Orlando Antigua

Memphis forward Dedric Lawson (1) defends as SMU guard Nic Moore (11) leaps to the basket for a shot during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Dallas. SMU won 80-68.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Milton, Moore help No. 12 SMU rout South Florida 92-58

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Shake Milton scored 22 points and Nic Moore added 17 as No. 12 SMU rebounded from its second loss of the season with a 92-58 rout of struggling South Florida on Sunday.

The Mustangs (20-2, 9-2 American Athletic Conference) shrugged off a three-point road loss to Houston by matching their season high with 14 3-pointers and shooting 60 percent overall. They never trailed, scoring the game’s first 11 points. SMU hit its last six shots before halftime and then opened the second half with an 8-0 run to build their lead to 30 points.

Jahmal McMurray led South Florida (5-20, 2-10) with 18 points.

SMU, which had lost two straight on the road, has matched the best 22-game start in school history. The Mustangs won 26 of their first 28 games before finishing 26-4 in 1955-56.

The conference leaders have topped 20 wins in three of four seasons under Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown, who was suspended for the first nine games of the season and will not be able to take the Mustangs to this year’s NCAA tournament because of multiple rules infractions.

Milton made 8 of 12 shots, including 6 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc. Five of Moore’s six field goals were 3-pointers, and the senior guard finished with eight assists.

Jordan Tolbert made all five of his shots on the way 15 points and Markus Kennedy came off the bench to contribute 10 points and grab a team-high nine rebounds for SMU.

South Florida clinched its second 20-loss season in three years under coach Orlando Antigua. Jaleel Cousins scored 13 points and Angel Nunez had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls, who trailed by as many as 36 points in the second half.

TIP-INS

SMU: The Mustangs improved to 2-2 following a school-best 18-0 start, stopping a two-game road skid included a nine-point setback at Temple and the three-point loss at Houston. SMU has won 27 games each of the past two seasons and its 74 wins since the start of 2013-14 are the most during a three-season span in program history.

South Florida: The Bulls haven’t beaten a ranked team since Feb. 19, 2012, when they upset No. 19 Louisville 58-51 on the road. They haven’t defeated a Top 25 opponent in the Sun Dome since a two-point win over No. 23 Seton Hall on Jan. 13, 2012. USF is 0-3 vs. ranked opponents this season, with two of the three losses to SMU. The Bulls lost to then-No. 1 Kentucky on Nov. 27.

UP NEXT

SMU hosts Tulsa on Wednesday.

South Florida is at Temple on Feb. 14.

USF lands three-star 2016 wing Malik Fitts

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USF and head coach Orlando Antigua continue to add wings in the Class of 2016 as three-star wing Malik Fitts pledged to the Bulls on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-5 native of California is coming off of his official visit to campus last weekend and he joins four-star wing Troy Baxter and three-star guard Andres Feliz in South Florida’s 2016 class.

Fitts ran with Earl Watson Elite in the Under Armour Association this spring and summer and was second on the team in both points (10.2 ppg) and rebounds (5.6 rpg). South Florida is adding a big-bodied wing who can finish above the rim and he’s tough to stop in transition. Along with Baxter, this is a solid group that is coming in for the Bulls.

South Florida losing two to transfer, including graduate transfer point guard

Anthony Collins, Jermaine Sanders
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South Florida is losing two players to transfer on Monday, including an interesting graduate transfer candidate. Redshirt junior point guard Anthony Collins and freshman forward Dre Clayton are leaving the Bulls. The duo leaving was first reported by¬†ESPN.com‘s Jeff Goodman.

The 6-foot-1 Collins was a starting point guard for the Bulls and played a hand in their 2012 NCAA Tournament appearance. Collins played only eight games due to swelling in his left knee in 2013-14 and was granted a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA. This past season, Collins averaged 7.1 points and a team-leading 5.2 assists per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range.

Since he has already graduated from South Florida, Collins can become immediately eligible at the next school he chooses and likely becomes an attractive option for a team searching for an experienced floor general.

Clayton is a 6-foot-6 freshman who averaged less than a point per game. The native of Orlando struggled to acclimate to The American and only shot 24 percent from the field and 16 percent from 3-point range.

Losing Collins will certainly hurt South Florida next season, but moving on without Clayton shouldn’t be too difficult. In his first season as head coach of the Bulls, Orlando Antigua guided the program to a 9-23 record and 3-15 conference record.

 

Chest pains experienced Saturday lead to USF forward missing Sunday’s game

Chris Perry
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Already facing an uphill battle against UConn Sunday afternoon, USF had to play the game without its best front court player in Chris Perry. According to multiple reports Perry experienced chest pains during the team’s workout on Saturday and was hospitalized. Perry did join his teammates on the sidelines during the second half of USF’s 66-53 loss to the Huskies.

According to the Associated Press, Perry will undergo further testing upon the team’s return to Tampa.

Perry’s started 18 of the 19 games he’s played in this season, averaging 10.1 points and a team-best 7.1 rebounds per game. Without Perry head coach Orlando Antigua inserted redshirt freshman guard/forward Bo Zeigler into the lineup against UConn, and he finished the game with seven points and two rebounds in 23 minutes of action.

Taking care of the defensive glass has been an issue for the Bulls all season long, as they rank¬†ninth in the American in defensive rebounding percentage (66.9%). That wasn’t the biggest problem for USF in their loss to UConn (keeping Ryan Boatright in check was), but if Allen is to miss an extended period of time that would undoubtedly hurt the Bulls as they look to climb up the conference standings.

JuCo guard commits to South Florida

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Luis Montero, a sophomore guard at Westchester Community College, has committed to Orlando Antigua and South Florida.

Evan Daniels of¬†Scout.com¬†first reported the commitment with Montero telling him, “I know he’s going to take me to the next level.¬†“We got a good relationship. I know we are going to be better.”

Worth noting, Montero is a native of the Dominican Republic, and Antigua, the first-year head coach for the Bulls has served as the Dominican Republic national team coach since August 2013.

The 6-foot-7 Montero arrived in the United States in 2012 when he attended Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Massachusetts) for a lone season before transferring to Westchester Community College. In his first season in the JuCo ranks, Montero averaged 15.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game.

Although his stint at WCC could potentially cause problems for him at South Florida. The Westchester basketball program has been the center of an eligibility¬†scandal, as a former coach had forged transcripts for players. As a result, Jamell Walker and Damien Davis lost their scholarships at Florida A&M. The fallout continued days and weeks later, as Keith Thomas, who averaged 15.7 boards last season, was ruled academically ineligible at St. John’s while Quinnipiac guard Giovanni McLean is prohibited from practicing or playing until the university reviews his academic eligibility.

Montero joins guard Luis Santos¬†and power forward¬†Jahmal McMurray, both of Sunrise Christian Academy (Kansas), and Arlington Country Day small forward¬†Tulio Da Silva in South Florida’s Class of 2015. That group is also joined by Maryland transfer Roddy Peters, who is sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.

USF sophomore big man set to return after missing exhibition due to knee injury

Chris Perry
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One of the players expected to step forward for USF head coach Orlando Antigua in his first season at the helm is sophomore forward/center Chris Perry, who averaged 8.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in 2013-14. Perry missed the team’s first exhibition game last week with a right knee issue, but it’s been announced by the program that he will be on the court when the Bulls play their final exhibition game Friday night.

Perry’s a key player for the Bulls, especially when considering the fact that they have to account for the loss of their top two scorers from last season (Victor Rudd Jr. and Martino Brock) and center John Egbunu (who transferred to Florida). Perry started ten of USF’s 32 games last season, and his production resulted in a spot on the American Athletic Conference All-Rookie Team.

USF doesn’t have much in the way of front court depth heading into the 2014-15 season, with first-year players Jaleel Cousins (junior college transfer) and Dre Clayton (redshirt freshman) also expected to figure prominently in Antigua’s plans. USF started their first exhibition game, a 77-72 win over Indiana University (of Pennsylvania), with four guards and Cousins at the center position.

Cousins finished the game with 13 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots, with Clayton adding seven points and three rebounds off the bench. Another first-year big man, 6-foot-11 freshman Ruben Guerrero, sat out the game with a groin injury. USF opens its regular season schedule November 16 with a home game against Jackson State.