Friday, November 11, 2011

USF opens hoops season tonight with much optimism

Coming off the heels of what head coach Stan Heath called his best recruiting class, the University of South Florida men’s basketball team opens the 2011-12 season against the Vermont Catamounts from the America East Conference this Saturday 7 p.m.

The game will be played at the University of Tampa’s Bob Martinez Sports Center and will be the first meeting between UVM and USF. Jim Lighthall (play-by-play) and Todd Kalas (analyst) will call the action live on WDAE 620 AM Radio with the pre-game show starting at 6:30 p.m.

Heath returns the majority of his roster from 2010-11 including 77 percent of his scoring and 67.8 percent of his rebounding.

The Bulls return four starters in forwards Augustus Gilchrist and Ron Anderson Jr., and guards Jawanza Poland and Hugh Robertson. Junior guard Shaun Noriega and junior forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick will also return having seen playing action in every game last season.

The big plus is expected to be 6-7 sophomore Victor Rudd, a transfer from Arizona State who sat out last season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.

Heath signed three players earlier this week, which gave him a class that was rated 12th nationally by HoopScoop.

The trio included junior college standouts 6-11 center Waverly Austin and 6-5 shooting guard Musa Abdul-Aleem along with 6-5, 200 pound shooting Javontae Hawkins out of Huntington Prep who is rated the 16th best player in the country at his position in the class of 2012.

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