Following loss, men westward bound

Short memories should come in handy for the Bulls this weekend.

Following its first loss of the season Wednesday at Richmond, the USF men’s basketball team heads West to play in the McCaffery Classic.

“Hopefully we’ll have a chance to play for a championship,” coach Robert McCullum said Wednesday during a post-game interview on WTBN 570. “There is a finite number of championships that you get an opportunity to compete for during any given season or during a college player’s career. It’s a lot to get excited about.”

In today’s first round of the four-team tournament, which is hosted by Fresno State, the Bulls face Mississippi Valley State.

Mississippi Valley State was the top team last season in the Southwestern Atlantic Conference, posting a 16-2 conference record, 22-7 record overall. The Delta Devils beat USF in the two teams’ only other meeting, in 1992.

“We’ll be ready to play,” McCullum said. “That Mississippi Valley team is going to be athletic and we expect to see a lot of zone defense on (Friday) night.”

With a win today, the Bulls can expect to face Fresno State in Saturday’s championship. With a loss, USF will probably meet Fresno State’s first-round opponent, Grand Canyon.

“Another thing that is exciting is the opportunity to play in Fresno State’s tournament,” McCullum said.