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Notebook: Strong makes pitch to BOT workgroup for indoor practice facility funding


USF football coach Charlie Strong made a pitch to the USF Board of Trustees (BOT) strategic initiatives workgroup on Tuesday morning to fund a proposed $40 million indoor practice facility.

Strong cited how the facility would help the program with recruiting as Florida, FSU and UCF already have indoor practice facilities. The BOT agreed with Strong and stated that the school should begin to seek designers for the facility. The issue will be reconsidered at a later meeting in May.

Strong also told the BOT that the facility would be crucial to keep practices from being canceled during the rainy season, which coincides with the team’s summer and fall practices. Also, if built, Strong said he’d have no problem sharing the facility with other sports.

"I want to make sure we're all in this together for every sport to have the chance to be successful," Strong said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

USF first unveiled plans for the potential facility Nov. 9, 2016.

The proposed facility is to include a 100-yard turf practice field, 12,000-square-foot strength-and-conditioning center, a 10,000-square-foot locker room, a player lounge and "social patio," meeting rooms, coaches' offices and a sports medicine/rehab facility.

The facility, once fully funded, will begin construction adjacent to the Selmon Athletics Center.


USF football 2018 schedule released


After the formal release of USF’s schedule by the AAC on Tuesday, it was revealed that USF will not play a non-UCF weeknight home game for the first time since USF joined the AAC conference in 2013.

Last season, USF had three weeknight home games, with its two Thursday night contests — against Temple and Tulsa — drawing the two smallest crowds of the season. This year, the Bulls' only weeknight home game will come against UCF on Black Friday, which falls on Nov. 23.

The Bulls will play one weeknight away game — a Friday night contest at Tulsa on Oct. 12. Homecoming will be against UConn on Oct. 20.

The Bulls’ full schedule is:

Sept. 1 vs. Elon

Sept. 8 vs. Georgia Tech

Sept. 15 at Illinois

Sept. 22 vs. East Carolina

Oct. 6 at Massachusetts

Oct. 12 at Tulsa

Oct. 20 vs. Connecticut  

Oct. 27 at Houston

Nov. 3 vs. Tulane

Nov. 10 at Cincinnati

Nov. 17 at Temple

Nov. 23 vs. UCF

Dec. 1 AAC Championship (site TBD)


Men’s basketball looks to avenge loss to UCF


Before USF won its first AAC game of the season Jan. 25 at Tulane, it fell to UCF 71-69 in heartbreaking fashion at the Sun Dome on Jan. 20.

USF led the game for 29 minutes, 17 of which were in the second half. On Wednesday, however, the Bulls will have their shot at revenge — this time in Orlando.

In order to oust the Knights, however, the Bulls will have to slow down point guard B.J. Taylor, who scored 25 points, many of which came in the second half’s crucial moments.

“Taylor took over that game at the end, and that’s what upper-class guards are supposed to do,” USF coach Brian Gregory said after the loss. “That’s exactly what they’re supposed to do.”

Since that loss, USF guard David Collins, a freshman, has averaged 10.6 points per game and has begun to gain more minutes alongside graduate transfer Stephan Jiggetts. Before the loss, he averaged less than six and didn’t play more than 30 minutes once. He’s now played at least 30 minutes the last four games.

Against UCF and potentially for opponents for years to come, the play of Collins will be essential to the Bulls’ success.

“I see a little bit of B.J. Taylor in David Collins,” Gregory said. “Tough, physical guard who can shoot the ball well enough to keep you honest, but can get to the basket. He’s a gritty player and before it’s all said and done, we’re going to win a lot of games with him playing and he’s going to be a big part of what we’re doing.”

Tipoff for Wednesday’s game will be 6 p.m. and will be aired on ESPNews.