USF Men’s Basketball Head Coach Brian Gregory took the time to hop on a Zoom call Wednesday to speak candidly with Bulls season-ticket holders, adding to the growing list of impressive moves by USF Athletics during the pandemic.
In front of more than 20 Bulls faithful Coach Gregory gave insight into former AAC Rookie of the Year Alexis Yetna’s recovery progress, his vision for the USF program, future game scheduling, and insight into his recruiting methodology. Being able to sit in a private environment (though over the internet) with an NCAA Head Basketball Coach is something that not many fans can say they have had the privilege to experience. The closest most fans ever get to the team’s head honcho is the stands or a rare preseason meet and greet. And even then the interaction is limited and quick.
Coach Gregory had the full attention of everyone on the call, delivering the inside details with an open, personable demeanor. It’s rare to find a coach who is as engaged with his fans as Coach Gregory. We think success will follow.
To kickoff the call Gregory immediately discussed Alexis Yetna’s status, who unfortunately missed the 2019 season with a knee injury, addressing the question on every USF Basketball fan’s mind. Coach Gregory had this to say about Yetna’s status Wednesday, “He is doing extremely well, he feels really good. The rehab is going well, the recovery is going well, he is able to do some jogging and some light running. He is able to jump, he is able to do the weight training that he needs to do. He has gained 10 pounds of muscle in the upper body, and he looks incredible. He looks great, and he feels good.”
Gregory expanded, “Because of the timing, we are only in May, we are going to be very cautious and take it very slow with him. From our reports, that knee is going to be better than before.” Gregory assured everyone on the call that Yetna is getting stronger and has recovered extremely well thus far.
Gregory also discussed the Bulls’ future non-conference schedule, which includes an out of state game in Atlanta, Georgia against the LSU Tigers on December 12th as part of the 2020 Holiday Hoopsgiving Tournament. The tournament will be held at the State Farm Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, and will feature marque power five programs in Kentucky, Clemson, Alabama, Memphis, Auburn, Dayton, Mississippi State, and Georgia Tech.
South Florida has agreed to host Florida A&M on November 10th, the season opener for both teams, per public records obtained by @TheD1Docket.
— The D1 Docket (@TheD1Docket) April 15, 2020
Towards the end of the call Coach Gregory dove into his recruiting methodology. He noted how most of the high schools he visits in Florida already have players with USF basketball on their radar. “We want to be able to recruit not only the Tampa Bay area but the state of Florida,” said Gregory. “The Florida kids knew where our program was at…they had the greatest awareness of it.”
Not only did Gregory touch on how much he cares about team success, he made a point of sharing just how much he values both donor support and fan engagement, specifically how much he appreciates the steadfast support from the beginning of the roster rebuild. Coach Gregory is a rarity in a college basketball climate overwhelmingly dominated by short-term on court success in lieu of long-term, balanced growth.
I would like to thank the USF Athletics Department for setting up this unique experience and also thank Coach Gregory for taking time out of his busy day to openly field questions and candidly discuss the team with season-ticket holders.
(This article was co-authored by SoFloBulls Owner Matt Manuri, who was also on the Zoom call with Coach Gregory)