warmup against Stetson, USF embarks on their 20-game conference schedule, playing every other team home and home. The Bulls were picked to finish first in the preseason coaches’ poll, getting eight of the ten available first place votes. (In these polls, coaches do not vote for their own team and simply rank the other ten.) Key home games include:
- Cincinnati - January 30
- Tulane - February 20
- #TrashZone - March 2
Like the men’s schedule, any women’s game that doesn’t air on a broadcast channel will be available on ESPN+.
Assuming we make it to the end of the season, both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be held at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. The women compete from March 8-11, and the men take the court from March 11-14. Grab your belt buckles and get your cowboy boots on and we’ll see y’all there.