Nov. 10, 2008
Coming off of two head coaching changes in 2007-08, the University of San Francisco turned to Rex Walters to stabilize the Dons' program. The former Kansas star and NBA veteran served as head coach at Florida Atlantic University since 2006. Walters becomes the 12th men's basketball head coach in program history.
Walters, who played basketball at Independence High School in San Jose, will be looking to improve the Dons' 10-21 overall record and 5-9 conference mark from a season ago. The Dons, who finished fifth last season, were tabbed fifth in the 2008-09 WCC Preseason Coaches poll.
Walters should benefit from the return of six letterwinners, including three starters. Headlining the list of returners is junior forward Dior Lowhorn, a 2008 All-WCC first team member and a 2008-09 Preseason All-WCC selection. Led by Lowhorn, the Dons welcome back 61.7 percent of their scoring and 56.8 percent of its rebounding.
In addition to the six returners, the Dons' squad will welcome in six newcomers. Walters first recruiting class consists of four freshmen, one sophomore, and one junior. Despite having several fresh faces, USF should benefit from having eight upperclassmen on its roster.
2007-08 KEY STATS
||20.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, .513 FG percent|
||13.9 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.5 rpg|
||3.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 26 blocks|
|SAN FRANCISCO BACKCOURT|
Junior guard Christian Hernandez is the other returning letterwinner to see significant playing time in the backcourt. Hernandez saw action in all 31 games last season, averaging 12.8 minutes per game.
Among the newcomers, 6-2 junior guard Dontae Bryant should see significant playing time at the point guard position. Bryant, a transfer from Eastern Arizona College, ranked seventh in the nation in assists among junior college players with 7.9 assists per game. In addition to Bryant, a trio of freshmen could see time in the backcourt in Chris O'Brien, Peter Smith, and Kwame Vaughn. O'Brien tossed in 12 points on a perfect 4-for-4 from the field in the Dons' exhibition win over Chico State.
|SAN FRANCISCO FRONTCOURT|
Junior center Hyman Taylor gives the Dons a solid defensive presence in the middle. The 6-9 center blocked 26 shots last season to rank 10th in the WCC. Taylor combined with Lowhorn to give the Dons one of the top shot-blocking tandems in the league as they turned away a combined 54 shot attempts.
A familiar face will be joining the Dons in junior forward Blake Wallace. Wallace, a transfer from Irvine Valley College, played his freshman season at Pepperdine, seeing action in all 31 games for the Waves in 2006-07. Wallace averaged 4.7 ppg to go along with 2.1 rpg as a freshman with the Waves.
Freshman forward Angelo Caloiaro, a local product from Archbishop Mitty, and senior center James Morgan give the Dons additional depth in the frontcourt.