South Florida was once again led by Junior Kentrell Gransberry, who had another double-double, scoring 16 points and adding 13 rebounds. Gransberry controlled the boards and used that big body of his to push around any of the Rutgers players who dared to guard him.
The Bulls offense got hot early in the game, scoring tough points inside and hitting wide open three pointers. The crowd was pumped up as the Bulls never once relinquished the lead to Rutgers.
Rutgers fouled early and often and seemed confused by South Florida's offensive scheme. Center Kentrell Gransberry would set a pick up high, as the forwards, Melvin Buckley and McHugh Mattis would run a loop to the corners, leaving them wide open for 15 foot jumpers or a drive to the hoop if necessary. The offense really executed this scheme well; much credit is due to Head Coach Robert McCollum. This also got the Bulls to the free throw line, another area the Bulls improved dramatically on. The team shot 72.2% from the free throw line and Gransberry went 5-7. History shows the Bulls usually lack in this department, but this game was different.
Strong guard play from Chris Howard and Jesus Verdejo also contributed to the Bulls big win over Rutgers. They each had 10 points and limited their turnovers to a combined three. They played aggressive on defense, grabbing 7 steals and forcing the Scarlet Knights to take low-percentage shots. It seemed like these two had good chemistry on the court and we should hope that Coach McCollum pairs them up again.
Rutgers shot horribly from the field, hitting 1 out of 17 three's and shooting only 27.6% from the field. This was due in large part to the tough defense by the Bulls.
South Florida's strong performance against Rutgers should help them against a reputable opponent in Marquette on Sunday.
South Florida's Jesus Verdejo (23) strips the ball away from Rutgers guard Courtney Nelson (3) Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2007, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
South Florida's Kentrell Gransberry, left, and Melvin Buckley (3) team up to stop Rutgers forward Ollie Bailey (13) during a college basketball game Wednesday night, Jan. 24, 2007, in Tampa, Fla. South Florida defeated Rutgers 62-40. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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