NOTEBOOK: Spring practice gets underway Tuesday

First-year coach Jeff Scott hopes to install “65-70 percent” of the Bulls’ new offense. ORACLE PHOTO/BRIAN HATTAB

When USF’s spring game comes around on April 18, don’t expect to see a finished product hit the field at Corbett Stadium.

Getting new systems in place during spring practice, which starts Tuesday morning, will be a process similar to learning math, according to coach Jeff Scott.

“I think we know where our initial plan is going in,” Scott said Monday. “The initial plan is, we’d love to get potentially 65-70 percent of the offense in, and I think defensively is about the same place.

“But we’re not going to hold ourself to that. If we get in, a week in, and we’re still having some issues, it goes back to knowing what to do, how to do it and why we do it. … It’s kind of like taking Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and then Algebra 2. You have to hit a certain benchmark before you move on to the next concept or the next level within your installation.”

Don’t put too much weight into who gets first-team reps, either — especially early into the Bulls’ 15 spring practices.

“What I told our team [Monday] morning, I said, ‘You can take these depth charts that you’re going to see tomorrow morning when you show up, and you can throw them in the trash, for all I care, because they’re going to change.’

“We’ve obviously got to have somewhere to start when the first group goes out there. We can’t practice with 88 guys on the field at one time. But really, it’s going to change. It’ll change practice to practice, based off their effort.”

Scott, an already high-energy person, is understandably ready to get things going.

It’ll be his first as head coach of a college football team, after all.

“The word gets overused, and I’ve probably used it more in the last three months than I’ve used in my entire life combined, but [I’m] just really excited to be honest,” Scott said. “That’s probably the best word because it is the first time.

“I was laughing with my dad [USF football chief of staff Brad Scott]. We were somewhere this weekend. We were just really excited and optimistic, to be honest, after being here for three months. I was going, ‘We fell into a great job and a great opportunity.’ That’s kind of what our comments were.

“We said, ‘Now we’ll see if we still feel that way after Tuesday’s practice, right?’”

Corrick wins Pitcher of the Week

It’s getting to be old news at this point: USF softball junior Georgina Corrick was selected as AAC Pitcher of the Week.

Corrick earned the honor for the third straight week, marking the second time in her career she’s received the honor three consecutive weeks.

The Bulls’ ace went 4-0 over the weekend, throwing 37 strikeouts in 23.2 innings while posting a 0.59 ERA. Corrick tied a program record for most strikeouts in a single game (18) in an eight-inning 2-1 victory over Wisconsin.

In the USF Tournament finale against Iowa State on Sunday morning, Corrick allowed two earned runs — her only earned runs of the weekend in a 5-3 complete-game victory over Iowa State. Corrick drove in what ultimately proved to be the game-winning run on a three-run homer to right field.

Corrick leads the AAC in innings pitched (90.1), wins (11), strikeouts (120) and strikeouts looking (41).

Also earning AAC honors was junior outfielder Brooke Leistl, who was named to the conference Honor Roll after going 10-for-14, scoring four runs and stealing two bases.

Rideau makes Honor Roll

USF men’s basketball senior guard Laquincy Rideau was named to the AAC Honor Roll, the conference announced Monday.

Rideau averaged 13.5 points, 7.0 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 steals last week.

But the most notable moment of the week came Saturday night, when Rideau hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, giving the Bulls a 61-60 victory over SMU at the Yuengling Center.

The Bulls trailed the Mustangs by seven with 24 seconds left. Junior guard David Collins hit two free throws, junior guard Justin Brown turned an SMU turnover into a three-point play after being fouled on a layup before SMU missed a pair of free throws and couldn’t make anything of a second-chance opportunity, which eventually led to a USF defensive rebound and Rideau’s game-winning shot on his Senior Night.

USF heads to Fort Worth, Texas, for the AAC Tournament, which starts Thursday. The No. 9-seed Bulls face No. 8-seed UCF at 1 p.m. (TV: ESPNU | Radio: Bulls Unlimited) USF has not won a conference tournament game since the 2016 tournament (71-66 over ECU in Orlando).

Women’s basketball makes it to tournament semifinal, will wait to see if season continues

For the seventh straight year, USF women’s basketball made it to at least the semifinal of the AAC Tournament.

For the seventh straight year, the Bulls’ run ended after running into UConn.

The Huskies defeated the Bulls 79-38 on Sunday, the second 41-point blowout by UConn in less than a week.

Senior center Tamara Henshaw recorded five rebounds, giving her 895 for her career, which surpassed Maria Jespersen (2014-18) for fifth all time. Additionally, Sunday was Henshaw’s 133rd career game, moving her past Shantia Grace (2005-09) for fourth all time. She would tie Jespersen for third with one more game played.

Junior guard Sydni Harvey was a large reason the Bulls made it to Sunday, as she scored 28 points and went 10-of-12 from the free-throw line in USF’s 64-50 victory over Tulane in the quarterfinal Saturday. Harvey’s double-figure performance was her 12th of the season. Freshman guard Elena Tsineke also scored in double-figures with 14, while junior forwards Bethy Mununga and Shae Leverett recorded double-digit rebounds with 14 and 11, respectively.

Prior to the tournament, Tsineke was named AAC Freshman of the Year after leading the team in scoring in the regular season with 12.4 points, second among all freshmen in the conference. She is the first Bull to win the award since Henshaw in 2017 and third in the last five years (Kitija Laksa in 2016 was the other). She was also named to the All-Freshman Team.

Tsineke and sophomore point guard Elisa Pinzan were also named third team All-AAC. Pinzan recorded six 40-minute games in the regular season and was the league leader in assists entering the tournament at 4.8 per game.

The Bulls (19-13) will now wait and see if their season continues via an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament or WNIT. Omni Rankings has USF playing in the NCAA Tournament as the AAC’s at-large, while UCF and Cincinnati represent the league in the WNIT, albeit with the last update to this projection coming March 2. Meanwhile, ESPN, which only projects the NCAA Tournament, but updates daily, has UConn as the sole representative of the conference, with UCF being among the first four out.

In ESPN’s scenario, UCF becomes the league’s automatic bid to the WNIT, with Cincinnati very likely receiving the league’s only at-large bid, as the Bearcats finished third in the conference. A third at-large bid from the AAC seems unlikely, given the league is No. 9 in RPI, just slightly better than the MAC.

The NCAA selection show is March 15, while the WNIT selections are announced March 16.