WHO: USF (10-9, 1-6) at Marquette (14-4, 5-1) WHEN: 9 p.m. Monday WHERE: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisc. TV: ESPNU (Adam Amin and LaPhonso Ellis) RADIO: 98.7-FM The Fan (Jim Lighthall and Todd Kalas)
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - The Bulls are back on national television 9 p.m.
Monday when they face Marquette at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisc.
USF is coming off a 73-65 loss to Notre Dame at home on
Saturday that featured more solid contributions from the freshmen. Forward Zach LeDay posted a career-high 17
points off the bench while guard JaVontae Hawkins scored a career-high 11
points in a reserve role. Notre Dame's entire bench produced eight points.
"I thought it was important to infuse some life into our
team and I thought both of those guys did it in a big way for us," head coach
Stan Heath said.
Effort and energy were to qualities Heath said both freshmen
bring in practice and both have been carrying it over in recent
contests. Hawkins has started four of the past five games
and has been in double figures four times during the stretch. LeDay played his
top game of college Saturday while logging in a career-high 28 minutes.
"They're still learning the college game and how to handle
certain situations, but I love their effort and their energy," Heath said.
USF's young duo have been working to become bigger
contributors even when the Bulls leave the court after practice. Alongside
Heath at the Saturday's postgame press conference, LeDay told reporters about
the special bond he's building with Hawkins.
"We go shoot every night and come in and put in extra work
in the weight room, so we're just trying to get bigger and better," LeDay said.
"Coach believes in me, so I have to produce."
Despite the loss, Heath cracked a smile when LeDay displayed
a welcomed swagger when talking about his increasing role. LeDay, a 6-foot-7, 223-pounder, faced
off against Notre Dame senior Jack Cooley (6-9, 246 pounds) and treated the top game of his college career just like any another game.
"I'll fight against anybody. I don't really care how big
they are. They put on their shoes the same way I put on my shoes - it's
basketball," LeDay said. "We've been playing it since we were little kids. I
know how to shoot the ball and stuff like that, so I just went at him like
Watch LeDay, Hawkins and the rest of the Bulls take on
Marquette on ESPNU. USF stays on the road to face UConn on Sunday, Feb. 3 before
returning to the Sun Dome for another battle with Marquette on Feb.