D-Jones Needs More Help - Getting Inside USF

It's hard to win in the BIG EAST when you have only one scoring threat, and that's been the situation at USF since Gus Gilchrist when down with an injury. Saturday Jones scored 20 pts, but finally got some help, getting 13 pts from Jarrid Famous & Mike Mercer, and 12 from Chris Howard as the Bulls beat Rutgers. If USF is to get on any kind of roll in the Big East, the time is now.

GETTING INSIDE

It's hard to win when you have only one scoring threat, and that's been the situation at South Florida since Augustus Gilchrist, a big man who also can hit an outside shot, when down with an injury.

Against West Virginia, for example, guard Dominique Jones scored 19 first-half points and seemed ready to have a big game as South Florida trailed by only two at the half.

The Mountaineers, however, turned up the defensive pressure on Jones and held him to just nine points in the second half. Jones got no offensive support from his teammates, who only contributed 11 points in the second half.

Jones was clearly frustrated.

"Somebody's got to hit shots," Jones said. "(Today) I'm going to question everybody. Somebody's got to step up and hit shots. We can't go on the whole year with just me as the offensive threat."

One thing is certain: Jones has respect throughout the league.

"He doesn't have that complementary offensive threat," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey. "I'm scared to death of him and we have to play him again. We dodged a bullet and got out of town."

Brey compared Jones to former Philadelphia 76er Andrew Toney.

"He's a big, strong scoring guard," Brey said. "Dominique Jones is one of the best players in our league and a guy who will be a great pro. He's a first-team all-league guy."

Jones added 20 as South Florida righted its ship with a victory over Rutgers on Jan. 15 as he found some help, getting 13 points from Jarrid Famous and Mike Mercer, and 12 from Chris Howard.

"Dominique desperately wants to win and he knows a winning formula is not going to be him doing it by himself," coach Stan Heath told the Tampa Tribune. "The words he said, he didn't personally attack anyone; it was just a team reference."

NOTES, QUOTES

--New South Florida football coach Skip Holtz received a standing ovation when he was introduced to the crowd at halftime of the game against Rutgers.

--Sophomore transfer F Anthony Crater finally scored his first points for the Bulls against Rutgers after going 0-for-13 in his first two games. He scored 10 off the bench.

ON THE SPOT: Junior C Jarrid Famous has to help take up the slack left by Augustus Gilchrist's absence, and he seems to be beginning to do it, scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for a double-double against Rutgers. It was his fifth double-double of the year. His play inside will help greatly when Gilchrist, who can shoot outside, returns from his leg injury. "I thought (Famous) was a demon on the boards," Coach Stan Heath told The St. Petersburg Times. "He battled. He was getting every rebound."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's too good of a league to try to beat people of this caliber with one player." -- Coach Stan Heath, on trying to win in the Big East with only G Dominique Jones scoring.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

SEASON RECAP: South Florida ran through the non-conference schedule with hope, but an injury to F Augustus Gilchrist took away a big man who could balance the scoring of Dominique Jones and dropped the Bulls into the bottom half of the Big East. Jones has continued to score, although defenses are really concentrating on him, and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick has been forced to fill in for Gilchrist.

PLAYER ROTATION: Usual Starters -- PG Chris Howard, G Dominique Jones, G Mike Mercer, F Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, F Jarrid Famous. Key Subs -- G Anthony Crater.

GAME REVIEW:

Syracuse 82, South Florida 65
West Virginia 69, South Florida 50
South Florida 73, Rutgers 64

GAME PREVIEW:

at Cincinnati, Wednesday, Jan. 20
at Providence, Saturday, Jan. 23
vs. Seton Hall, Thursday, Jan. 28
vs. Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 31
at Georgetown, Wednesday, Feb. 3

IN FOCUS: If South Florida is to get on any kind of roll in the Big East, the time is now. Beginning with the Rutgers game, they play four straight against the second level of conference teams. They would hope to be able to pull out a win or two at Cincinnati and Providence or at home against Seton Hall before tackling the elite again with a home game against Pittsburgh and a road game at Georgetown.

ROSTER REPORT:

--South Florida had been reporting that F Augustus Gilchrist's ankle sprain would keep him out until the end of January but has revised that and says the injury will linger into February.

It's hard to win in the BIG EAST when you have only one scoring threat, and that's been the situation at USF since Gus Gilchrist when down with an injury. Saturday Jones score 20 pts, but finally got some help, getting 13 points from Jarrid Famous and Mike Mercer, and 12 from Chris Howard as the Bulls got their first conference win over Rutgers. If USF is to get on any kind of roll in the Big East, the time is now.


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