Men's Basketball Team Preview: Tennessee Tech

On Saturday night, the South Florida Men's Basketball team opens up regular season play at 7:00 p.m. in the Sun Dome against Tennessee Tech. USFNation.com breaks down the visiting opponent out of Tennessee.

TAMPA BAY, FL.--- Entering the offseason, after a disappointing showing in conference play with a record of 3-15 in 2012, one of the main objectives for South Florida Men's Basketball coach Stan Heath was to add size, strength and skill in the front court going forward into the 2013 season.

The Bulls did just that by adding 4-star and the 6th ranked center in the 2013 class, John Egbunu, a true freshman out of Fort Walton Beach, and 3-star Bartow (Fla.) native, Chris Perry.

The 6-foot-10 Egbunu and the 6-foot-8 Perry combined for 20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in their debut win over Barry University on Monday, surpassing expectations by many Bulls fans in their exhibition matchup.

Not to take anything away from Barry, but that win was against a Division-II opponent. The real test for the young big men and the Bulls comes tonight when the Bulls open up regular season play inside the Sun Dome at 7:00 p.m. against Tennessee Tech.

In 2012, Tennessee Tech averaged 33.5 rebounds per game while playing in the Ohio Valley Conference. If everything goes as planned for the Bulls, they should control the glass from the get go against the Golden Eagles.

"They're very good on the glass," Heath said earlier this week.

The Golden Eagles enter the contest tonight without four of their starters from last season, but return senior forward Dennis Ogbe, who averaged 10.8 points and 5.4 rebounds a year ago. The skilled forward had a season high against Morehead State in the last game of the season with 26 points, including five three pointers. Ogbe is a do-it-all forward who can hurt you both inside and outside.

Jeremiah Samarrippas, a quick-and-slippery senior guard at Tennessee Tech, will be keeping the Bulls on their heels all night with his ability to make others around him better. In his first with the Golden Eagles, the Bartow native recorded 123 assists and averaged 9.5 points per game and 1.8 steals.

Tennessee Tech's Men's Basketball team is no stranger to the big stage and bright lights. In 2012, the Golden Eagles had consecutive road contests against nationally ranked Oklahoma State and the Auburn Tigers.

South Florida is an all-time 31-11 in season openers and look to pickup their thirty-second opening season win tonight at 7:00 p.m. when the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech invade the Sun Dome.


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