USF Men's Basketball Preview - Cincinnati

USFNation.com previews the matchup on Saturday between the South Florida Bulls (10-7, 1-3) and the 19th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats (16-2-, 5-0). The game will tipoff at 5:00 p.m., and can be seen on ESPNU.

TAMPA BAY, FL.-- Fresh off one of their poorest performances of the season against the SMU Mustangs, the Bulls (10-7, 1-3) hope to rebound at home on Saturday night against the 19th-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats (16-2, 5-0) at 5:00 p.m. on ESPNU.

The two previous times that the Bulls squared off with a ranked opponent, it's hasn't quite went their way, resulting in losses against Oklahoma State and Memphis. Behind one of the nation' top defenses, the Bearcats start to the season matches their best start in Mick Cronin's eight years as the head coach of the University of Cincinnati.

The Bearcats lead the American Athletic Conference with 56.3 points allowed per game, holding opponents to 38.3 percent shooting as well. The Bulls will have their hands full, and are currently last in the conference, scoring just 68.9 points per game.

Leading the Bearcats is the conference's leading scorer at 18.6 points per game, Sean Kilpatrick. The 6-foot-4 senior guard has scored in double-figures in all but one game in 2013, including a 22-point outing against the Temple Owls last time out. Kilpatrick also averages 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists on 41 percent shooting, including 85 percent from the charity stripe.

Upfront for Cronin's team, is 6-foot-8, 230-pound Florida native, Justin Jackson. The senior out of Cocoa Beach is averaging 11.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game, shooting 55 percent from the field. So far this season, Jackson has recorded four or more blocks in ten games for the Bearcats. The senior hasn't attempted a three-point field goal this season, and shoots just 47 percent from the free-throw line.

The Bearcats have won their last nine games, and hold the advantage in the series against South Florida, 24-8.


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