Men’s basketball transfers bring opportunity for growth

This fall marks Brian Gregory’s sixth season as head coach of the men’s basketball team. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

USF men’s basketball’s numerous transfers will be key for the Bulls to bounce back from their “difficult” 2021-22 season, according to coach Brian Gregory.

Senior forward Keshawn Bryant, along with senior guards Tyler Harris and Selton Miguel, have carved out solid careers at the collegiate level. Adding the three into the mix brings a new level of experience to a relatively young team. Harris in particular spent three years at Memphis and helped bring the team to the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

“The opportunity to make an impact and be part of the group that takes another step or two, I think is very appealing to them,” Gregory said. “At the same time, all three are probably going to play bigger roles and they played at their past schools and all three have had very good success.”

Where the transfers could help the Bulls the most is improving the team’s offensive pace. Despite their top-50 defensive output last year, South Florida failed to turn those opportunities into points. Over his last two seasons at South Carolina, Bryant averaged just over 11 points per game. Gregory said he has a goal of reaching 70 possessions per game this season.

“[When we] talk about the pace that we want to play at that means we want to run on missed shots, turnovers and made shots. Getting the ball down the court quickly,” Gregory said. “We set the parameters and let our guys make basketball plays within those parameters.”

These improvements, however, are not made overnight. By no means will it be a simple process for each of them to adjust to the culture and scheme Gregory has implemented over the past half decade.

Gregory said “learning offenses, coverages and new terminology” are challenges that take time to get used to.

“It’s not as easy as people think and those guys have to spend a lot of extra time to get comfortable with how we do things,” he said.

In spite of those challenges, that vision has already seemed to take shape in Gregory’s eyes. The summer, preseason and six practices have been spent building the habits that will make them a stronger “collective unit” in 2023.

“[I am] very pleased with where we’re at right now, we need to get a lot better obviously at this stage but we are trending in the right direction.”

The Bulls’ first exhibition game will be against the University of Tampa on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.