After a 10-22 season a year ago and a roster that had only been together 16 months to begin the season, an invite to any tournament this year seemed unlikely for USF men’s basketball.
Beginning the season 11-2, self-proclaimed Bulls basketball superfan Logan Semegram had a feeling the team had postseason potential.
“I had a feeling that the season would be more successful than the last,” Semegram said. “I just knew that’s all this team had to do was gel, and after they started so well, I saw how much more confident the team was becoming. It was so exciting to see the progression.”
The Bulls lost seven of their last nine games to end the season. From Semegram’s perspective, the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) championship will give the Bulls momentum heading into the 2019-20 season.
“I know this team will continue to grow and develop into, at least, an NIT team next season,” Semegram said. “I think there is an outside shot to make NCAA Tournament. It was just really cool to see how this young team became a family.”
Led by the tenacious backcourt tandem of Laquincy Rideau and David Collins and a rising star in Alexis Yetna, the growth of fan support for the squad this season began to build as the winning continued. The Bulls had more than 7,000 fans in attendance when UCF came to the Yuengling Center.
“There was a buzz in the stadium toward the end because of how hard the team was playing and how they played for each other,” Semegram said. “At the beginning of the year I was hoping for a 15-win season, then as the team continued to win, the campus just got more and more excited.”
Next season will be coach Brian Gregory’s third with the Bulls. Now that he has proven that he can take a team that barely knew each other to begin the year to a tournament championship, Semegram says it makes the fans now wanting even more.
“I know this team will continue to grow,” Semegram said. “I have faith in coach Gregory to go out and get another great recruiting class. This team is going to only get better. Everyone is excited about the CBI championship but I know there are even bigger and better tournament championships in our future.”
With the roller coaster ride of the season now in the rear-view mirror, fans are both excited and intrigued to find out how this will propel the Bulls into next season. The team has now had the taste of winning a championship, and according to Semegram, the Bulls should look forward to even more support from the student section.
“You saw how it was this past season,” Semegram said. “There was so much electricity in the air at the end of the season for the home games. I know the Yuengling Center will be rocking next year and the students will come out to support the team even more now that they know coach Gregory has put a championship-winning team on the court.”