Tampa Bulls advance in The Basketball Tournament

The Tampa Bulls following Sunday’s buzzer-beater victory. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

The Tampa Bulls, a team of former USF men’s basketball players, still have $2 million in their sights.

Dominique Jones banked in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat the Kentucky Kings 88-87 on Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The fifth-seeded Bulls made it to The Basketball Tournament’s “Super Sixteen” after defeating No. 16 Chattanooga and No. 4 Kentucky last weekend.

The Basketball Tournament is an open-application, single-elimination tournament that has been played the past four summers in the U.S. The event features 64 teams and operates similarly to the NCAA Tournament, but with the winning team taking home $2 million. 

Typically, teams are comprised of former collegiate and overseas players, with a couple of former NBA players, such as 2007 No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden, sprinkled in.

The Tampa Bulls are comprised of 10 USF alumni, with half of them coming from the 2012 team that made it to the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32. In that season, the Bulls allowed the seventh least points per game in the country, an average of 57.6 per game.

To complement the defensive prowess of the five ‘12 Bulls is Jones, 28, who left USF for the NBA after his junior season in 2010. Before his departure, he scored the fifth-most points in USF men’s basketball history.

In his two games with the Tampa Bulls, the 6-foot-5 guard averaged 29.5 points, while the next closest Bull averaged 14.5.

The Bulls are currently three wins away from making it into the championship game and four away from collecting the coveted $2 million purse.

However, in order to reach the championship, the Bulls will have to knock off No. 1 seed and two-time defending champion Overseas Elite at 9 p.m. Friday. The game will be played in Brooklyn and aired on ESPN2.


Billy Mohl contract details released


New USF baseball coach Billy Mohl signed a five-year contract with the school that’s worth slightly over $1 million over the course of the deal, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Mohl, who was hired hours after the departure of former head coach Mark Kingston to accept the same position at South Carolina, will make $150,000 in base salary in his first season as head coach. Kingston made $140,000 in 2017.

There will also be $50,000 in additional compensation and benefits added to Mohl’s base salary, raising it to $200,000. Mohl’s annual compensation will increase to $220,000 by his final season.

USF is Mohl’s first head coaching position after spending three years as the Bulls pitching coach under Kingston. Since his arrival in 2014, eight USF pitchers have been selected in the MLB draft.

In those same three years, the Bulls have made it into the regional round of the NCAA Tournament twice.

If the Bulls make it past the regional round of the NCAA Tournament, Mohl will receive $10,000 in incentives. An additional $20,000 is added if the Bulls make the College World Series and $30,000 if they win the tournament.


Bulls football players added to national award watch lists


Cameron Ruff and Mitchell Wilcox were named to national award watch lists Tuesday.

Ruff, a senior and center for the Bulls, was among seven AAC players named to the Rimington Trophy watch list, which recognizes the top center in college football. 

As a junior, Ruff started all 13 games for USF and was named the team’s offensive lineman of the year. Running behind Ruff and the rest of the line, USF averaged 285.3 rushing yards per game, fifth best in the nation.

Wilcox became the third straight Bull to be added to the watch list for the Mackey Award, presented annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end. 

As a sophomore last season, Wilcox made Second-Team All AAC and served as a mid-level passing weapon for quarterback Quinton Flowers, averaging 23.2 yards per catch.