Men's Basketball Preview: Bethune-Cookman

On Tuesday, the South Florida Men's Basketball team hosts Bethune-Cookman in their second contest of the young 2013 season. USFNation.com breaks down the Bulls' upcoming opponent out of Daytona Beach.

TAMPA BAY, FL--- Waking up on Tuesday with a 1-0 record to start off the young 2013-14 season, the Bulls will look to boost their record to 2-0 on the season when Bethune-Cookman visits the Sun Dome at 7 p.m.

Highflying forward Victor Rudd led Stan Heath's club with a game-high 23 points and poured in all 10 of his free throws attempts in the Bulls' 72-62 win over Tennessee Tech last Saturday. Rudd wasn't alone, though.

Bartow native and South Florida freshman Chris Perry was the first freshman since 2006 to score 14 points in their debut in a Bulls uniform and was named the AAC Rookie of the Week. Along with Perry, highly touted center and former 4-star prospect John Egbunu was impressive in his own right. The two highly decorated freshman combined for 21 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks in the win on Saturday.

With all-conference point guard Anthony Collins likely out of the lineup, Corey Allen Jr. will get his second straight start in place of the talented Collins on Tuesday night, and will have his hands full as well.

Ricky Johnson, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound junior who played his prep years in Akron at Lebron James' school, St. Vincent - St. Mary, led the Wildcats against Trinity Baptist in their season opener with 22 points, six rebounds, three assists and steal from the point guard position.

The Wildcats bring back just four players with game time experience from the previous season and lost five key contributors. HBCU All-American Adrien Coleman graduated after scoring 1,010 points in his two seasons in Daytona Beach and registered the program's first-triple double since 1972. All-time three-point field goal leader Kevin Dukes, Paul Scotland, Alex Smith and Javoris Bryant are gone as well. Both Dukes and Bryant were members of the 2011 Wildcat MEAC regular season championship team.

In their 91-74 win over Trinity Baptist, several of the Wildcat contributors hail from the state of Ohio. Asides from Ricky Johnson's strong performance at point guard, Maurice Taylor registered 15 and Clemmye Owens poured in 12.

The Bulls must continue to crash the glass and box out when a shot goes up because all 11 players that entered the game for Bethune-Cookman recorded a rebound in their season opening win. The Wildcats largest play is 6-foot-10, 215-pound senior forward, Daquan Brown. In their opener, Brown recorded just a point and three bounds in six minutes. The Bulls must take advantage of the size inside and limit the fast break points.

The last meeting between these two teams was on New Years Eve in 2006. The Bulls own the series with a 13-1 career record over the Wildcats. Third year coach Gravelle Craig will look to give Bethune-Cookman their first 2-0 start since 2010-11, which was the year the Wildcats won their first-ever MEAC regular season championship.


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