Famous to USF… What?


Many Mizzou fans thought the Tigers would land Famous.  Even more fans probably thought USF was the last place he'd end up.

Many Mizzou fans thought the Tigers would land Famous. Even more fans probably thought USF was the last place he'd end up.

   Highly recruited Junior College power forward/center, Jarrid Famous made his college decision today.  Famous had narrowed  his search to Missouri, Arizona, Seton Hall, and the University of South Florida.  No, he did not commit to Missouri who made it to the Elite Eight this past season, nor did he commit the well respected Arizona Wildcats.  He didn’t even commit to a struggling Seton Hall program.  Instead, Famous will be taking his talents to USF.  That’s right USF.  Wait, they have a basketball team??  Apparently they do, although with their program’s “success” I can see why no one would notice.

   The three schools that Famous passed up combined for 67 wins last season.  USF managed a grand total of nine.  In the Big East, the Bulls went 4-14.  Their four wins included two against DePaul who failed to win one Big East game.  Overall, USF was 9-22 with non conference losses including Virginia, Wright State, Oral Roberts, and Niagra.  The Bulls finished the year with an RPI of 190.  The three schools he passed up totaled RPI ratings of 145 and that includes Seton Hall’s RPI rank of 101.  Now I’m not saying a college player should make his decision based on RPI ratings, but the fact is, the Bulls are miserable.  Even if Famous gives them 5 more wins than last season, they are still going to miss the NIT by a mile.  He will get no exposure playing in the lowly obscurity that is USF basketball.

   Since 2002, USF has gone a total of 75-130.  The Bulls have a total of 16 wins against current Big East teams since that time and have had season win totals in single digits (3 times), more often than they have surpassed twelve wins (once in 2002).  They haven’t been to any sort of post-season in this decade.

  It’s not for a lack of talent at USF either.  In the 2007-2008 season, USF saw senior Kentrell Gransberry selected to the All Big East first team, while freshman Dominique Jones was given All Big East honorable mention honors.  It appears that even if Famous can earn All Big East honors, it likely will not matter for the overall success of the USF Bulls.

  USF plays in the Sun Dome, a 10,000 seat arena built in 1977.  Even in the Bulls home win against Cincinnati, there were fewer than 5,000 people in attendance.  In their non-conference games, home attendance was regularly below 3,000.  I’m sorry, but the Sun Dome is no Mizzou Arena.  The USF basketball program is nowhere near the other 3 schools Famous turned down.  Now I know players sometimes like to go to a more obscure school and try to raise it to prominence, but USF is so far out of contention in the Big East that it will be years (Famous can only play there for two), before they even near the NIT tournament.  

All of this writing is irrelevant, because the decision is already made, but the reality is, USF was a surprising choice, and in my mind the wrong one.  But like Kim English’s facebook status says:

“South Florida?? I’m flabbergasted … Idc though.. Safford, ramsey, bowers, Moore and dewitt sound pretty good to me.”

Kimmie, I agree.



25 responses to “Famous to USF… What?

  1. You have no clue! Stan Heath is building a winner down here. We should be pre-season Top 25 with the addition of Famous to our team. He is a junior college All American and we have Dominique Jones and Augustus Gilchrist coming back. Famous is the final piece to our puzzle. We will go further in the tournament than Mizzou will, so how can you blame Famous for going to the right place?

    • mikepaulmizzou

      Bulliever, I appreciate your comment, but really, I have not heard a joke that good in a while. Was I harsh? Absolutely. I did my research and I have heard good things about Stan Heath. However, when your program down there has been as traditionally abysmal as yours, I don’t think there is any way you can say that USF will go further than Mizzou. Your program is definitely on the rise, but when that rise starts from so far below the rest of your conference, it’ll be a while before your claims become realistic.

  2. It’s the University of South Florida… Not Southern.

    We have over 45k students. Just wait and see what happens the next 2 years.

  3. Maybe someone should let Missouri know that they will NEVER and I mean NEVER win a basketball national title. Maybe the Bulls won’t either, but at least Famous will get to play in the Big East, which hosts the Big East tournament in Madison Square Garden, New York City, each year. Missouri fans will just have to settle for always finishing behind Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas in men’s basketball, which shouldn’t be hard to get used to, because that is already old habit in football.

  4. You did your research…That’s funny considering USF has made 2 NIT’S this decade so you are in fact wrong my friend. The man has a chance to play for a rising team in the BEST conference and in front of his family so how can you fault him. As for exposure, Famous will get exposure because he will help turn the Bulls around and make them relevant. He’s already got more exposure with his commitment then he would in the middle of nowhere Columbia, MO. The most exposure your program has gotten recently was Quin’s hair for crying out loud. I’m glad that if you could have played basketball you would have chosen your beloved MIZZOU, but the decision was not yours to make. GO BULLS!!!

    • mikepaulmizzou

      I seem to have really upset USF nation. I was unaware that their basketball team even had this many fans… I agree that USF is indeed rising. However, it’s not hard for such a lowly program to be on the rise. I also acknowledge the fact that Famous obviously made what he feels is the best decision for him, so there must be something at South Florida he likes. Clearly I am just upset that he did not choose to go to the school that I support. I also have much respect for the Big East and their conference tournament that is held in NYC. The Big East, year in and year out, provides some of college basketball’s best teams and most exciting games. However, never has USF been a contributor to either of those categories. All I am saying is that Missouri, Arizona, and Seton Hall are currently and traditionally better basketball programs than your precious USF one. That is undebatable. Is it possible that could change? Yes. Can one season and one recruit change a history of irrelevance? No.

    • mikepaulmizzou

      The Columns would like to acknowledge the error of saying that USF hadn’t made a post season tournament in this decade. That is incorrect. USF has been to 3 NIT tournaments since 1994-1995, with two of those NIT appearances coming in this decade. The Columns would like to congratulate USF on this feat. However, the Bulls have not made the NCAA tournament since the 1991-1992 season.

  5. As one of the biggest Bulls fans out there, I’d be ecstatic if we can make it to the NIT. For a long time, we’ve treaded water or slid backwards, so I’m looking for forward momentum. Jones is one of the 10 best players in the league, Gilchrist has a lot of potential (he hadn’t played in 2 years before last year, so I think he’ll improve), and Famous should the big man we need down low. We have a PG transferring in from Ohio State who will add quickness and penetration ability, and Stan has signed three sharpshooters. If two of those guys can play right away, USF could very well finish in the top 11 of the Big East and make the NIT. That would be really nice progress and make a foundation for Jones’ senior year (Famous’ as well).

    Bulliever, you’re not helping the cause by posting ridiculous comments all over the internet.

    As for comparing Mizzou and USF off the court, the schools have comparable academics, so I think the family tie to Tampa really sold Famous.

    Plus, USF beat Kansas last year in football, so you guys should like us for that!

    • mikepaulmizzou

      Dave, thank you for your educated response. I will admit that I am not a huge follower of USF basketball so if all of your claims are indeed true it appears that your program may very well be on its way to an NIT appearance. As a Missouri fan, I realize that programs have their struggles as we have certainly had our share in recent years. I wish your program and Jarrid Famous the best, I simply meant to point out the fact that currently, the Missouri and USF programs don’t stack up.

      As for football – what a game that was when you beat Kansas. I am a fan of any team that beats kU. Your football team has been impressive in recent years. Now if your basketball team matches the meteoric rise to national significance that football team expereinced, I will be proven wrong.

  6. As for the history, USF actually turned out several good teams in lower conferences up until the athletic department focused on football, which in Florida is absolutely the right decision to make. So now that football is on a solid base, the department can reinvest in basketball. It’s a long, tough road, but Heath did a great job at Arkansas (I still think race was a motivating factor in his dismissal), and USF has a great campus in a growing city with amazing weather. It seems like Famous was most concerned about being near family, and only USF and Seton Hall could offer that. Which school would you rather go to? A losing team in New Jersey, or a losing team with Florida sunshine (and women!)?

    Famous won’t catapult USF into national prominence, but he might be the missing piece to make it to respectability. A lot of our games were really close last year, and it was obvious we were a big man and a shooter away. Stan landed both, so there’s reason for hope.

  7. As a USF fan I will say your column is pretty much right on. Our program is horrendous. We have zero fan base and probably no chance of making the tourny in the next two years.


    the move was simple
    He will start right away
    He gets to play in front of his family.
    He gets to play in the Big East
    He gets to play under a decent coach
    He gets to play in some nice warm weather..

    And did I mention….
    He will start and play 40 mins a game in the best conference

  8. Coach Jim Leavitt is an MU grad and former teammate of mine. He came to our reunion weekend this past Saturday, hanging with a big group of alumni, watching the spring football game. I have a lot of respect for what he has done and the USF football squad. Good luck this year.

  9. Just a comment to the flabberghasted fan known as MG. I heard Missouri is the “Show Me” state, well the mighty USF Bulls just did.

    We are the 8th largest University in the country with a student enrollment over 50,000. Our football team is coached by a local guy from St. Petersburg Florida. His name is Jim Leavitt. He is a Missouri grad and played safety for your Tigers. Jim was co defensive coordinator at K State along with Bobby Stoops before he came to USF. Jim has done a fantastic job here at USF and just completed his best recruiting year in school history. Jim Leavitt is the only football coach we’ve had in our 12 year history. We beat Kansas last year in Tampa.

    Famous will help bring our basketball team back up to respectability. From the little acorn…..the mighty oak grew. I can remember when Mizzou was a doormat too. So I say live and let live.

    GO BULLS!!!!!

    • mikepaulmizzou

      Never did I mention your school size or football team in my article. I am well aware that USF is a large university and as I have said in previous comments, you have a very respectable football program. I am also aware that Jim Leavitt went to Missouri. He has done a great job at South Florida. I have already acknowledged in previous comments that I watched the kU/USF football game last season, and was pleased with the outcome. While I appreciate your comment, it is basically irrelevant to my original article.

  10. I may have embellished a little on the USF-Mizzou nexus (Jim Leavitt). That was just to let you know that biting USF, by a fan from a school we feel we have ties to (because of Jim Leavitt) hits a nerve with our school. We never wished you ill will. Since 2002 we have stumbled a bit it’s true, but some times you have to take a couple of steps back in order to move forward.

    Stats are for losers. USF made 2 trips to the Dance when Bobby Pascal was our coach losing 79-67 to Arizona in 1990 and losing to Georgetown 75-60 in 1992. We went to the NIT under Lee Rose in 1981, 1983, 1985. We went to the NIT under Bobby Paschal in 1991, 1995. We went to the NIT under Seth Greenberg in 2000, 2002.

    Our first year of basketball was 1971. We have been to 2 NCAA tornaments and 7 NITs. That is a total of 9 post season visits in our short history. It may not be a Kansas Jayhawk type acchievement , but it certainly shows we are not a miserable program as you suggest.

    We entered our first conference in 1976 (Sunbelt), we graduated to the Metro Conferencee in 1993, then Conference USA in 1995 and the Big East in 2005. That has been a steady progression in the type of competition we have to face. This year the Big East was especially tough, sending 8 teams to the NCAA, the BE made up 3 of the final 8 and 2 of the final 4. This is no easy conference to win in. That’s why we have to have players like Jarrid Famous to compete.

    USF has moved a long way in a very short time too. We are in an a metro area of 3.5 million (13th largest TV market) and there are 5 million people within 50 miles of our central city (Tampa).

    Our facility is not as grand as yours I’m sure, but come play us in the Sun Dome and see if there aren’t 10,000 screaming fans there. Under those circumstances you may find it hard to escape with a win. Marquette (NCAA team) did in 2008.

    There is an athletic master plan to enlarge the Sun Dome and build a practice facility. The current economy slowed it down but everyone expects us to break ground very soon.

    At USF our future is ahead of us, not behind us. So live and let live flabberghasted.

  11. I almost forgot our women’s basketball program won the WNIT by beating the Lady Jayhawks in Phog Allen fieldhouse. Not bad. They started rebuilding ahead of the men’s program. Hope is the men will start moving up in the same way!!!

    • mikepaulmizzou

      Mr. Wilson, you seem to be missing my point. I don’t think that USF or its athletic program are a joke. I never wished ill will upon the USF program or anybody. If your basketball team were to win the National Title this year, I would be the first to admit that I was wrong. I was simply pointing out fact that your program has traditionally been, in my opinion, awful. Again, the point of my article was to simply point out that if, on paper, one were to compare Missouri’s basketball program (facilities, tradition, wins, recent seasons, coaching, exposure), to USF’s, currently, Missouri’s looks better. Obviously, I realize that more goes into recruiting. Location and family are obvious factors that Famous considered. He made the best choice for him and I am happy for the young man. Would I have liked him at Mizzou? Absolutely. Am I mad we lost him to USF or any other school? Yes. I was surprised by his choice and that’s all.

      Let me make this clear also: I don’t care about USF’s athletic program, or its master plan, or its women’s basketball team’s NIT wins (nothing says athletic powerhouse like a women’s NIT win), or any of that. Missouri does not play USF, I rarely get USF games on TV, and I don’t really think about your program down there very often. So that’s great. Take your big city, large TV market, nice weather, and improved Sun Dome and run with it. I really don’t care.

      And one final note: You argue that 2 trips to the NCAA Tournament in 38 years of existence makes the USF basketball program respectable? Think that over again. A trip to the Big Dance every 19 years is about as bad as it gets. While the NIT is somewhat respectable, not many fans I know brag about NIT appearances. That just means that you weren’t good enough to make the real tournament. So like I said, I’m happy that you are so optimistic about the Bulls program down there. That’s great. I just don’t need to hear about it anymore.

  12. Mizzou was in the Big 8 and then the Big 12 in my lifetime. Mizzou has never won a national championship in basketball. Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma State have traditionally been better than Mizzou. You guys have had some good fortune recently in football and basketball, but just haven’t really been able to get over the hump either.

    So in the grand scheme of things doesn’t that make you guys look pathetic when you can’t best an upstart like us for a top talent like Famous.

    You sir are as hard headed as a Missouri mule, a terribly bad sport and quite frankly a little boorish. There is no need to be mad because you lost out on one player, no matter how good he is. You’ve been losing out for years to the cream of the Big 12 and before that the Big 8 on top talent. Maybe Columbia, Missouri isn’t the mecca of the midwest. So take a chill pill or go kick the dog or something!!!!

    Let’s see In football Florida, Florida State and Miami have all won 3 national titles each. USF will win one in football before Mizzou will. Florida has won 2 national titles in basketball, Miami and Florida State are greatly improved in Basketball. I guess it is only logical that USF should be the next in line.

    It’s great to have all the great sports we have here in Florida college and pro plus the great weather, beaches and the best looking women too. Think about that next January when it’s gray with no leaves on the trees, you’re freezing your ass off and you are stuck in Columbia, Missouri. I’ll be in shirt sleeves playing golf and hating no one.

    See ya Loser!

    GO BULLS!!!!!

    • mikepaulmizzou

      haha wow it looks like someone got a little upset. Once again, an irrelevant comment yet I feel compelled to reply. While upset that we missed out on Famous (who wouldn’t be?) our basketball team will be just fine (like I said in the original article).

      Mr. Wilson, neither your insults on the state of Missouri, nor your childish insults at me are going to get me to change my opinion. In fact, I am not from Missouri and am not particularly fond of the state as a whole, just the University. So I’ll pass on the chill pill and offer it back to you, because it seems that in your attempt to prove a point you have grown a little hot-headed. You keep thinking up insults (I know you can do better than equating me to “Missouri mule),” and I’ll keep writing about whatever I feel like, regardless of whether or not that offends you.

      Finally, while it is nice to know that you take pride in other university’s accomplishments (I know USF has better fans than that out there), such as Florida, Florida State, and Miami, I will stick to being loyal to the program I support. So enjoy the golf Mr. Wilson, because like this argument, I bet I’d beat you in that too 😉



  13. I was just having a little fun at your expense like you had at mine. Your rationale is strange. Did you used to work for Bernie Maddoff?

    GO BULLS!!!!!

  14. why are the USF fans especially James keep bringing other USF sports and other Florida schools into the picture they are irrelevant to this entire thing

  15. Why does every team in the country recruit our state so much? Because that’s where the talent is. The point I was making was, that is why Florida teams have done so well especially in football.

    My point is a Missouri man can’t belittle a Florida man. Why? Because at the end of the day, he still has to live in Missouri!!!

    I found MG’s original thread stupid and offensive. I hate people who design an arguement to fit their particular prejudice. I see it as bad science. I would have never been this animated if I wasn’t miffed. In Florida we believe the best defense is a good offense. Hit em with so many lefts, they’re begging for a right just to put them out of their misery or is it Missouri!!!!!

    GO BULLS!!!!!

    • mikepaulmizzou

      My reply to you Mr. Wilson is why do you keep coming back and commenting on my site? I’ve already dismissed your comments as irrelevant, but people like you are the reason I started this blog. I get to write my opinion, and frankly I don’t care if you find it stupid or offensive. So for the final time I will wish USF and Famous the best, stay loyal to the program I support, and thank the Man above that I am not as insecure as you.

  16. It’s official. Jarrid signed his loi today.

    GO BULLS!!!!!

  17. This Wilson kid is retarded. I’m currently a Junior at theUniversity of Florida. His arguments went from justified to childish throughout this thread. Being a student in Florida I have to let the general public know that UF associates in no way with USF. Using our dominance in your arguments makes you sound foolish. We win national championships while you guys win nothing, ever. Honestly, leave our respected university out of the conversation when making your foolish points. Sure it is great living in Florida but that has nothing to do with the article. The weather at the university has absolutely nothing to do with the original conversation. So you got Jarrid Famous, great, you still suck. We got Kenny Boynton and Eric Murphy and we would thrash you any day of the week.

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