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Vols transfer has USF among his top choices
By GREG AUMAN
Published May 4, 2005
Even with four quarterbacks on scholarship this fall, look for South Florida to make an aggressive push to land Brent Schaeffer, the Deerfield Beach prep standout who is leaving Tennessee after his freshman season.
Schaeffer, who strongly considered USF out of high school, seems to have the Bulls high on his list as well.
"I talked with him (Tuesday) night, and South Florida was the only school he mentioned by name," said Joe Redmond, who was Schaeffer's high school coach. "He's mentioned them a lot. I've talked to USF as well, and they're not able to do anything in terms of talking to him until they get (a release), but I know they're champing at the bit to talk to him."
Redmond said he has talked with USF coach Jim Leavitt and quarterbacks coach Rod Smith since Tennessee announced he was leaving. USF has not yet received a release from the Vols, but Schaeffer's mother, Chandra, said Tuesday her son was working on getting the necessary paperwork so he can begin speaking with other schools.
SOFTBALL: After a weekend sweep at home at the hands of No. 25 DePaul, the Bulls have locked up the No. 4 seed for the Conference USA tournament, which they host next week. USF (35-24) closes the regular season with a three-game series at Saint Louis (4-17 in C-USA), and the Bulls need a strong finish to assure themselves a spot in the 64-team NCAA Tournament field.
PASCHAL HONORED: Former USF men's basketball coach Bobby Paschal, who coached at Louisiana-Lafayette from 1978-86 before coming to Tampa, will be inducted into the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame on Saturday.
"That was a really special time for me," said Paschal, who made the postseason in five of his eight years as head coach. "We had some very good players and some very good teams because of that."
Paschal's fellow inductees include longtime LSU coach DaleBrown, and they'll enter a Hall that includes players such as Pete Maravich, Shaquille O'Neal, Joe Dumars and Karl Malone.
"I wouldn't dare put myself at their level," said Paschal, who coached the Bulls from 1986-96 and retired from USF's athletic department last year. "Their playing ability far exceeds my coaching, but it shows there's been a lot of great basketball in Louisiana."
MOVING ON UP: Power forward Terrence Leather, USF's leading scorer and rebounder the past two seasons, has signed with Chicago-based Edge Sports International and agent Keith Kreiter.
Leather is optimistic of landing an invite to the NBA's pre-draft camp in Chicago, and Kreiter likes his chances of being USF's first draft pick in 19 years.
"I think he's on the radar for the second round," he said. "His upside is limitless, and there's probably 80 guys in the mix for the draft right now, but he's in there."
DEPARTING: Sophomore center Konimba Diarra, who averaged 1.2 points and 8.2 minutes last season, has requested his release from USF so he can transfer, according to Bob Bass, an assistant at New York's Our Savior New American School, where Diarra attended. The departure of the 6-foot-10 Diarra, the last Seth Greenberg recruit in USF's program, would leave junior Solomon Jones as the only true center on roster, though the Bulls are expected to add another frontcourt player to their incoming recruiting class.
THIS AND THAT: USF's women's basketball program lost out on Viviane Nascimento, a 5-foot-11 swing player from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, who announced she's signing with Oklahoma State. ... Fans who missed USF's spring football game can watch it every Friday in May at 9 p.m. on Bright House Catch. 47. The local network also will have a tape-delayed broadcast of USF's May 11 home baseball game against Florida, at 9 p.m. on May 13 and 15. ... Leavitt said Monday he could have an offensive coordinator named by the end of the week. He's keeping it close to the vest, but don't be surprised if he promotes running backs coach Carl Franks.
Times staff writer Greg Auman covers USF athletics. Reach him at 813 226-3346 or firstname.lastname@example.org