Bulls Hoopsters are Better than Their Record

The Bulls are a young team, and are also missing one of their top players in Gus Gilchrist. On Saturday USF plays at Providence, a solid team and it's going to take a great effort to knock them off. But this is a game South Florida can steal. They just have to keep fighting and improving - something they have been doing all season long.


The Bulls are a young team. It's important to remember that. They are also missing one of their top players in Augustus Gilchrist. It's important to remember that, too.

This is a good basketball team. Better than the 1-5 conference record indicates. Some pieces, such as Anthony Crater and Chris Howard, are starting to play better and with more confidence. Dominique Jones is a complete player - he does more than just fill it up.

The Bulls, who had five players in double-figures scoring for the first time this season in the win over Rutgers, had four in double figures against the Bearcats. They know that basketball is a team game. Against the Scarlet Knights, they shared the basketball, looked for good shots and took advantage of their guys inside.

Cincinnati proved to be a tougher match, but they were in the game until the very end. And they kept fighting.

Five guys played 32 or more minutes against the Bearcats so their isn't a lot of depth here. But there is a lot of talent.

The Bulls play at Providence on Saturday. The Friars are a solid team and it's going to take a great effort to knock them off. But this is a game South Florida can steal. They just have to keep fighting and improving - something they have been doing all season long.

CINCINNATI 78, SOUTH FLORIDA 70: The Bulls spent the whole game hanging around. But the Bearcats kept them at arms length, eventually pulling away late in the game.

Two steals by Anthony Crater cut the Bearcats' lead to 61-56 with 5:31 to play. The 9-4 run came when it looked as if Cincinnati was ready to pull away. But the Bearcats twice went inside and scored layups while South Florida launched a couple of deep threes that missed the mark and - finally - the Bearcats put the visitors from the south away for good.

South Florida fell to 11-7 overall and 1-5 in the Big East. The Bearcats improved to 13-6, 4-3 Big East.

Dominique Jones scored 21 points and Jarrid Famous had 17 and Chris Howard 16 for the Bulls. Deonta Vaughn led the Bearcats with 20 points.


--Junior Dominique Jones, who scored 21 against Cincinnati and 20 in the win over Rutgers, has scored 20 or more points 32 times in his career, including 10 this season. Jones, who has scored 20 or more in four straight, was 8 of 19 from the floor, but only 1 of 7 from three-point range against the Bearcats.

--Jarrid Famous continues to play well for South Florida. He had one of his best games of the season against Rutgers, finishing with his fifth double-double of the season (13 points and 12 rebounds). He had another nice game on Wednesday, finishing with 14 points and seven rebounds against the Bearcats.

--G Anthony Crater, who missed the first part of the season because of NCAA transfer rules, missed all 13 shots in his first two games of the season. But against Rutgers, the Ohio State transfer scored 10 points on 3 of 6 shooting. He almost brought South Florida back in the game with consecutive steals late in the game. But he also took two long three-pointers late in the game that didn't come close. He finished with just four points in 32 minutes.

ON THE SPOT: The Bulls dominated Rutgers in the paint, outscoring the Scarlet Knights 42-28 in the paint on Saturday. But Cincinnati was not afraid to come inside against the Bulls and muscle their way to the rim with the game on the line. They scored twice inside to push a 63-58 lead to 67-58 late in the game.

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.


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.


Syracuse 82, South Florida 65
West Virginia 69, South Florida 50
South Florida 73, Rutgers 64
Cincinnati 78, South Florida 70


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 played four straight against the second level of conference teams. They would hope to be able to pull out a win or two and possibly another at home against Seton Hall before tackling the elite again with a home game against Pittsburgh and a road game at Georgetown.


--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.

--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.

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