I got a chance to talk with the leader of the San Francisco basketball squad, Frankie Ferrari, before his Dons welcome the Zags into War Memorial Gymnasium. Frankie is a 6’0 senior from Burlingame, California who is averaging 13.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 5.7 APG in 31.8 MPG. Ferrari is ranked 37th in the nation for APG and 7th in the nation for assist to turnover ratio (5.00).
Arden Cravalho: Frankie, congratulations on your already successful career at USF. The 2018-2019 San Francisco Dons are off to a 14-2 start (2-0 in WCC play) which is the best USF has seen in quite some time. What has made you most proud of your team so far this season?
Frankie Ferrari: I think it’s just being able to put wins together. We are really coming together as a collective group from top-to-bottom. We are lead by some older seniors which helps us win games, especially on the road. I’m very happy with where we are at right now.
AC: You have your biggest test of the season as you welcome #5 Gonzaga onto your home court. What do you know about the Bulldogs?
FF: We know they are really talented and play at a high-pace. Obviously, they are one of the top teams in the nation so it’s a really good opportunity for us and we’re really excited to play them at our place on Saturday.
AC: Besides yourself, who should Gonzaga fans fear on your USF team?
FF: As I said, we are really balanced from top-to-bottom. I know Charles (Minlend) can score fast and Jimbo (Lull) has been really good on the post so I would say those two guys have been key for us lately.
AC: What is needed to be done in order to come away with a win over Gonzaga?
FF: Defensively, we have to slow them down in transition. That’s where they succeed the most. They scored 91 against Santa Clara and a lot of that game was being played in transition. We also have to rebound the ball. They crash the glass hard with Rui, Clarke, and now Tillie. Even the guards rebound the ball well so the key for us is controlling the glass and stopping them in transition.
AC: What is your goal for this team to have accomplished by the end of the season?
FF: Our goal is to play in the NCAA Tournament. We have said that from day one. We need to get some quality wins in league, win games on the road, and see what happens in the conference tournament.
AC: On the lighter side, how many more followers have you gotten since you stole popcorn from that fan at the California game and since your name has been recognized as “The best name in college basketball”? Do you enjoy the attention?
FF: Between the “popcorn game” and the Barstool Sports shoutout, my social media has been going pretty crazy. It’s fun. Anything to attract attention to the University and the team in a good way is fine with me. I’m a hometown kid and I am proud to represent USF.
USF player ends up the baseline seats and grabs some popcorn, announcer goes nuts pic.twitter.com/YA6s7yfBE4— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) December 6, 2018
Thanks to Frankie for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat with me. TSSF wishes him the best of luck against Gonzaga on Saturday (kinda). I will be attending the game and hope to see a lot of GU fans there.
*Arden Cravalho is a senior at Gonzaga University... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho