There is no shortage of interesting storylines surrounding USF athletics going into the spring semester. The Bulls have a mix of title hopefuls as well as teams on the rise hoping to make their mark.
While women’s basketball, baseball and men’s golf are set on defending their conference titles, teams like softball and men’s basketball are hoping to find more postseason success.
Here are a few things Bulls fans can look forward to this semester.
March Madness coming full speed ahead
After finishing the nonconference portion of their schedules, USF men’s and women’s basketball will continue their run through the AAC in 2022.
Coach Brian Gregory’s squad has to pick up the pace from its current 5-9 record (0-2 AAC) or risk ending their season earlier than desired.
Freshman guard Caleb Murphy leads the team in scoring at 11.9 points per game, joined in double-digits by senior guard Javon Greene at 10.4. Murphy also leads the Bulls in assists.
Women’s basketball has hit the ground running as it looks to defend its conference title. Ranked No. 24 with a record of 11-4 (1-0 AAC) and yet to lose at home.
The expectations are high for the Bulls following a strong nonconference slate. They’ll look to keep their momentum throughout conference play, which began with a 61-46 win over Cincinnati on Jan. 5.
Baseball looks to continue its reign
Last year, USF baseball shattered its ceiling of expectations. Despite being tabbed to finish in last place by a conference coaches’ poll and a 31-30 regular-season record, the team got rolling when it mattered most.
The Bulls won the American Tournament Championship and pummeled through the Gainesville Regional. A berth in the 2021 NCAA Super Regionals was the program’s best result in its 56-year history.
With a strong recruiting class in addition to returning a good chunk of last year’s roster, the Bulls are in a strong position going into the season.
Offensively, USF was led by redshirt sophomore infielder/outfielder Carmine Lane who batted .306 with 11 home runs last season. Redshirt sophomore pitcher Orion Kerkering was the team’s best reliever with an ERA of 2.88 and is transitioning into the starting rotation in 2022.
With tough opponents who have also reached an NCAA Regional such as Charlotte and UConn on the schedule, the Bulls will look to continue the program’s growth toward unprecedented heights.
Georgina Corrick back for another season
Arguably one of the best pitchers in Division I softball, senior Georgina Corrick is coming back for a fifth year at USF.
With an ERA of 0.98 and 333 strikeouts in 2021, Corrick was named AAC Pitcher of the Year. She also led the Bulls with 228.1 innings pitched, 28 complete games and 15 shutouts.
Corrick was an important asset to the team’s 31-19 record last season and she will be integral to its success again in 2022.
New era for USF football
USF football’s sideline will look very different this spring as the Bulls will have new offensive and defensive coordinators following the departures of Charlie Weis Jr. and Glenn Spencer, respectively.
Spencer was fired Nov. 21 after his defense surrendered at least 500 yards six times over the course of the season. He’ll be replaced by former Miami defensive analyst Bob Shoop.
Shoop has shown success in programs he has worked with for the past 33 years including being a coordinator at schools like Vanderbilt, Penn State, Tennessee and Mississippi State.
Weis decided to leave for the offensive coordinator job at Ole Miss under Lane Kiffin. USF has yet to announce a replacement for him.
Men’s golf return strong team for title defense
After winning the conference championship at the end of the spring 2021 season, USF men’s golf continued to dominate in their fall tournaments, both as a team and individually.
The team’s best performance was at the Marquette Intercollegiate in September, where it finished second overall in a field of 17. Individually, the team boasts two valuable players who also performed well in the fall.
Junior Albin Bergstrom finished third out of 72 in the White Sands Bahamas Invitational with a finish of 9-under-par 207. Junior Luke Gifford also had a similar performance at the Windon Memorial Classic finishing T3 at 6-under-par 207.
The Bulls will look to defend their conference crown in 2022 to win the program’s fifth title in seven years.