Men’s Basketball: Dons Transfers: Corey Hilliard and Kruize Pinkins Ready to Make Immediate Contributions

Corey Hilliard

MBBHilliardBasketball is a passion for junior transfer Corey Hillard, who played high school ball at Raytown South High School in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo. He was ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the state of Missouri following his senior season, and decided to attend the University of Nebraska–Lincoln 2011-12. In the 2011-12 season, he amassed a total of nine points and five rebounds while averaging 4.3 minutes per game.

However, a groin injury sustained on Feb. 18, 2012 against Illinois would cause him to be sidelined for the next five games, despite having played in the last few minutes of the team’s previous games. Following his recovery, he then transferred to Midland College in Midland, Texas, where he would play out his sophomore year. At Midland, Hilliard would go on to average 8.0 points, playing approximately 18 minutes per game, and ultimately helping the Chaparrals on their way to an overall record of 19-8 for the 2012-13 season. Following the season, he transferred to USF for the current season as a junior, and will be able to play right away.

 

Kruize PinkinsMugPinkins

Kruize Pinkins, a 6-foot-7-inch junior transfer from Marianna, Fla. is no stranger to college basketball. Following his time at Marianna High School, where he maintained averages of 16.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, He went on to play for the Chipola College Indians in his hometown.

It was there that he would earn first team All-Panhandle League honors after averaging 11.4 points and 6.9 rebounds as a sophomore; an increase from 7.7 points and 4.7 rebounds as a freshman. His season-high in scoring was 26 points during the 2012-13 season, and his scoring and rebounding helped the team achieve a 26-5 overall record, and an 8-4 mark in the Panhandle Conference. As a junior at USF, Pinkins now has the chance to be a centerpiece on this Dons team, as he is eligible to play in the 2013-14 season.

Derrell Robertson

MBBRobertsonThe 6-foot-10-inch, 247-pound center is a junior transfer who played the last two seasons at

DePaul University, and will not be eligible to play with the Dons until the 2014-15 season.At Mendenhall High School in Mississippi, he averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks per game as a senior, leading him to be amongst the top 10 high school prospects in the state.

The Pinola, Miss. native played in 61 games over the last two seasons with DePaul. As a freshman in the 2011-12 season, Robertson played in 29 games, averaged 1.9 points and 2.6 rebounds a game, and notably blocked a career-high five shots against Chicago State on Dec. 10.

As a sophomore, Robertson played in all 32 games for the Blue Demons, averaging 13.0 minutes, 0.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game. He also scored a career-high eight points against Arizona State on Dec. 12 and pulled down a career-best seven rebounds against UC Riverside on Nov. 9.

As of 2014-2015, Robertson will have two years of eligibility remaining.

 

Uche OfoegbuMBBOfoegbu

Uche Ofoegbu, a 6-foot-4-inch, 200-pound sophomore forward who played last season at Southern Methodist University, will be eligible for the 2014-15 season.The San Antonio, Texas native attended John Paul Stevens High School and was a first team 5A All-State selection after he averaged 21 points per game as a senior. In his junior year, he averaged 19.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals and shot 53 percent from the floor. While at Southern Methodist University, he was in 27 games and totaled 16 points, 40 rebounds, eight assists and six steals in 210 minutes of action for the Mustangs. He also scored a season-high four points on three occasions: at Tulsa, at Houston and vs. Alcorn State.

Head coach Rex Walters spoke of Ofoegbu’s transfer positively.

“He brings great size, skill and athleticism to the wing position and I feel his best basketball is ahead of him,” Walters told USFDons.com. “Although he has to sit out this season, he will be a big contributor in our practice sessions this season as he gets ready for the 2014-15.”

Jesus Del Toro scored a crucial goal in the 78th minute against Stanford, but it was not enough to lift the Dons over the Cardinal in what was a suspenseful, hard-fought match. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

Men’s Soccer: Dons Hang Tight, Stumble Late in Overtime Loss at Stanford

Zach Batteer netted a 97th-minute goal, and the Stanford Cardinal put their stamp on a gripping 2-1 win over the University of San Francisco on Friday night at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. It was a game that saw two teams that have had mixed success go head to head and try to claim a much-needed win. Taking control early on, Stanford (7-4-2) dictated the flow of the game as they had the majority of possession and were able to get into Don territory early and often. Stanford’s Ty Thompson lead this charge, and was able to get a large share of the touches as the offense ran through him in the first half. Thompson even initiated the offense that saw Stanford take a 1-0 lead in the 64th minute, as a feed to Stanford’s Jordan Morris created a shot attempt that was cleaned up by Batteer, his first of two goals on the game.

Even as the Cardinals were able to maintain control of possession following Batteer’s goal, all it took was a loose ball for sophomore midfielder Jesus Del Toro to tie the game in the 78th minute, putting the Cardinals on their heels and Dons in a comfortable position.

“After Jesus scored we had more possession and we were pushing to score another goal,” sophomore defender Joshua Smith said.

After that, the home crowd became increasingly nervous as the Dons (5-7-2) began to start banging on the door, pushing farther and farther into Cardinal territory. Although regulation ended with a 1-1 tie, the break in play did not seem to stifle any momentum the Dons had acquired in the last few minutes of play, and their captivating performance continued as both teams got quality looks at the goal. Stanford keeper Drew Hutchins made a spectacular save that kept the Cardinals in the game, and USF goalkeeper Chase Hauser saved a one-timer from Cardinal JJ Koval. But Stanford’s relentless attack in the second half eventually paid off, as Batteer would get his foot on the ball off of a rebound in the seventh minute of overtime, sending it into the goal to give Stanford the victory.

Friday’s game marked the end of four-game road trip that saw the Dons go 2-2, and also represented their final inter-conference game. Despite the loss, the Dons looked sharp and ready to play out the remainder of their WCC stretch, as they seemed to have rebounded from their midseason sluggish play and have picked it up on both sides of the ball.

“Since our home game against Saint Mary’s, our guys have responded terrific,” Visser told USFDons.com. “They played well, organized, created some good opportunities late in the game. We told the guys, ‘Let’s get back to the basics and compete.’”

With 6 games remaining, beginning with their Nov. 3 matchup at home against San Diego, the Dons will soon be able to see how far they’ve come.

Chev-Vaughn Lum, a sophomore media studies major and barista at Starbucks, said, “I get a lot of customers who say they’ve been waiting for it all year. Others say that they only drink it because it’s a nice breakaway from their normal daily orders.” (Photo by Mia Orantia)

‘Tis the Season for Pumpkin: Lattes, M&M’s and More

As we say goodbye to San Francisco’s Indian summer, Starbucks welcomes the return of fall with their popular Pumpkin Spice Latte — also known as PSL to aficionados. Since its debut in 2003, over 200 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes have been sold. The drink has even made its way into social networks with the hashtag #PSL, and has over 3,000 likes on Facebook.

Chev-Vaughn Lum, a sophomore media studies and barista at Starbucks, said, “I think the drink is so popular because of the season. Normally throughout the year you can’t get pumpkin flavored food or drinks because of the low demand for it.”

So what exactly is in a Pumpkin Spice Latte? Well, what it doesn’t have is actual pumpkin. The drink is a concoction of espresso, pumpkin-spice syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and steamed milk, with a pumpkin-spice topping. I wanted to check in on the hype, so I ordered a PSL at the Starbucks on Masonic and Fulton. Needless to say, it did not taste any less autumnal without the pumpkin. I expected the beverage to be very overpowering, but the steamed milk complemented and softened the sharp flavors of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. For the health-conscious, a tall 12 oz. is 300 calories. This drink is a great pick-me-up, especially if you’re in need of something to awaken and keep you warm on the way to class.

In the past decade the Pumpkin Spice Latte has been around, pumpkin spice has become the new taste of fall. McDonalds has also put out its own Pumpkin Spice Latte for the competitive price of $2.39 (12 oz.). Many other products have caught on to marketing this flavor. You can now buy pumpkin spice M&M’s, Glade fresheners, and Pringles.

The seasonal beverage is only here until the end of November, or longer while supplies last. The festive drinks don’t stop there. Red cup season — when Starbucks puts out their Christmas holiday drinks — is starting in November.

Madalyn Schiffel saved five Santa Clara shot attempts, but also allowed nine goals as the Dons suffered a lopsided defeat at the hands of the Broncos. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

Women’s Soccer: Dons’ Defense Falters, Gives Up 9 Goals to No. 11 Santa Clara

Sunday, Oct. 27 was an unfortunate day for USF fans as the Dons lost 9-0 to the 11th-ranked Santa Clara Broncos at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Dons (5-8-3, 0-4-1 WCC) were hoping for their first win in West Coast Conference play, but had their work cut out for them playing against the Broncos (11-3-1, 5-0-0), who had won six straight games previous to Sunday’s match.

Santa Clara scored quickly, drilling a ball into the net in the 11th minute of the game. USF was not fazed by the early goal however, and kept their heads up, trying to stay on the offensive side of the ball. After senior midfielder Tyler Campagna’s shot was stopped in the 20th minute of the game, the Dons had opportunities to score on two corner kicks but were unable to get it past Santa Clara’s stellar goal line defense. In total, USF had six corner kicks, but only took three shots on Santa Clara’s goal.

By the 38th minute of the game, the Broncos had put up three goals to the Dons’ zero. Santa Clara would continue to be on the prowl offensively, and concluded the first half with a 4-0 lead. Sophomore goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel did her best to stop the offensive showing of the Broncos, earning herself four first-half saves.

Santa Clara picked up where they had left off in the second half, blowing the game wide open and scoring five more goals on the Dons. Throughout the game, Schiffel faced 14 shots on goal, the most that a USF opponent has attempted all season.

It was a rough showing for the Dons, but they hope to gain their first WCC win when they return to USF for their final home games of the season. USF will be hosting Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount in their final two matches at Negoesco Stadium. The game against Pepperdine will be broadcasted live on TheW.TV on Friday, Nov. 1 at 5:00 p.m. The Dons will be looking to come back with a vengeance after their loss to the Santa Clara, and will need to improve their defense against Pepperdine Waves, who are currently ranked fourth in the WCC.

A victory over the Waves would go a long way towards wrapping up the season on a strong note. The Dons are currently placed ninth in the WCC standings, with only Loyola Marymount behind them. The Dons are scheduled to play Loyola Marymount on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 12:00 p.m.

Malina Terrell (15) and Ester de Vries (5) liked what they saw in the Dons’ four-set victory over Santa Clara. Terrell turned in a stellar performance, collecting 17 kills to help USF secure their third straight win against WCC foes. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

Volleyball: Dons Top Santa Clara 3-1, Increase Home Winning Streak to Four Games

The season’s longest home stand ended on a high for the Dons, as they proved that they are a force to be reckoned with in the Bay Area. USF completed three straight wins against Bay Area rivals with a 3-1 victory against the Santa Clara Broncos at War Memorial Gym on Friday night. The Dons are now 10-10 on the season and 6-4 in WCC play, good for fourth in the conference.

In addition to besting Saint Mary’s and Pacific last week, USF is now on a four-game home winning streak, its first since the 2009 season.

On Friday, the Dons took the first set 25-22 and also saw senior libero Rebecca Kopilovitch take possession of third place on USF’s all-time dig list with her six digs in the set. She went on to end the game with a match-high 20 digs.

“It’s just fun to play defense and go for everything and frustrate the other teams,” Kopilovitch told USFDons.com after her personal milestone match. “In order to dig we have to have a great block setup and that’s something that we’ve been working on. The girls have been doing a great job of blocking the other team and having the ball go to where it needs to go to make our job on defense much easier.”

USF fans were worried at the start of the second set, when the Broncos jumped ahead quickly and gained a 10-4 lead on the Dons. However, a delay in the game due to a rotation problem proved to be just what USF needed to regroup and stop Santa Clara’s momentum. The Dons eventually took the set 25-19 and were up two sets to none heading into halftime.

‘They definitely had the momentum, but after the delay it gave us a chance to catch our breath and I think that in combination with them being a little bit confused and they lost momentum right there,” associate head coach Ken Ko told USFDons.com. “Before you knew it, it was 10-all and it gave us new life and we really pushed forward and got ahead.”

Santa Clara came back from the break strong and earned a victory in the third set by a score of 25-22, before the Dons put the final nail in the coffin by taking the fourth set 25-17. This victory signaled a season sweep of the Broncos for only the second time in the two schools’ 34-year series history.

Led by senior outside hitter Malina Terrell’s 17 kills, USF managed to hit .298 in the match, their second best offensive outing in conference play this season. With the help of senior setter Mackenzie Murtagh’s 31 assists and sophomore setter Jurja Vlasic’s 16 assists, the Dons powered themselves to their third straight win in two weeks.

On Saturday, USF’s volleyball alumnae returned for their annual alumni weekend festivities, which consisted of USF alumni playing against the current Dons squad.

Following the Santa Clara match, USF now heads back on the road for two games. They face Portland in Portland, Ore. at 7:00 p.m. tonight and Gonzaga in Spokane, Wash. at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Ollie Johnson Number Retired: Ollie Johnson’s jersey number will become permanently linked to his name on Jan. 25 at War Memorial Gym. Johnson earned his place in USF history by leading the Dons to three NCAA tournaments and receiving WCC Player of the Year honors two times. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

USF Will Retire Basketball Star Ollie Johnson’s Jersey Number 32

University of San Francisco has decided to retire No. 32 in honor of basketball player Oliver “Olli” Johnson, a two-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year and a 1964-65 All-American. The No. 32 jersey will no longer be worn at

USF after the ceremony before the Dons game against Santa Clara on Jan. 25 at War Memorial Gym.

Johnson, a 6-foot-7-inch power forward from Washington, D.C. played at USF from 1962-1965. He led the Dons to the conference championship and NCAA tournament appearances in all three seasons, picking up All-WCC honors each year along the way. In his final season, Johnson led all players in scoring and rebounding average during the NCAA tournament, racking up 36 points per game and 18.5 rebounds per game.

With 1,668 points and 1,323 rebounds in his career, Johnson is top-ten all-time for the Dons in both categories. After playing out his eligibility at USF, Johnson continued playing basketball professionally. He was drafted 8th overall by the Boston Celtics, but was cut from the team before making his NBA debut. He then joined the San Francisco Athletic Club in the Amateur Athletic Union and was named an AAU All-American in 1965. The following year, Johnson went abroad to play professionally in Belgium for three seasons.

Johnson will be the 10th Dons athlete to have their number retired. Here’s a quick look at what the other nine Dons did to deserve eternal ownership of their USF jersey number.

No. 4 K.C. Jones — Men’s basketball. 

    Jones and teammate Bill Russell led USF to NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956. The duo also helped Team U.S.A. earn a gold medal at the Melbourne Summer Olympics in ‘56. Jones won eight NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, the only team he played for in his nine-season NBA career.

No. 6 Bill Russell — Men’s basketball. 

William Felton “Bill” Russell led the Dons to two NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, and was part of the gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic Team in ‘56. He won eleven championships in his NBA career as a center for the Boston Celtics, which lasted from 1956 to 1969. He was a twelve-time All-Star and five-time NBA Most Valuable Player.

No. 7 Brittanie Budinger — Women’s volleyball. 

     Budinger was All-West Coast Conference First Team in 2002 and 2003. She was key in earning the Dons their first ever post-season NCAA tournament appearance and was “the most dominant player in USF history,” according to WCCsports.com.

No. 15 Mary Hile-Nepfel — Women’s basketball. 

     Hile-Nepfel is the all-time leading scorer and rebounder for the USF women with a career total of 2,324 points and 1,602 rebounds. She is one of few Dons to average a career double-double. She also led the Dons to a NCAC championship in 1980, and was a three-time Kodak Regional All-American and two-time finalist for the Wade Trophy, the highest award in collegiate women’s basketball.

No. 17 Mike Farmer — Men’s basketball.

The 6-foot-7-inch forward was part of the Dons’ glory years with Bill Russell and K.C. Jones. Farmer was first team all-American in 1957-58. He was taken third overall by the New York Knicks in the 1958 NBA draft and played seven seasons in the NBA. No. 19 Taggert Bozied — Baseball. Bozied was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1999, earning a Triple Crown in season play. He had the highest slugging percentage and the second-most home runs in NCAA Division I, beating out future MLB star Jason Bay. He was first team All-American at third base and second team All-American as a designated hitter. He played in the minor leagues for 10 years.

No. 20 Phil Smith — Men’s basketball. 

A non-recruited walk on who was spotted playing pickup ball on campus, Smith was all-WCC and the leading scorer for the Dons in each of his three varsity seasons. He helped USF to successful appearances in the 1972, 1973 and 1974 NCAA tournaments. Smith was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1974 and played the next nine seasons in the NBA for the Warriors, the Clippers and the SuperSonics.

No. 24 Bill Cartwright — Men’s basketball. 

Cartwright, a 7-foot-1-inch center, was another Don who averaged a double-double, finishing his four-

year collegiate career with averages of 19.1 points and 10.2 rebounds. He was second team All-American in 1977 and 1979, and took USF to the Sweet 16 and 1978 and 1979. After leaving USF, Cartwright was chosen third in the 1979 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. He was traded to Chicago in 1988, and went on to win three NBA Championships as a member of the Michael Jordan-led Bulls squad before retiring in 1995. He is currently the head coach for Osaka Evessa in Japan.

No. 40 Brittany Lindhe — Women’s basketball. 

Lindhe was the first four-time selection for all-WCC honors in conference history. She holds the record for most points scored by a USF woman in a road game, with 37 points against Gonzaga. She led the Dons to three WCC championships and a Sweet 16 appearance in 1996.