DePaul vs. South Florida Game Preview

The Blue Demons travel to Tampa for a Big East throwdown against the USF Bulls on Thursday night.

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. USF Bulls – Thursday, January 27th, 8 p.m. Central – Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida

Television – ESPNU

Radio – WSCR AM 670

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Game Preview

In the throes of the challenging Big East schedule, in which DePaul has dropped its first seven games, the warmer climate of Tampa could be just the respite the Blue Demons need.

On Thursday night, the Demons (0-7 in Big East play, 6-13 overall) will once again be looking for their first Big East win this season as they travel to Tampa to take on the South Florida Bulls. At 1-7 (7-14 overall) in the Big East, the Bulls are not that much better.

Despite losing their last 20 Big East games and not winning on the road in more than two years, this contest figures to be one of DePaul's good chances to win a Big East game.

South Florida has not recovered after losing All-Big East first team member Dominique Jones to the NBA Draft following last season. South Florida proved to be a formidable foe last year as they finished 9-9 in the conference (20-13 overall) and making the NIT. But this year has been a struggle as the team collectively tries to replace the scoring punch Jones provided.

South Florida is coming off a 56-46 defeat at West Virginia on Sunday, while DePaul is coming off an 80-50 drubbing at home to Pittsburgh.

The Bulls are paced by 6-10 junior center/forward Gus Gilchrist and his team leading 13.2 ppg. Gilchrist is a load to handle inside, and he has shown to have a nice touch from the perimeter.

Outside of Gilchrist, the Bulls have gotten a boost from a pair of junior college transfers in Jawanza Poland and Hugh Robertson. Poland is second on the team in scoring with 10.3 ppg, while Robertson is tied for third with 8.9 ppg.

South Florida also gets contributions from Anthony Crater, who leads the team in assists 4.3 apg, Jarrid Famous (8.9 ppg) and Ron Anderson Jr., a transfer from Kansas State who leads the team in rebounds with 7.4 a game.

This game will come down to defense, as neither team has shown the consistent ability to put the ball in the hoop. DePaul is 13th in the league in scoring (69.2 ppg) and 14th in field goal percentage (.429), while South Florida is last in the league in scoring (62.6 ppg) and 15th in field goal percentage (.415).

With South Florida employing many newcomers, this is a game where Oliver Purnell's vaunted pressure defense could have an effect.

If DePaul can't win this game then it may be a while, as a pair of Top 25 teams in Notre Dame at home, and a road trip to Louisville are next on the slate.

The Last Time

On March 9th, 2010 at New York's Madison Square Garden, the USF Bulls knocked DePaul out of the Big East tournament with a 58-49 win. Will Walker led the way for the Blue Demons with 20 points. Dominique Jones scored 20 in the winning effort for the Bulls.

USF Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Prev School)

1 Anderson Jr., Ron F 6-8 255 RJr. Upper Marlboro, Md. (Kansas State) (McCallie School - Tenn.)

23 Burwell, Mike G 6-6 210 So. East Brunswick, N.J. (South Kent School - Conn.) (Cardinal McCarrick HS)

10 Crater, Anthony G 6-1 170 Jr. Flint, Mich. (Ohio State) (Brewster Academy - N.H.)

25 Damour, Alberto F 6-5 225 Sr. Poinciana, Fla. (Poinciana HS)

3 Dority, LaVonte G 6-1 195 Fr. Chicago, Ill. (Edwin G. Foreman HS)

31 Famous, Jarrid F 6-11 240 Sr. Bronx, N.Y. (Westchester Community College - N.Y.) (Blessed Sacrament HS)

32 Fitzpatrick, Toarlyn F 6-8 230 So. Tampa, Fla. (King HS)

24 Gilchrist, Augustus F 6-10 245 Jr. Clinton, Md. (Maryland) (Progressive Christian Academy - Md.)

11 Haynes, Shedrick G 6-0 180 Jr. Bradenton, Fla. (Lackawanna College) (Booker HS)

13 Heath, Jordan G 6-0 185 Fr. Detroit, Mich. (Tampa Prep)

22 Noriega, Shaun G 6-4 195 So. North Port, Fla. (North Port HS)

5 Poland, Jawanza G 6-4 200 So. Wichita, Kan. (Hutchinson CC) (Wichita East)

34 Robertson, Hugh G 6-6 202 Jr. Macon, Ga. (Tallahassee CC) (Northeast HS)

Rudd, Victor F 6-7 207 So. Los Angeles, Calif. (Arizona State) (Findlay Prep (Nev.))

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