Gilchrist's Return to Form Not Enough for USF

USF got what it wanted from Augustus Gilchrist when it faced Georgetown at home. The Bulls forward had 22 points and seven rebounds, with five on the offensive end, but it wasn't enough to produce a much needed victory over a ranked team

South Florida got what it wanted from forward Augustus Gilchrist when it faced Georgetown at home but it wasn't enough to produce a much needed victory over a ranked team.

Coach Stan Heath had proclaimed that to pull off the upset they would need their A game from all their players, including Gilchrist, who had started hot in the Big East but had fallen into a slump.

The Tampa Tribune pointed out that while Gilchrist was still leading the Bulls in scoring at 11.8 per game through Feb. 20, he hadn't scored more than 11 in the previous six games and has been held to single-digit points three times during that stretch while shooting just 26 percent (16-for-60) from the field.

Some of Gilchrist's struggles can be attributed to opposing teams focusing more on him, Heath said, but he thinks Gilchrist also has been forcing the issue after not finding success early.

"In fairness to big guys and to him, the one thing that really helps is if you can get big guys some easy baskets, you know, the run-out layups, the drop-off (pass) from penetration dunks and just get their motors going," Heath said.

Sometimes, hearing and reading about your problems can serve as inspiration and Gilchrist came out of it against Georgetown with 22 points and seven rebounds, five on the offensive end.


--USF's men's basketball team will be part of an eight-team field in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff in Springfield, Mass., next November. The event should provide the Bulls with some of their toughest nonconference competition for the 2011-12 season -- USF will host two games on Nov. 12 and 14 against Vermont and Marist as part of the tournament, then will play in Springfield on Nov. 19-20 against either Old Dominion or Penn State, with a 50-50 chance of playing John Calipari's Kentucky team in the final game of the tournament.

--The USF starters were Anthony Crater, Shaun Noriega, Hugh Robertson, Jarrid Famous and Augustus Gilchrist. It was the first time the Bulls have used the lineup since the season opener vs. Southern Miss. The start was only Noriega's second of the season.

--The Bulls out rebounded Georgetown, 27-25. It was the 23rd time in 28 games that they have won the rebound battle.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 -- The number of assists PG Anthony Crater had against Georgetown, the 12th time this year he has had at least five assists.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We've just got to work harder as a team and just figure out how to win games at the end. That's just the one thing that we haven't figured out. As soon as we get that we'll start cashing in on playing all these teams hard, ranked teams like this." -- USF F Augustus Gilchrist after losing by five points at home to Georgetown on Feb. 19.



--at DePaul, Feb. 26

KEY MATCHUPS: With only one game this week, South Florida has drawn what really is an important game to them. DePaul just ended its 24 game Big East losing streak with a victory over Providence. The Bulls prevailed over DePaul in Tampa. G Hugh Robertson scored 16 points to lead the Bulls in that one as they shot 49 percent against the Big East's worst defense. Going to Chicago will make the assignment tougher. South Florida must do a better job down low as big men Cleveland Melvin and Chris Faber scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, in the first game between the two teams.

FUTURE'S MARKET: South Florida is seeking one big victory to launch it into the post-season tournament. "We really want to get that win you can hang your hat on, that we haven't gotten yet," USF guard Shaun Noriega said. "We're hungry for that. We're looking forward to trying to get that." After losing to No. 9 Georgetown, 61-55, South Florida knew time for that victory was running out, although they do have a tough finish. USF has three games remaining before the Big East tournament: at DePaul next Saturday, home against Pitt on March 2 and at red hot St. John's on March 5. Coach Stan Heath told the Tampa Tribune that the Bulls have "been like a roller-coaster lately, with not playing good and playing better but not playing well enough to win, and that's what we've got to get to. I'd like to see us take things up a notch as we wind down the season and become a better basketball team, and individually as well."


--Junior G Hugh Robertson was the only Bull to start all 28 games this season through Feb. 20.

--Sophomore F Toarlyn Fitzpatrick averaged 9.9 points and 6.4 rebounds over his last eight games through Feb. 20.

--Junior F Ron Anderson had at least five rebounds in the first 19 games.

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