Ex-teammate returns to haunt Toreros men’s basketball team
Yauhen Massalski played four seasons for the USD. He graduated from college, was a solid 6-foot-9 forward but never quite became the dominant player the Toreros expected.
Until this year. Problem is, he’s transferred and now wears USF Green and Gold.
The Toreros played their first game in 17 days late on Saturday afternoon and Massalski reminded them of what they were missing. The Belarusian native scored 21 points and picked up a career-high 17 rebounds, leading the Dons to an 88-73 victory at War Memorial Gym in San Francisco.
“He’s playing fantastically,” USD head coach Sam Scholl said over the phone after the game. “He fits in really, really well and performs at a high level and has throughout the year.”
Massalski made 9 of 13 shots. He arrived averaging 14.1 points and 7.7 rebounds.
Not having played for so long, the USD (7-7, 0-1 West Coast Conference) has built up some rust and it has shown. The Toreros made 14 eight-way turnovers for the USF (14-2, 1-0). Points on turnovers: Dons 18, Toreros 2.
While the USD was only topped by three (39-36), the USF recovered 18 offensive rebounds. Second Chance Points: Dons 19, Toreros 10.
Shooting 2 of 13 of 3 did not help visitors.
“I think (the rust) showed up in our turnovers and our efforts to bounce back,” Scholl said. “Eighteen offensive rebounds? It is unwarranted.
It also hurt that the USD only had eight stock players available. Guard Jase Townsend is recovering from a broken hand. The others had come out with what Scholl called “disease,” code for the COVID protocol.
USF took a 46-32 halftime lead, hitting 18 of 34 shots (52.9 percent). USD came in limiting opponents to 41.2 percent shooting. The Toreros would not come close to 12 in the second half.
To Jamaree Bouyea and Khalil Shabazz, the USF presents arguably the best combo of guards in the conference. Shabazz scored 27 points on 11 of 17 shots, plus six rebounds. Bouyea scored 19 points on 8 of 15 shots.
“I have so much respect for these two guards,” Scholl said. “What they’ve done in their careers, the consistency they’ve shaped. I have as much respect for these two guys as anyone in the league.
Second-year guard Bryce Monroe, who attended Bishop Riordan High in San Francisco, led the SHU with 15 points. Yavuz Gultekin and Joey Calcaterra each scored 11. Terrell Brown-Soares had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Norcross is a freelance writer.