DePaul vs. South Florida Game Preview previews Saturday's Big East showdown between the DePaul Blue Demons and the South Florida Golden Bulls

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. USF Golden Bulls - Saturday, February 9th, 1:00 p.m. (Central) – Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Illinois

Television – ESPN-U

Radio – WSCR AM 670

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USF Athletics

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USF Fans Site


Game Preview

DePaul is cut and somehow, someway they need to stop the bleeding. On the surface the Blue Demons' next opponent, South Florida, is the remedy DePaul needs to get back on track and halt their four game losing streak. The Bulls are last in the Big East with a 1-9 record (10-13 overall), and have lost nine straight. However, South Florida is coming off a highly contested defeat at the hands of the Big East's premier team in the Georgetown Hoyas. While the Bulls lost the game 63-53., they earned some confidence going into the game with DePaul.

Plaguing DePaul lately has been the fact that opposing big men have lit up DePaul at will. In the last three games, Arinze Onuaku from Syracuse (22 points on 10-13 shooting), Luke Harangody from Notre Dame (29 points on 10-22 shooting), and Randall Hanke of Providence (21 points on 8-13 shooting) have chewed up DePaul's interior defense. That trend will be at the forefront on Saturday as the Bulls have on their roster one of the best and most underrated big men in the Big East in Kentrell Gransberry (16.5 ppg and 10.7 rpg). Gransberry is a load to handle and will no doubt be the focal point of the game when matched up with DePaul's big men. The last time DePaul faced Gransberry and South Florida, Gransberry collected a career game in both points - 26, and rebounds - 23.

Even though Gransberry had a monster game the last time the two teams faced, DePaul cruised to a 70-54 victory. So maybe it is in DePaul's best interest to let Gransberry do his damage and stop South Florida's other weapons.

South Florida is not a one trick pony though as they get nearly double digit efforts from three other players.

Dominique Jones, a 6-4 freshman guard, is developing into quite a go-to player. Jones is second on the team in scoring with a 15.7 scoring average. Jones also leads the team in 3-point shooting and is a danger when he has the ball in his hands. Jones has a scorer's mentality. In early December, Jones logged back to back games of 30 points. Needless to say, Jones can get hot at a moments notice.

Also bringing stability to the Bulls lineup is 6-3 sophomore point guard Chris Howard and 6-4 junior guard Jesus Verdejo. Howard is third on the team in scoring with 9.9 ppg and a team leading 4.8 assists per game (fourth in the Big East). Howard loves to set up Gransberry, Jones, and Verdejo. Verdejo (9.5 ppg) is another weapon the Bulls love to employ.

South Florida coach Stan Heath is in his first season and is making his mark on the team. It won't be long until the Bulls are a force in the league. After successful stops at Kent State and Arkansas, Heath is trying to resurrect the Bulls into respectability in the cutthroat Big East.

While the Bulls have the league's worst record, they still come at you relentlessly and won't give up on the season. DePaul would be wise to treat this as a war and not be duped into thinking this will be easy.

DePaul needs to get back to basics and play with some passion on the defensive end. Urgency is word that seems to be lost on the Blue Demons, as they must treat this game with urgency if they have hopes of salvaging this season and extending their season by securing a Big East Tournament bid in New York.

After this game, the sledding becomes much harder for DePaul with four out of the last seven games on the road. For DePaul to start thinking about the Big East tournament, this is a game they must have.

USF coach Stan Heath on his team

"We've been a little bit of an inconsistent team. I thought we did play one of our better games against an outstanding Georgetown team."

"We're trying to figure out how do we turn the last three or four minutes of the game into a W? We're not quite there yet. We do feel like we're close to getting the job done."


DePaul Men's Basketball alum Kevin Edwards will be honored at halftime of the game as he and many other DPU alumni are inducted into the DePaul Athletics Hall of Fame.

The Last Time

On March 3rd, 2007, DePaul senior guard Sammy Mejia led the Blue Demons to a 70-54 win over USF with a 26 point performance. Junior guard Draelon Burns chipped in with 11 points. Kentrell Gransberry led the Bulls with 26 points and corralled an Allstate Arena record 23 rebounds.

USF Roster

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

0 Jones, Dominique G 6-4 205 Fr. Lake Wales, FL (Lake Wales HS)

1 Gransberry, Kentrell C 6-9 270 Sr. Baton Rouge, LA (LSU) (Woodlawn HS)

3 Howard, Chris G 6-3 200 So. Lorton, VA (Friendly HS)

5 Lovett, Eddie G 6-0 180 Sr. Riviera Beach, FL (Suncoast Community HS)

15 Chin, Orane F 6-7 195 Fr. Clarendon, Jamaica (Miramar HS)

20 Holmes, Aaron G/F 6-5 185 RFr. St. Petersburg, FL (Florida State) (St. Petersburg Catholic)

21 Saaka, Adamu "Amu" G/F 6-6 195 So. Decatur, GA (Columbia HS)

22 Bozeman, Solomon G 6-0 165 So. Magnolia, AR (Magnolia HS)

23 Verdejo, Jesus G 6-4 205 Jr. Carolina, Puerto Rico (Arizona) (The Winchendon School)

32 Williams, Aris F 6-9 235 Jr. Columbia, MD (Valparaiso) (Georgetown Prep)

33 Ajayi, Mobolaji F 6-9 225 Jr. Kano, Nigeria (Palm Beach CC) (Standard Comprehensive)

34 Esseghir, Mohamed F 6-10 225 Sr. Apollo Beach, FL (IPFW) (Sarasota Christian)

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