Ken DeCelles runs the South Florida sports blog “Voodoo 5”. We did a question exchange for the Saturday rematch between the Friars and Bulls.
You can follow him on Twitter @astrobull
Friarblog.com: First of all, I don’t think we ever got any formal thanks for starting your little run that to many big wins and loads of national attention.
KD: My apologies. Thank you for kick-starting the USF bandwagon. Its been in the garage for a decade, so it was nice to be able to give that thing some mileage before it died midway through the St. Johns game.
Friarblog.com: Since the 4 game winning streak was snapped, USF has lost to some
tough teams (Nova, Marquette). But St. John’s? Really? Even we beat them!
KD: Teams are figuring out that we have no outside shooters. Everyone is playing a zone defense against us and we cant shoot ourselves out of it. Even Villanova played a little zone on Wednesday and they never do that.
Friarblog.com: Correct me if I’m wrong, but USF has never finished above the bottom 4 since joining the BIG EAST. Even if the NCAA Bubble talk has evaporated, the season would have to be considered a huge success if that’s how they finished, right? Or do you have the taste of success now and want more?
KD: All I asked from the team this year was get to 16 wins and then some sort of tournament, even a CBI bid would have made me happy. Since it looks like we are pretty much in for the NIT, this season has been a huge success even with our recent slide. Heath has preached patience, and it looks like we are getting a decent foundation in place here in Tampa.
Next season will be an entirely different animal. With Jones back for his senior year along with a great core of players back, I would hope that the Bulls will go dancing for the first time in 19 years.
Friarblog.com: In the first matchup at the DUNK, big man Augustus Gilchrist was out with an injury. He’s been back for the past 4 games, but based on the stats he might have been a little rusty. Will he have a big impact against the Friars, or he is still trying to get up to speed?
KD: I really don’t think that Gus is at 100% right now. Hopefully he can go out there and get 10 points and grab some boards, but anything that he provides us down low is a bonus. Hopefully the rust kicks off soon though, it would be nice to see him start shooting well from outside and opening up the lane for our slashers.
Friarblog.com: Dominique Jones almost broke the BIG EAST scoring record last time against Providence. Assuming (and this is a big assumption) PC makes an adjustment to keep him from putting up 40+ points, what will USF do to counter?
KD: Create turnovers, get guys like Jarrid Famous and Mike Mercer some room to run and play some suffocating defense. If that doesn’t work, praying always helps.
Friarblog.com: Since the PC game, USF has been involved in mostly low scoring
games with slow paces. Are they up for another run and gun style game?
KD: I hope so. USF plays best when its wide open, so hopefully Saturday’s game will be another high scoring affair.
Friarblog.com: Any predictions to how this one will be played out?
KD: I’m sure it will be a high scoring affair, and I think the home court advantage will lift USF over the top. Bulls win 83-77. Jones gets off his slump and goes for 28, and Greedy will get on SportsCenter for doing something awesome.