The Bulls have struggled this season after last season's graduation of shooting guard Dominique Jones. With just two Big East wins this season, coming against DePaul and Providence, South Florida stands in 15th place and is just 8-16 on the year (2-9 in Big East).
Here's a look at the Bulls' biggest threats:
Augustus 'Gus' Gilchrist: The junior forward has been the one bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for the Bulls, averaging 12.4 points and 6.8 rebounds on the year. He has struggled of late, averaging just 7.6 points on 23 percent shooting over the last three games, all losses. He has, however, hit the glass hard, grabbing 24 rebounds in that span. His range extends past the free throw line and he has the ability to hit threes (5-of-19), but look to see him cemented in the post tomorrow night.
Jarrid Famous: For only playing 21 minutes a night, Famous sure makes it count. Averaging nine points and 5.9 rebounds per night, the six-foot-11 Famous should make his presence felt Wednesday night. He's making 52.7 percent of his shots and is coming off a 14-point, 8-rebound performance against Syracuse. He's only averaging 0.6 blocks-per-game but is a force in the middle that Marquette slashers will have to deal with all night. A year ago he posted double-double with 12 points and 10 points against Marquette.
Here are three keys to Marquette avoiding another loss at South Florida:
Keep the pace moving: South Florida struggles on offense, averaging just 62.4 points per game, so buckets that come early and quickly will go a long way toward putting the Bulls away. Attacking on offense will also keep the South Florida bigs from posting up. They run one of the slowest offenses in the country, so setting the tempo early will be important.
Make them shoot jumpers: The downfall of Marquette in close games has been the inability to close out on jump shots, but that will be important Wednesday night. The Bulls like to pound it inside and struggle mightily from beyond the arc (29.5 percent), so Marquette would be wise to follow suit, using guards to double Gilchrist and Famous and letting the Bulls beat them with outside shots. It hasn't worked so well this year for USF.
Stay out of foul trouble: With Famous and Gilchrist manning the paint, staying away from silly fouls will be key for the Marquette bigs. The Bulls like to get to the line, with over 23 percent of their points coming from the charity stripe, and in their two wins they attempted 45 free throws and shot 80 percent. Jae Crowder, Chris Otule, and Jimmy Butler will need to play excellent defense on post moves and drives to make sure that free throw efficiency stays low.
Preview: South Florida
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