Matthew Manuri: Antigua showing his aggressiveness
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When former Kentucky assistant and Pittsburgh alumni Orlando Antigua decided to leave his cushy bench position with the Kentucky Wildcats under likely Hall of Fame head coach John Calipari, it was unknown if Antigua's remarkable recruiting success at Kentucky would transfer along with him down to USF
Well Antigua and Co. addressed the notion in short order, chasing top recruits and transfers spanning the eastern seaboard. On Easter Sunday ESPN published an alert announcing Marshall transfer Kareem Canty , while on an official visit at Auburn, committed to the Tigers. But following Canty's visit ESPN was forced to retract the announcement with a second alert that stated, "Ex-Marshall G Kareem Canty, hours after Auburn commitment, tells ESPN he will now visit USF, then decide." Bulls fans will be forced to play the 'wait and see' game for Canty's landing spot, but it would be a great sign if Antigua and his staff were able to draw Canty down to Tampa.
Brandon (Fla.) Faith Baptist Dinero Mercurius signed with South Florida Thursday joining fellow 2015 signee Tampa-Oldsmar Christian SG Troy Holston. I was not able to find any film on Mercurius, but First Baptist coach Kenny Gillon made this statement in a press release, "Dinero is the best shooter I've ever coached." Mercurius averaged 17-points and six assists per game during his senior season. USF Nation will have to wait for the season to begin to find out if Mercurius can redeem the Bulls from the atrocious dead last nation ranking in three-point shooting percentage.
A pair of 2015 studs made the trip to from Lakeland for an unofficial visit with new head coach Orlando Antigua in Faith Baptist Christian SF Dwayne Bacon and IMG Academy PG Corey Sanders. Bacon has the ability to take it to the dish or step back and knock down three-pointers with ease. Sanders is an electric guard with exceptional handles that possess the ability to get to the rim and finish. Bacon is rated as a 4-Star by Rivals.
Sanders, a one time UCF commit, is rated as a 4-Star by Rivals. According to several sources Bacon has enjoyed several 40+ point games. Both players are considered elite and are excellent examples of the type of game-changers Antigua intends to lure to USF.
Ruben Guerrero, a 6-foot-10 big man out of Sunrise Christian, is currently on an official visit to South Florida, per a source.
- Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) April 18, 2014Last Friday Evan Daniels announced via twitter that 6-foot-10 Sunrise Christian C Ruben Guerrero was on an official visit with Antigua and staff at South Florida. Yes, the same Ruben Guerrero that holds a golden offer from Indiana. Gents, I understand you all are aware, but I feel the need to remind everyone that Indiana represents the upper echelon of hoops with Kentucky. Frankly, I find it amazing the type of players already setting foot in the Muma Center.
With the transfer announcements of Zach LeDay, JaVontae Hawkins and Musa Abdul-Aleem the Bulls were up to six players from last year's squad that will not return and things to stabilize. Unfortunately, yesterday the Bulls granted the release of C John Egbunu after a dominating freshman campaign protecting the paint, which bumped the tally to seven. PG Josh Heath transferred to Georgia Tech, and both Victor Rudd and Martino Brock have graduated. Rudd and Brock led the team in scoring averaging 15.7 ppg and 10.5 ppg respectively. Rudd and Brock accounted for 42% of the Bulls total 1,128 points for the 2013-14 season. The Bulls also lost the team's leading creator in Heath (3.4 assists/game), but the Bulls do return electric Anthony Collins (injury) and the number two-opportunity man in Corey Allen Jr. (2.4 assists/game). Collins, however, is rumored to be considering transferring after graduating this spring.
The transfers have left three open scholarships for Antigua and Co. in the class of 2014. Let's hope Antigua reels in a few unexpected playmakers this fall and gets the ship turned around.
Matthew Manuri is a blogger and a USF grad who passionately follows USF sports. You can follow him on twitter @mcknurkle