USF Begins Big East Play Against Rutgers

It's the New Year and the Bulls kick off Big East Conference play against Rutgers Wednesday night. Take a look at the Big East Opener when USF faces off against the Scarlet Knights at the Sun Dome.

Tip-off: 7 p.m. Wed. Jan.2, 2008
Location: The Sun Dome (10,411)
Television: ESPN2
Radio: WHNZ 1250.

The Bulls are finished with non-conference play, and will officially start the BIG EAST portion of the schedule at home against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights Wednesday at the Sun Dome for a nationally televised game on ESPN2.


The Series: Rutgers leads 4-1, Last Meeting: USF 62, Rutgers 40 (Jan. 24, 2007 at USF)


The Records: USF (9-4, 0-0 BIG EAST); Rutgers (8-5, 0-0 BIG EAST)


The Bulls Last Game Played: USF easily cruised by Winston-Salem State, 87-48, last Saturday at the Sun Dome. Kentrell Gransberry led the Bulls with 21 points and 14 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the year, and was named to the BIG EAST weekly honor roll. Redshirt freshman Aaron Holmes recorded 20 points in his third game as a Bull. Adamu Saaka also had a career high with 17 points on 5 of 7 shooting, as well as 5 of 6 from the free throw line.


The Scarlet Knights Last Game Played: Rutgers beat Manhattan, 73-67, last Saturday at home. J.R. Inman and Anthony Farmer both scored 16 points to lead Rutgers, and Inman also had a team-high 10 rebounds.

Bulls Snapshot: True freshman Dominique Jones has been sensational for the Bulls. The 6'4-205 pound guard leads the team in scoring at 15.6 points per game and has 27 steals. Senior center Kentrell Gransberry is second with 14.8 points per game and his 11.0 rebounds per game leads the team and is 4th nationally, he also has 15 blocks. In all, the Bulls have five players averaging double figures in scoring.  Chris Howard is averaging 11.8 points per game and leads the team with 5.8 assists per game which places him 27th nationally. Freshman Aaron Holmes is averaging 11.7 points per game through three games, and Guard Jesus Verdejo is also in double figures in scoring at 10.4 a game. After losing their first three games, first year USF coach Stan Heath and the Bulls have gone 9 of 10, with the only loss being to Wake Forest.


Scarlet Knights Snapshot: Rutgers is led by Junior forward J.R. Inman (16.1 points per game, 8.9 boards per game) and Freshman Corey Chandler (14.1 ppg, 22 steals) who may be limited due to an ankle injury. Junior guard Anthony Farmer has kicked in 11.2 points per game and Jaron Griffin has averaged 8.3 points per game. Freshman center Hamady N'Daiye leads RU with 50 blocks this season with 6.2 rebounds, and senior center Byron Joynes is averaging 6 boards per game. Rutgers as a team is averages 66.1 points per game, shooting 40.3% from the field, with 28.2% from beyond the arc, with 68.6% shooting from the line. Mike Coburn (5.9 ppg, 24 assists, 11 steals), Courtney Nelson (3.9 ppg), and Earl Pettis have all seen plenty of playing time.

After Rutgers, USF heads to Syracuse for their first BIG EAST road game on Saturday, Jan. 5, at Noon at the Carrier Dome. Saturday's game is the ESPN Regional BIG EAST Game of the Week and will be shown in Tampa on ABC WFTS. The game can also be heard on WHNZ 1250 AM and



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