With the basketball competition at the Pan-American Games scheduled to begin July 21, the eight participating teams are beginning to announce their 12-member rosters for the event. Wednesday afternoon the Dominican Republic revealed its roster, and two current college players made the cut and will compete for a medal in Toronto.
Seton Hall forward Angel Delgado and USF guard Nehemias Morillo are among the 12 players on the roster, with both looking to use the event as a springboard into the 2015-16 season.
Delgado was the Big East’s best freshman a season ago, as he won the conference’s Rookie of the Year award after averaging 9.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest. Delgado and fellow sophomores Isaiah Whitehead and Khadeen Carrington will be asked to lead the way for the Pirates, who add grad student Derrick Gordon to the rotation after losing Sterling Gibbs (now a grad student at UConn).
As for Morillo, he’s coming off of a junior season in which he averaged 10.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Including Morillo, USF will return its top four scorers from a season ago with Corey Allen Jr. and Chris Perry both having their seasons shortened due to injury.
The Dominican Republic is competing in Group A in Toronto, with hosts Canada, Argentina and Mexico being the other teams in the group. They’ll open up with Canada, whose roster hasn’t been announced as of yet, July 21. Among the players trying out for Canada’s Pan-Am Games squad are current collegians Dillon Brooks (Oregon), Jamal Murray (Kentucky) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga).
South Florida gets transfer guard from Big Ten program
South Florida added an experienced guard on Sunday as Penn State transfer Geno Thorpe committed to the Bulls. The 6-foot-3 Thorpe will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations, but he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining to make an impact in the AAC.
A native of Pittsburgh, Thorpe appeared in 34 games during the 2014-15 season and played 24.3 minutes per game. Thorpe averaged 8.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game for the Nittany Lions while his shooting percentage dipped to 39 percent from the field. While Thorpe has struggled as a 3-point shooter at the college level — shooting 30 percent in both seasons at Penn State — he did improve a lot from the free-throw line as a sophomore, increasing his percentage to 83 percent from 69 percent as a freshman.
Head coach Orlando Antigua has hit the transfer market hard to bring talent into South Florida. Besides Thorpe, South Florida has also landed Maryland transfer Roddy Peters and Gonzaga transfer Angel Nunez in the last few months.
South Florida commit Troy Baxter posterizes opponent at NBPA Top 100 Camp (VIDEO)
On the first day of May, 6-foot-9 small forward Troy Baxter made the decision to end his recruitment, as he became the first member of the South Florida head coach Orlando Antigua’s 2016 recruiting class. The Florida native has been lauded for his ability on the defensive end, and his athleticism was also on display during the first day of the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Receiving a pass on the baseline, Baxter took a drop step towards the rim and threw down an emphatic one-handed dunk on 2017 center Nick Richards. Richards will have opportunities to return the favor, as the camp runs through Saturday.
Playing with Team Breakdown in the Under Armour Association this spring, Baxter has shown elite athleticism to go along with the potential to be an outstanding jack-of-all-trades defender. The native of Gainesville is still developing his game on the offensive side of the ball, but Baxter still finds himself as a three-star prospect and the No. 127 overall player in the 2016 class in Rivals‘ rankings.
Baxter is only averaging 8 points per game in eight contests in the Under Armour Association this spring, but he is more prospect than player at this stage in his development. Baxter is also shooting 53 percent from the field and averages a little more than one steal per game on the defensive end.
Baxter is South Florida’s first commitment in the 2016 class and head coach Orlando Antigua did a great job of making him a priority recruit.
South Florida lands a graduate transfer from Gonzaga
South Florida landed a graduate transfer for next season as former Gonzaga forward Angel Nunez committed to the Bulls. Since the 6-foot-8 Nunez is graduating, he is immediately eligible to play next season. A source confirmed Nunez to heading to the AAC and he took a visit to the South Florida campus late last week.
Nunez started his career at Louisville before moving on to the Bulldogs, where he averaged 2.7 points per game last season. It’s uncertain if Nunez can contribute at a high level because he has never played more than 176 minutes in a college season.
The Bulls are also bringing in Maryland transfer Roddy Peters and a junior college guard in Shawn Smith, who was formerly at Texas A&M, and the transfer market has become a priority for head coach Orlando Antigua.
South Florida losing two to transfer, including graduate transfer point guard
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.