USF Men's Basketball Jumps Out to 2-0 Start

The Orlando Antigua era is off to a fast start as USF Basketball gained to early home wins over the weekend,

With a brand new coaching staff in staff in place and only three returning players to the entire roster, the first few games of the season is critical in establishing an early identity and setting a rhythm for a young basketball team. Those were certainly accomplished by Coach Orlando Antigua in his first weekend as the head man as USF notched two victories over Flagler (75-61) and Jackson State (73-64) to start the season off at 2-0.

Through these two games, the returning trio of Anthony Collins, Corey Allen Jr., and Chris Perry all made the most impact, as each of these guys will be integral parts of USF’s starting lineup and various rotations throughout upcoming games. Collins, returning from a knee injury that kept him sidelined for a great portion of the previous season, has already been heralded for his veteran leadership of young players and ability to herd the lineup through various rough patches through both games. Corey Allen Jr.’s versatility and fearlessness in attacking the rim these first two contests will play a big factor in establishing Coach Antigua’s up tempo offense.

However, it has been Chris Perry who has made a sizable difference early on and will be a key weapon for the Bulls down the road. Injury concerns were quickly put to rest the Sophomore has burst out for games of 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks against Flagler and a double-double effort of 20 points and 10 rebounds against Jackson State. His presence inside defensively has helped the Bulls hold their first two opponents under 40% shooting in the first two contests, something Antigua hopes to continue as the season and the team progresses. Perry described this anxiousness to get back out on the court. “Missing the exhibition game killed me. I came out and laid it all on the line.”

It has been so far, so good for Bulls Men’s Basketball. The difference in style of play and what Coach Antigua is trying to accomplish and build in Tampa is noticeable, even among opposing coaches. After the game, Jackson State head coach Wayne Brent pointed out where Antigua was taking his program. “They definitely play a Kentucky style of basketball where they hustle and compete on ever play. Orlando has the program going in the right direction.” It is to be seen how the young team handles their first road trip of the season as their next two games are at UAB (November 20th) and NC State (November 23rd).


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