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New USF Basketball coach Brian Gregory says local recruiting vital

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For the USF basketball team to succeed, it will have to contend with basketball programs from across the nation.

Still, for USF, the chore begins here.

“We have an incredible recruiting base to recruit from,” new coach Brian Gregory said in his introductory press conference Wednesday. “Our footprint of our university has been undervalued and underutilized in the recruiting process. That must and will change.”

Orlando Antigua, Gregory’s predecessor, signed no bay area player in his 2 1/2 seasons. Several Tampa area graduates are playing for schools across the country.

“We’ve always said, ‘Let’s control our area first,’ ” said Gregory.

“We want to identify recruits that are high-character, high-talent, fit our system, fit our style of play, fit the vision and the mission of the university. And we want to do that locally first and then move out from there.”

USF has reached the NCAA Tournament only three times in 45 years.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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