The last time the Friars made the trip to South Florida they played the Sun Dome in Tampa. They lead 38-21 with 1:41 remaining in the opening half and eventually gave up 50 points in the 2nd half on their way to a devastating 79-72 loss behind 28 from Marshon Brooks. The last time these two met the Friars held on at the Dunk for a 68-63 victory. All I will say when these two met two years ago is that some guy named Dominique Jones scored 46 points in a 109-105 South Florida victory in overtime at the Dunk.
Marshon and Dominique have taken their offensive arsenal to the NBA, which leaves us at our game. The Bulls have taken advantage of what many believe has been a quite forgiving first few games in the Big East, going 5-3 in that span. They are 12-9 overall and have beaten Seton Hall, by one, and St. John’s, by sixteen, both teams the Friars lost to. The Friars have lost three straight after their 31-point victory over Louisville and are looking to add on to the left column.
WHAT TO: KNOW
Game Time: 2:00PM EST
Opponent: South Florida (12-9, 5-3)
Location: Tampa Bay Times Forum
Spread: South Florida -7.5
CBS Sports Prediction: USF 72, PC 68
WHAT TO: LOOK FOR
Guard Me: Anthony Collins has averaged 30.5 minutes as a freshman this year and is as solid as any guard in the league with the ball in his hands. Jawanza Poland (11.0 PPG and 3.8 RPG) and Hugh Robertson (5.9 PPG and 4.8 RPG) have used his 6’4 and 6’6 200 lb. frames to their advantage this season against smaller guards. The three C’s will have their hands full with these Bulls in the backcourt.
Three’s Company: South Florida comes in shooting .328% from behind the arc, but will look to Shaun Noriega (.360 from three) and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (.440% from three) to try and light it up against a Friars team that allowed Marquette to go 9-11 from three and Pittsburgh to shoot 11-20. Marquette only averages 12.0 assists as a team, so look for them to try and shoot a number of threes in the open floor.
La La Land: The Friars have LaDontae, but the Bulls have LaVonte. Mr. Dority only averages 15.1 minutes a game with 3.0 points but if I were Stan Heath and Ed Cooley I would make it a point to have these two on the floor at the same time making it the only “La” matchup the country will see this season.
Heath Bar: Stan is in his 5th season at South Florida and is looking to set the bar higher this year and in upcoming years as well. His best finish in the league was the 2009-2010 season where, thank you Dominique Jones, the Bulls went 9-9 and made it to the NIT. A win against the Friars would have his Bulls sitting at 6-3 in the Big East, behind only the 9-1 Orange, the 7-2 Golden Eagles and tied with the Hoyas with 6 wins.
“I’ll be back”: These two will meet again on February 11 at the Dunk where the loser will get a chance for revenge, Governator style.
Causing Fitz: Toarlyn Fitzpatrick was only a freshman when he hit the three against the Friars two years ago to send a heartbreaking game for the Friars into overtime. He is now a 6’8 junior that broke out in a loss to Marquette when he dropped 19 points and hit the boards for 10 rebounds. In a 74-57 win at Villanova, Fitzpatrick went 4-9 from the field and 2-4 from behind the arc. If the Bulls want to win this one he will have to be the player he was in these two games and not DePaul, where he played 24 minutes and failed to shoot the ball.
WHAT TO: READ
WHAT TO: WATCH
Mr. Jones in 2010
Vin Parise and Marshon Brooks
After USF beat Seton Hall
Anthony Crater beats Villanova in 2011 Big East Tournament
Guards after Villanova Win
WHERE TO: FOLLOW
Twitter.com: Follow @friarblog for live tweets and @friartownmayor for reactions. Be sure to follow the #pcbb hashtag for other news as well.
WHERE TO: WATCH
WHERE TO: LISTEN