WHO: No. 24 Marquette (15-5, 6-2) at USF (10-11, 1-8) WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday WHERE: Sun Dome TV: ESPN2 (Mike Patrick and LaPhonso Ellis) RADIO: 98.7-FM The Fan, Sirius 94/XM190 (Jim Lighthall and Todd Kalas)
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - The Bulls want to rebound in the second half of
their Big East schedule and it all starts with looking forward.
The USF men's basketball team returns to the Sun Dome 7 p.m.
Wednesday for a rematch with No. 24 Marquette. The Golden Eagles are one of
eight league teams to beat the Bulls this season and Stan Heath's squad is determined
to quickly leave past struggles in the rear-view mirror.
"Toarlyn Fitzpatrick said it best in the locker room, 'We've
got to have amnesia,'" Heath said. "There are some things we need to remember
to get better at, but there are some things we need to put behind us and keep
The Bulls (10-11, 1-8) have made improvements on the glass
and on defense during the recent stretch of games, and now Heath is looking for
his team to include some toughness.
"Now we have to start scoring the ball," he said. "We also have
to have more of a feisty attitude, especially coming out in the second half."
Scoring wasn't a problem for Fitzpatrick in USF's 69-64
overtime loss at UConn on Sunday. The senior from Tampa posted a season-high 22
points and 10 rebounds, and Heath wants to see a collective
scoring effort in Wednesday's rematch. Marquette won the first meeting, 63-50,
Jan. 28 in Milwaukee after the Bulls as a whole shot 27 percent from the field.
"I'm starting to see some of our veterans play better.
Toarlyn Fitzpatrick had one of his best games and our whole thing is putting it
all together. Let's have everybody going at the same time," Heath said.
Heath knows a focus on scoring can't take away from solid
defense against a Marquette team that was carried by Vander Blue in the first
meeting. The junior guard put up a career-high 30 points against USF while the Golden Eagles shot 55 percent from the field.
"In the last game, they really hurt us in transition and
Vander Blue just had a fantastic game," Heath said. "We need to do a much
better job of stopping some of those key players."
Wednesday's game will be aired on ESPN2 and it marks the
first of four straight nationally televised Bulls games. USF is on ESPNU 3 p.m.
Saturday at Villanova and Feb. 13 at home against Providence. The Bulls'
rematch with Louisville at the Sun Dome on Feb. 17 will be televised on ESPN.