It’s been barely a month since the USF men’s basketball team ended its season with a loss in the second round of the Big East Tournament. But the roster for the 2011-12 season is already beginning to take shape, assuming all athletes who have verbally committed to USF stay so.
Because of graduation and transfers, USF will lose at least four players from last season’s roster, with the possibility of Augustus Gilchrist declaring for the NBA Draft still open.
Forwards Jarrid Famous and Alberto Damour will have graduated, freeing up space on the front line. Famous played in 32 of USF’s 33 games last season, starting 20. He averaged 20.8 minutes per game, scoring 8.7 points and 5.4 rebounds. Damour was a rarely used walk-on.
The backcourt will also take a hit as USF announced Monday that point guards Shedrick Haynes and Mike Burwell have requested and been granted transfers. Haynes, a junior, transferred to USF from Lackawanna Community College and averaged 6.1 minutes per game as a Bull. Burwell has played 50 games for USF, averaging 6.9 minutes per game.
Towering center Tolulope “Jordan” Omogbehin is the most notable of the incoming freshmen, purely for his intimidating size. Born in Nigeria, the 7-foot-3 Omogbehin currently plays for Atlantic Shores High School in Chesapeake, Va. He will be joined by Victor Rudd, who regains eligibility as a junior after sitting out last season due to his transfer from Arizona State.
Andre Jackson, a 6-foot-10 center from Texas has also verbally committed to coach Stan Heath.
Despite losing two guards in Haynes and Burwell, the backcourt will be highly competitive next season.
Anthony Crater, last year’s starter, returns along with LeVonte Dority, who played 5.7 minutes per game as a true freshman. Point guards Anthony Collins and Blake Nash will join Crater and Dority.
Nash has committed to transfer to USF from Williston State College, where he averaged 22.3 points per game and shot an outstanding 42 percent from 3-point range.
Collins, from Westbury Christian School in Houston, chose USF over Baylor. He holds the school record for assists and won two state championships in high school.