For the first time in a while, the USF mens basketball team had a season worth celebrating.
Though the Bulls were eliminated in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, their first trip to the championship in two decades, the celebration kept going Wednesday afternoon at a pep rally in the Marshall Student Center Amphitheater.
(The rally) was great, coach Stan Heath said. We put it together very quickly, but to see the turnout and enthusiasm was fantastic. I have to give our administration a lot of credit for getting things together very quickly. I think we maybe touched the hearts of people in the Tampa community, as well as our University, and we want all of our sports, for people to come out and support us.
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Doug Woolard and Dean of Students Kevin Banks spoke at the event, as did Heath and senior forward Ron Anderson Jr.
I remember the first time I ever talked to our president, she said, Were going to build a new arena, were going to do this and this, and I was like, Oh, I dont know about that, said Heath, who has been with USF for five years. But, you know what, everybody held true to their words and thats why were here where we are right now with a program that not just tasted success this year, but will continue to have success in the future. We got a little taste of dancing. Were going to be dancing a whole lot more.
Anderson said he appreciates the support the Bulls received over the course of the season.
Since weve gotten back, (Tampa) has shown us a lot of love, he said. We really appreciate all of it. Its fun for us to go night in and night out to play hard and show off what we love to do.
Women on the road
The womens basketball team still has at least one game left to play this season, a third round game in the Womens National Invitational Tournament on Friday.
After home wins over Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University in the first two rounds, the Bulls hit the road to meet James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. With a spot in the quarterfinals on the line, the Bulls could next meet the winner of Appalachian State and Virginia.
The Bulls and Dukes will line up at 7 p.m. with game audio live on 1010 AM and gousfbulls.com.
USF opens Big East play
The USF baseball team opens Big East play Friday night with the first of a three-game weekend set against Georgetown.
The Bulls are mired in a two-game losing streak following Tuesday nights 6-2 loss to UCF.
Fridays first pitch is set for 7 p.m., with Saturday and Sundays games scheduled for 6 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.