WHO: Bethune-Cookman at USF WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday WHERE: Sun Dome TV: ESPN3 RADIO: 98.7-FM The Fan (Jim Lighthall, Todd Kalas) LIVE STATS: GoUSFBulls.com LIVE TWITTER UPDATES: @USFMBB PURCHASE TICKETS
TAMPA, Fla. – Coming off a season-opening win over Tennessee Tech on Saturday, the USF men’s basketball team will host Bethune-Cookman Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Sun Dome.
The Bulls are 1-0 after Saturday’s 72-62 win, led by senior Victor Rudd’s game-high 23 points. The Wildcats are 1-0 following their 91-74 victory over Trinity Baptist. USF leads the all-time series 13-1.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and can be heard in Tampa on 98.7 The Fan with Jim Lighthall and Todd Kalas calling the action.
LAST GAME » Chris Perry’s 14 points in his USF debut was the most scored by a Bulls freshman in a season opener since Solomon Bozeman scored 23 points (4-of-8) in a 77-61 win over Buffalo on Nov. 13, 2006 at the Sun Dome. He also added seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 27 minutes of play and was named the first American Conference Rookie of the Week on Monday.
» Victor Rudd’s 11 free throws made broke a career high (6) and was also the most free throws made by a Bulls player since Nov. 18, 2010 when Ron Anderson Jr. went 10-of-11 at UCF.
» After Tennessee Tech cut the Bulls lead to four points (54-50), Victor Rudd scored 13 of the USF’s final 18 points (all in the last 3:45) to secure the win.
» Free throws will be taken far more frequent than last season across college basketball due to new rules being emphasized. USF’s 40 free throws attempted was the first time the Bulls attempted 40 free throws since Dec. 8, 2007 when they shot 40 against UAB.
» The Bulls defense held Tennessee Tech to 29.6 percent (8-of-27) shooting from the field in the first half. The last time a USF opponent shot under 30 percent for a half was Feb. 27, 2013 at Pittsburgh when the Panthers were held to 26.9 percent (7-for-26).
SAY WHAT? » People will learn quickly about South Florida’s two freshman bigs. John Egbunu + Chris Perry combine for 21 +14 in Bulls win over Tenn Tech. - Jon Rothstein @JonRothstein
ALLEN JR. » While much was made of the debuts of freshmen John Egbunu and Chris Perry, newcomer Corey Allen Jr. had a solid outing against Tennessee Tech. The junior transfer from San Antonio College started at point guard in place of injured returner Anthony Collins and had seven points and seven assists to just three turnovers while playing 36 minutes.
BIG BODIES » After outrebounding opponents by 3.8 boards per game in 2011-12, the Bulls reversed fortunes and were outrebounded by 3.4 per game. Brought in was freshmen Chris Perry (6-8, 245) and John Egbunu (6-7, 230) to beef up the frontcourt. Also, 7-3, 315-pound center Jordan Omogbehin is back for his sophomore season, dropping 19 pounds from last season.
CHANGE OF PACE » Up-tempo is the name of the game for the Bulls in 2013-14, after spending the last few years using the shot clock and limiting opponents’ possessions. The Bulls have spent the preseason practicing with a 20-second shot clock in an effort to endorse the up-tempo style of play in USF’s new offensive scheme. USF also plans to use strong defensive pressure to fuel the offense in 2013-14.
INFLUX OF TALENT » Returning two of its top three scorers in Victor Rudd and Anthony Collins, USF brings back 61 percent of its scoring from a year ago.
» The Bulls’ recruiting class was one of the best in the nation this year, ranked 12th by HoopScoop.com, and 21st nationally by ESPN.com, coach Stan Heath’s highest-ranked recruiting class
MILESTONE ON THE HORIZON » Senior forward Victor Rudd is 275 points away from becoming the 18th player to reach 1,000 career points at USF. Now in his third season with the Bulls, Rudd totaled 38 points as a freshman at Arizona State (2009-10).
» Junior guard Anthony Collins is 125 assists from landing in the top five at USF for career assists. Collins produced 194 assists last season, but should Collins collect even 179 (one assist above his average assists per year), he will tie Radenko Dobras for second all-time with 534 assists.
NEW CONFERENCE » It is the inaugural season for the American Athletic Conference which took six members of last season’s Big EAST Conference and four members of last season’s Conference USA to form the 10-team league. The American will look different in 2014-15 as Louisville leaves for the ACC and Rutgers leaves for the Big Ten and the conference brings in East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa from C-USA.
» Through Sunday, The American is 9-0 and one of three conferences undefeated this season (Big Ten, West Coast).