Welcome to a new Sports Corner blog post. There is a lot going on with the USF MBB team losing players left and right. On the pro side, the Rays are gearing up for their 2017 season with opening day on Sunday. Here is the latest in my sports blog series.
Hassan Childs, released from the hospital, was arrested for multiple charges after the road rage incident over the weekend. Coach Charlie Strong has since stated that Childs is no longer part of the football program which is not a surprise.
USF men’s basketball
The exodus continues. It was reported this week that Bo Zeigler and Ruben Guerrero will both be leaving the program, leaving about 5 scholarship players at the end of the day. Mike Bibby, Malik Manderson, Isaiah Manderson, Tulio Da Silva, and Troy Holston (who is still deciding) on scholarship a this stage. Let’s be honest, we could still lose more players and we are still waiting for Coach Gregory to begin bringing in some new players. It’s going to be long off-season for this program.
In better news, the Bulls have added two assistant coaches to the staff. Chad Dollar was added on Wednesday, coming over from the Auburn program. Dollar has been an assistant for some time and played for the Bulls back in the 90s so he is back home. The other coach is Scott Wagers who was signed first. Wagers was at Jacksonville before coming to USF and used to be the head coach at Robinson high school, bringing a former local coach back. This is huge with both coaches because both have local ties and its something Coach Gregory made clear, it wants to connect back to the area to recruit and build the program. These are great moves by Coach Gregory for the program, now get a team together!
The Bulls beat Stetson on Tuesday night, 9 to 4, to move to 23-3 on the year. The Bulls belted out 14 hits in the game. Kevin Merrell, back after missing the weekend due to the flu, went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs and scored a run. Joe Genord went 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs and scored 2 runs in a big offensive night for the team. DJ Roberts (ND) went 4 innings, allowing 7 hits, 3 runs, walking 1 and struck out 2 batters. Joe Cavallaro (2-0) went 2.1 innings, allowing 1 hit, and struck out 4 batters in great relief work.
The Bulls hit the road to begin AAC play as they take on Tulane on Friday night at 7:30 PM (EST).
The Bulls, 20-18 (0-3) are off all week until they take on Uconn on the road on Friday afternoon with the first game beginning at 3 PM.
Tampa Bay Rays
So the Rays are busy making moves before the season opens on Sunday. The team acquired Peter Bourjos from the White Sox in a PTBNL or cash, adding insurance for the outfield depth in case the Rays need another player. Relief pitcher Tommy Hunter and infielder/outfielder Rickie Weeks Jr. were both added to the 40-man roster meaning the two veterans will make the opening roster. The Rays will have to make a move to add them to the roster (lots of moves yet to come). It was also reported that Matt Duffy’s heel is going to be OK, but he is still resting and won’t be ready for at least another month for the Rays, so yeah, enjoy Tim Beckham and Daniel Robertson (maybe) at short to stop the year.
On Wednesday, the Rays made it clear that Derek Norris and Jesus Sucre are on the opening day roster for the catcher position as Luke Maile and Curt Casali pack their bags for Durham. I must say, I am happy with the move. We know what the old catchers could do, so why not mix it up and try to bring in something new for the organization.
On Monday night, the Magic got wrecked, falling 112 to 131 to Toronto, putting Orlando at 27-47 as the defense took the night off. Elfrid Payton had a solid game with 22 points and 9 assists (1 turnover) while Nikola Vucevic added 12 points and 15 rebounds. Terrance Ross had 17 points and 4 steals in his return to the 6. DeMar DeRozan had 36 points as the Magic had no answer for the Raptors in this game.
On Wednesday night the Magic went and Magic’ed (made it up, whatever) again, losing 114 to 106 in OT to OKC after leading by 21 points at one time. Russell Westbrook went off and the Magic blew their huge lead and fell apart as the team continues to limp to the finish line. Even Fournier had 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Terrance Ross had 23 points and 2 assists while Nikola Vucevic had 11 points and 16 rebounds in this embarrassing loss.
They head to Boston on Friday night (game begins at 7:30 PM).