USF MBB Opens BIG EAST Play At UConn Tuesday

The University of South Florida men's basketball team opens its second season of competition in the BIG EAST Conference Tuesday night at nationally ranked Connecticut.

The Bulls open their second season of competition in the BIG EAST Tuesday night at nationally ranked UConn.  The game will be broadcast as part of the league's television package and will be available in the greater Tampa area on WFTS-TV.  Bob Picozzi (play-by-play) and Donny Marshall (color analyst) will have the call for USF's second television appearance of the year.  The matchup with the Huskies will mark USF's fourth in a seven-day span.


Bulls Hope To Extend League Win Streak 

USF posted just one BIG EAST victory in its inaugural campaign in the league, earning a win over nationally ranked Georgetown in the season finale. 

The Bulls will have their work cut out for them when they attempt to post back-to-back conference wins against another top-25 opponent in UConn.  The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Bulls as they travel to another top-25 program on Jan. 7 when they face Pittsburgh.

The team will finally have a chance to catch up on some rest following the outing with the Panthers as five of the squad's next seven contests come at the Sun Dome.


USF Rebounding At A Rapid Rate 

The Bulls concluded the non-conference portion of its schedule out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 6.2 boards per game.

USF is currently ranked sixth in the BIG EAST (through games of Dec. 30) in rebounding margin (+6.4), fourth in defensive rebounds (26.31 drpg.) and 10th in offensive rebounds (12.15 orpg.). 

Should the team maintain its current advantage, the gap on the boards would be the largest in program history.  The 1989-90 squad owns the current mark after grabbing 5.5-more caroms than its opponents.

USF has finished with a positive rebounding margin in 19 of its previous 35 campaigns.


 League Opener Provides A Shot-Blocking Show 

Tonight's league-opening matchup against UConn showcases two of the nation's top shot blockers.

USF's McHugh Mattis is currently ranked first in the BIG EAST with 4.21 blocks per game and UConn's Hasheem Thabeet is right behind at 4.17 blocks per outing. 

Mattis owns at least one block in all 14 outings this season, with a career-best 10 swats coming against Winston-Salem State.


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