USF Men's Basketball Preview - Memphis

The South Florida Bulls (9-4) open up conference play inside the Sun Dome against the Memphis Tigers (9-2) this evening, and previews the matchup.

TAMPA BAY, FL.---The South Florida Bulls (9-4) hope to end 2013 with a bang after they square off with the No. 18 Memphis Tigers (9-2) at 7:00 this evening in the Sun Dome. But the Bulls will be taking the hardwood without Preseason All-AAC selection Anthony Collins for the fourth consecutive game due to soreness and tendinitis in the point guard's left knee.

For the Tigers, they lead the American Athletic Conference with 9.9 steals per game, and have won eight of their last nine games, including their last contest against Jackson State this past Saturday.

First year Bull Corey Allen Jr. will have his hands full on the defensive end for Stan Heath's club this evening. Joe Jackson, a former 5-star prospect and Memphis Native, is a quick-and-slippery guard that's averaging 14.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists a game on 43 percent shooting for Josh Pastner's Tigers. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound guard is also shooting 87 percent from the charity stripe on the year.

Upfront for the Tigers is 6-foot-9, 245-pound, Shaq Goodwin. The big bruising forward is one of three tigers averaging double figures on the year. But that's one of many things he provides for the Tigers. On the year, Goodwin is averaging 13.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 2.0 blocks on 67 percent shooting. Goodwin might be the Bulls' frontcourt's biggest test yet.

Playing alongside Jackson is 6-foot-1, 200-pound guard, Michael Dixon Jr. The former Missouri Tiger is averaging 10.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals on 45 percent shooting for Memphis. The Kansas City native is also shooting 32 percent from downtown.

Others players expected to contribute on the night for Memphis is 6-foot-4, 220-pound guard Chris Crawford, 6-foot-8 freshman Austin Nichols, and 6-foot-3 guard Geron Johnson to name a few.

Though they haven't played since 2005, the Tigers have won 11 of the last 12 meetings with the Bulls. Tipoff is set for 7:00 this evening and can been seen on ESPN2.

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