The USF men’s basketball team ended its first regular season under coach Orlando Antigua with its 67-63 loss against Tulane in the Sun Dome on Saturday. Despite the rough season, Antigua said the team has a promising future.
The Bulls’ nine wins were the fewest since the 2010-2011 season. Antigua said his first season had been difficult at times, but never dissuaded him from his central objective.
“I do know that I prefer (winning) better than this side,” Antigua said. “It’s hard, but it’s not about me as a coach or the staff — it’s about these young men, and how do we help them to get better? How do we take the obstacles and challenges that we’ve dealt with and use that to help them improve? I think we’ve done that.”
The Bulls finished in last place in the AAC, but Antigua said he’s pleased with the younger players’ progress.
“Our young guys certainly got better as the year went on and now they understand what is expected of them and how much work they’ll have to do in the offseason. But we’ll address that after the season is complete. We still have hopefully a few more games to play.”
USF will begin the AAC Tournament against UConn (17-13, 10-8) at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut on Thursday night at 8.
Unless USF (9-22, 3-15) wins the tournament, the offseason will begin after its next loss.
All players on the roster excluding senior guard Corey Allen Jr. have eligibility remaining and have not publicly expressed any intent to transfer.
The only potential loss outside of Allen would be if sophomore forward Chris Perry, who has been out with an undisclosed chest injury, would be unable to return to the Bulls.
“I’m not sure I can say anything other than what we’ve already said,” Antigua said regarding Perry’s return. “We’ll see as we continue to find out more stuff.”
With such little turnover following a year after the Bulls fired their coach and lost several players to transfers, Antigua said he is excited to build on the foundation he has laid for the team.
“I’m encouraged,” Antigua said. “We’re going to obviously be adding some pieces to the equation and there will still be some questions to answer with that, but I’m encouraged by how we started and where we’re at now.”
According to Rivals.com, USF has four players committed for the 2015 recruiting class, including three players ranked as three-star recruits.
The class contains three forwards, two of which are 6-foot-6 with the other forward standing at 6-foot-8. The lone guard of the class is a 6-foot tall shooting guard.