By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published November 2, 2005
TAMPA - David Sills, the talented but transient playground legend from New York City's famed Rucker Park courts, has been dismissed from USF's basketball team before he played his first game.
Sills, a 6-foot-1 junior expected to contribute as a backup at both guard positions, was dismissed Tuesday, unable to mesh with the discipline and structure of coach Robert McCullum's program.
"David's behavior and attitude were detrimental to the program and, as a result, we felt it was in the best interest of the team to dismiss him," McCullum said in a statement. "He had numerous opportunities to show he wanted to fit in and unfortunately it didn't work out."
Sills' departure leaves freshman Chris Howard as the only point guard on scholarship as the Bulls enter their first season in the Big East, where the league's coaches last week picked USF to finish last in the 16-team league. Walk-on Chris Capko, last year's top backup, will see time at the point, and shooting guard Collin Dennis could also take some ballhandling duties.
The dismissal is only slightly surprising; Sills has never been able to stay long at any school, having attended four high schools and three junior colleges before signing with USF last spring.
Sills couldn't be reached for comment, but two weeks ago, he addressed the challenge of fitting in with the Bulls, saying: "It's tough, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That's what I live by. It's been good for both me and coach McCullum. He's been on me, and I feel like I've responded positively. I haven't given up. I haven't quit."
The Bulls have grown accustomed to entering their seasons shorthanded. Last year, forward Maurice Mobley quit in the preseason, and guard Montavious Waters left after the third game. After McCullum was hired in April 2003, three scholarship players were gone before his first season started.
The Bulls open their preseason with a home exhibition against Saint Leo on Nov. 10, with their first game Nov. 18 at the Sun Dome against Alcorn State.