USF Men’s Basketball Game vs. Charlotte Sunday Cancelled

(Tampa, FL) The USF men’s basketball game scheduled for yesterday (Sunday, Dec. 9) at Charlotte was cancelled due to travel difficulties associated with the winter storm expected throughout the state of North Carolina.

The teams have agreed to discuss possible dates to reschedule the contest.

USF returns to the hardwood on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m.when the Bulls host Appalachian State at the Yuengling Center in Tampa.





Sarasota Jazz Project “Big-Band Jazz Christmas” Concert in Port Charlotte December 17

(Sarasota, FL) The Sarasota Jazz Project Orchestra will present “A Big Band Jazz Christmas,” on Monday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. at the William H. Wakeman III, Cultural Center Theater, 2280 Aaron Street, Port Charlotte.

“We’ll be serving up a delightful mixture of favorite holiday standards and traditional carols, all to a swinging big-band beat,” said George McLain, leader and saxophone player. The playlist includes a hip rendition of “We Three Kings” and a shout-it-out “Hark the Herald Angels.”

Two musical stars return from previous shows at the Cultural Center to further enliven the concert. Miami jazz singer Lisanne Lyons warms up the stage with “Santa Baby” and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” The Sarasota High School graduate, recipient of two DownBeat awards, was a featured soloist with Air Force bands worldwide while serving active duty, including Air Force Academy Falconcaires. She has also performed nationally with Joel Grey, Woody Herman Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson Band, Arturo Sandoval, Larry Elgart, University of Miami Concert Jazz Band, Fort Worth Symphony, Harry James Orchestra, and many more. Lisanne is a recipient of 2 Down Beat awards. She currently serves as Director of Jazz Vocal Studies at Florida International University.

Art Hallett adds his powerful voice with a funky version of a great Christmas spiritual, “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” The Detroit-influenced singer presents this and other songs that have been part of his outreach during his 25 years as director of Evangelism Explosion Prison Ministries, where he works to prepare incarcerated men and women for re-entering society. Rev. Hallett has recorded more than 12 CDs that display his immense talent.

“As always, Sarasota Jazz Project presents the best jazz soloists on the West Coast of Florida,” McLain said. Among the 16 band members are Kevin Celebi on trumpet, Pete Barenbregge on sax and Davit DeWitt on trombone.

Reservations are recommended for the concerts, which begin at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $17 for members of the Port Charlotte Cultural Center and $19 for nonmembers. Tickets are available by phone at 941-625-4175, online by clicking the “buy tickets” tab at www.theculturalcenter.com or at the door, 2280 Aaron Street, Port Charlotte.
Future concerts in the Monday night series will be held on January 21, February 18, March 25 and April 22.

Over its 8-year history the Sarasota Jazz Project Orchestra has become known as the premier big band of the Gulf Coast. Its performers, some of the area’s best jazz musicians, perform classic and contemporary big band music in a concert setting. Members hail from counties up and down the Gulf Coast, from Largo to Fort Myers. The band has appeared with numerous jazz greats, played in significant venues, and performed countless concerts, often for the Charlotte County Jazz Society and the Jazz Club of Sarasota. The band will release its third CD, The Best of Friends, this month. To learn more about the Sarasota Jazz Project, visit its website at www.SarasotaJazzProject.org.





Outback Bowl Matchup: Iowa vs. Mississippi State January 1 in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) The Iowa Hawkeyes and No. 18 Mississippi State Bulldogs will square-off for the first time in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day in Tampa, bowl officials announced Sunday. Both teams are 8-4. It will be the first time these teams have played in 119+ seasons of their football history. It will also be the first appearance by Mississippi State in the Outback Bowl.

“We are thrilled to extend an invitation to Iowa and Mississippi State to play in this year’s Outback Bowl,” said Outback Bowl Chairman Todd Timmerman. “These are two quality teams that should produce a terrific match-up that fans are really going to enjoy watching on New Year’s Day. We look forward to hosting the Hawkeye and Bulldog teams and their fans, and ensure them they will have an amazing experience in the Tampa Bay area.”

“I am thrilled for our team and our tremendous group of seniors who have earned the opportunity to go out with a New Year’s Day bowl in the state of Florida,” MSU head coach Joe Moorhead said. “The Outback Bowl is the perfect destination for our team. I have always had tremendous respect for Coach Ferentz and his Iowa teams.”

“We are excited to accept a bid to our first Outback Bowl to cap off Joe Moorhead’s successful first season as our head football coach,” MSU Director of Athletics John Cohen said. “I want to congratulate our team and our coaching staff for earning our program’s ninth straight bowl appearance. This team featured college football’s best defense and demonstrated overall improvement throughout the year, as shown by winning four of its last five games, including a dominant win in a rivalry game to finish the regular season. Tampa is a great city, with an endless number of entertainment opportunities for our fans, and we always look forward to playing in an NFL stadium. I encourage our Bulldog family to pack Raymond James Stadium and send our senior class out the right way.”

“Our football team, coaches, and staff are excited to be invited to the 2019 Outback Bowl,” said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. “We know we will enjoy outstanding hospitality, and we know we will face a quality opponent from the SEC. This is a great reward for how hard our players have worked and the success they have enjoyed this season.”

The Outback Bowl will be played on January 1st at 12:00 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium.

For information on Outback Bowl events leading up to the game go to the bowl web site at www.outbackbowl.com.





USF Bulls to Play Marshall in Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa December 20th

(Tampa, FL) The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl will feature USF (7-5, 3-5) from the American Athletic Conference and Marshall (8-4, 6-2) from Conference USA, as both teams have accepted invitations to play in this year’s game.

The 11th edition of the bowl game will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. ET and air on ESPN.

USF, which started the season 7-0 and earned a top 20 ranking, will be appearing in its hometown bowl for the second time. The Bulls played in the inaugural bowl game in 2008 as the Big East Conference representative and defeated Memphis 41-14. USF head coach Charlie Strong is also making his second trip to the bowl game. Strong was a rookie head coach at Louisville in 2010 and capped off his first year leading the Cardinals to a 31-28 win over Southern Mississippi.

“We are excited for the opportunity to compete in a bowl game against a good opponent and the chance to send our seniors out with a third straight bowl win,” Strong said. “We look forward to some good practices and work with our team to prepare for the game. Our players will enjoy the activities and bowl experience here in the Bay Area and they are excited to get back out on the field and perform in front of our fans.”

Marshall will be making its third appearance at the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. The Thundering Herd defeated UConn 16-10 in 2015 and FIU 20-10 in 2011. Marshall finished the season winning three of its last four games.

“Any opportunity to play in a bowl game is great,” said Marshall head coach Doc Holliday. “The state of Florida has been good to our program for several years now and we’re excited to get back down to the Tampa area. We will face a very good South Florida team and a head coach that I know well in Charlie Strong.”

“We’re expecting lots of green clad fans at Raymond James Stadium,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl. “We hope USF fans will be excited with the opportunity to stay at home to see their team in a bowl and Marshall has been well represented by their fan base both times they’ve been here.”

The Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl is owned-and-operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

While the game is the headliner event, the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl activities start a few days prior. This year the teams, their alumni and students will start arriving in Tampa on Sunday, Dec., 16, for the numerous bowl-related festivities leading up to kick-off. These events, which are free and open to the public, include the Beach Invasion (Dec. 16 – Treasure Island Park), Battle of the Bands (Dec. 18 – Treasure Island Park), Pep Rally (Dec. 19 – Armature Works) and the Fan Invasion (Dec. 20 – Raymond James Stadium).

For more information on the 2018 Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl game and the numerous events, visit www.gasparillabowl.com. Additionally, follow the bowl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@GasparillaBowl).





USF Bulls Defeat Stetson Hatters 75-71 in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) Alexis Yetna led five Bulls in double figures with a career-high 18 points as USF held off hot-shooting Stetson, 75-71, at the Yuengling Center on Wednesday night.

Yetna also registered his third career double-double with a game-high 13 rebounds and his two free throws in the final 2:07 helped secure the Bulls’ 14th straight victory over the Hatters.

USF (5-2) has posted its most wins in the month of November since the 2014-15 season after withstanding a 56-percent shooting performance in the second half by Stetson (1-7).

Junior guard Laquincy Rideau scored all 12 of his points in the first half that saw the Bulls grab a 40-34 lead. Star sophomore guard David Collins scored eight of his 10 points after the break and his layup spotted USF its largest advantage, 64-54, with 9:45 remaining.

Senior guard T.J. Lang finished with 11 points and his second three-pointer of the night gave the Bulls a six-point cushion with 5:15 to play. Stetson pulled within two with 2:32 remaining but missed two threes in the final minute with USF ahead by three points. Yetna put the game away with two free throws in his fifth straight double-digit scoring performance.

Junior forward Antun Maricevic also was a key contributor, scoring seven of his career-high 10 points after the break and adding four rebounds to help the Bulls finish with a 42-31 edge on the glass.

“Give our guys credit in terms of doing just enough of what you need to do to get a win”, said Bulls Head Coach Brian Gregory. “I thought the three areas that won us the game – being able to switch into the zone. We’ve been able to get some practice time the last two days and I told our guys, ‘We need to be able to feel comfortable and confident if we go to the zone.’… The other thing was the rebounds, we were plus-11 on the glass, and we were plus-13 points from the free throw line. It makes a big difference.”

USF finishes up its four-game home stand Friday against Colgate at 8:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3).





“Book Talk” guest David Pietrusza author “TR’s Last War”

Doug Miles talks with David Pietrusza author “TR’s Last War: Theodore Roosevelt, The Great War and a Journey of Triumph and Tragedy” on “Talk Across America”. Book available here: https://amzn.to/2qvrcKN





USF Bulls Host Stetson Hatters Tonight in Tampa

(Tampa, FL) The USF men’s basketball team continues a four-game homestand tonight at 7 p.m. when the Bulls welcome in-state foe Stetson to the Yuengling Center for a matchup that will be broadcast live on ESPN3.

USF (4-2) is coming off an 84-81 setback against The Citadel last Saturday. David Collins and Laquincy Rideau each scored 21 points and redshirt freshman Alexis Yetna tied a career-high with 15 points to go along with seven rebounds.

Collins has now scored at least 20 points in three consecutive games and ranks seventh in The American in scoring with 17.3 points per game. Yetna is averaging 10.5 rebounds per game over the last four games and leads the league with 9.2 rebounds per game.

Rideau tallied six assists Saturday against the Bulldogs and stands 17th in the NCAA and second in The American with 6.5 assists per game. Rideau has dished out at least five assists in all six games thus far this season.

Stetson (1-6) suffered its sixth straight loss on Monday when the Hatters dropped an 84-74 decision at Bethune-Cookman. Stetson has not won since posting a 116-66 victory over Johnson University on Nov. 7.

Sophomore guard Christiaan Jones paces the Stetson offense with 11.7 points per game to go along with 5.6 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Abayomi Iyiola stands second on the team with 10.3 points and a team-high 8.7 rebounds per game.

“We’re playing a team this week that we played very close last year and they put you in tough situations because they do a good job with their length”, said Bulls Head Coach Brian Gregory. “They have a lot of interchangeable parts both offensively and defensively, so our communication is going to be important. Recognizing and attacking their defense appropriately is going to be a big challenge for us.”





The Citadel Outshoots USF 84-81 Saturday in Tampa





UCF Routs USF 38-10 in War on I-4, Loses QB McKenzie Milton to Devasting Leg Injury

(Tampa, FL) The USF Bulls regular season came to a merciful close Saturday afternoon with a 38-10 loss to cross-state rival UCF at Raymond James Stadium. After winning their first seven games, the Bulls dropped five in a row to end the 2018 campaign on a sour note.

While UCF kept its 24-game winning streak alive, it came a tremendous cost when quarterback McKenzie Milton left the game early in the second quarter with a gruesome leg injury that required emergency surgery at nearby Tampa General Hospital. Reports are as of Sunday November 25, that the surgery was successful, but no further details have been released on his status.

The lone bright spot for USF was Freshman Johnny Ford rushing for 120 yards and 34-yard touchdown reception late in the third quarter. Ford averaged 7.5 yards on 16 carries in his third 100-yard rushing game of the season. His first career touchdown reception came on a pass by sophomore starter Chris Oladokun with 1:15 left in the third quarter before UCF responded with 21 straight points.

USF (7-5, 3-5 in AAC) saw its War on I-4 series lead trimmed to 6-4 as UCF (11-0, 8-0 in AAC) claimed its second straight win in the series.
Starting for the second time in place of injured Blake Barnett, Oladokun completed seven of 12 passes for 77 yards and opened the game’s first drive with a 22-yard run. Junior Brett Kean also saw action, completing eight of 17 attempts for 36 yards.

Defensively, USF stayed within striking distance most of the way by forcing six punts, including four in the second half. Linebacker Khalid McGee made a game-high 13 tackles, becoming the 15th player in program history to record 100 stops in a season, after he and 17 other seniors were honored in their final regular season game at Raymond James Stadium.

The 10th War on I-4 clash started with teams trading punts and takeaways on defense, including a 30-yard interception return by Nick Roberts down to the UCF 12. After the Bulls couldn’t convert on fourth-and-1 from the UCF 3, the Knights drove 97 yards and took a 7-0 lead with 25 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

UCF extended its advantage to 10-0 four minutes into the second quarter, one play after star quarterback McKenzie Milton was carted off the field with a devastating leg injury that caused both teams to surround him with support.
Trailing 17-0, USF chipped away at its deficit with a 25-yard field goal by Coby Weiss with 3:09 remaining in the half. Ford rushed three times for 67 yards on the 70-yard scoring drive and his 38-yard run set the Bulls up at the UCF 13. Ford finished the first half with 76 yards on seven attempts (10.9 ypc).

Friday’s second half opened with five straight punts before Oladokun found Ford over the middle for a 34-yard touchdown with 1:15 left in the third quarter.

UCF responded with a touchdown on the next drive and capped off the scoring with 14 more points in the fourth quarter.

Announced attendance was 57,626 for the 10th playing of the War on I-4 marked the second-largest crowd in the game’s history.

Prior to kickoff, USF honored 18 seniors: WR Ryeshene Bronson, WR LaDarion McBride, OL Eric Mayes, WR Tyre McCants, TE Riley Sheehan, RB Davion Sutton, K Jake Vivonetto, DB Chris Barr, DT Kevin Bronson, DE Josh Black, DE Juwuan Brown, LB Jeffery Farrar, DE Derek Hintze, DB Ronnie Hoggins, DE Vincent Jackson, LB Khalid McGee, S Jaymon Thomas and DB Mazzi Wilkins.

Despite the loss, USF’s 7 wins qualifies them for a bowl bid which will be awarded December 1.





“Book Talk” guest Thomas Morris author “The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth”

Doug Miles talks with Thomas Morris author “The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine” on “Talk Across America”. Book available here: https://amzn.to/2KgzL5m





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