TAMPA -The University of South Florida men’s basketball team started their 2009-10 season with a 110-79 exhibition win over Florida Southern at the Sun Dome on Tuesday night.
The Bulls scored more than 100 points for the first time since Nov. 17, 2007 against Florida Atlantic.
"The bright spot early on in the season was the way this game was played, up and down, up and down, and we didn't turn that ball over a lot," said USF head coach Stan Heath. "So that was a huge positive for us. Good guard play, good decision making pretty much, good shot selection, a few quickies here and there but not bad."
The Bulls got 20 points from junior guard Dominique Jones along with junior college transfer Jarrid Famous in the victory.
"It seemed like he [Famous] had another gear when the lights came on," Heath said. "I liked that about him. He seemed very comfortable out there on the court. He made some great passes, finding guys in double-teams, and passing out of the post. I think, for the most part he gave us a presence inside that we didn't have before."
Famous also added eight assists and six rebounds in his first game as a Bull. Mike Mercer, who has returned from knee surgery, scored 17 points in the start.
"I felt good in my first game being out there. I think we played good as a team being out there for the first time and the first game," Famous said. "We have a lot of things we need to work on, but for the first game I think we did a good job out there."
The Bulls had every active member of the team score at least two points including nine players with at least six points for the night.
The game was tied through the first 2:15, but that is when the Bulls began to pull away from Florida Southern. USF collected 26 points in the paint in the first half.
Bulls fans got their first taste of Famous halfway through the first half when the 6’11’ forward collected an offensive rebound and slammed home a dunk to put the Bulls up 25-12 with 8:07 left in the first half.
USF took 48-32 advantage into the locker room after shooting 51.4 percent from the field, while holding the Mocs to just 38.9 percent shooting.
Famous again wowed the crowd just after the second half when Howard tossed up an alley oop to the junior college transfer for another dunk strong dunk.
After a steal and fast-break lay-up by Jones at the 13:02 mark, the Bulls extended their lead to 24 points, the longest of the night to that point.
A three-pointer by Ryan Kardok at 3:17 left in the game gave the Bulls their 100th point, the most since 2007, and eventually extended their lead to 33 points before winning by a final of 100-79.
For the game, USF outscored the Mocs 26-4 in fast-break points as the USF bench accounted for 29 points on the night, topped by freshman Toarlyn Fitzpatrick's 14.
The Bulls shot 60 percent (45-74) from the field for the game along with 40 percent (12-20) from three-point land, compared to Florida Southern, who went 41 percent (32-78) from the floor and 25 percent (4-16) from deep.
The Bulls open the regular season against Southern Methodist in Dallas on Nov. 13, then return to the Sun Dome for the home opener on Nov. 16 against Virginia.
USF Men's Basketball Post Game Notes
Jarrid Famous finished his first action as a Bull with 20 points, six rebounds and eight assists.
The Bulls scored 100 points for the first time since Nov. 17, 2007. The Bulls did not score more than 80 points in any game during the 2008-09 season.
USF had four players score in double digits including Jones and Famous with 20 and 20 respectively. Mike Mercer added 17 points, while freshman Toarlyn Fitzpatrick put up 14 points.
Every active player for USF scored in the 110-79 win for the Bulls.