Posted on: January 1, 2009 9:37 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2009 4:35 pm

South Florida Bulls Game Preview (Hello 2009!)

South Florida Bulls 5-7

South Florida Starting Lineup:
G Chris Howard Jr.
G Dominique Jones Soph.
G Jesus Verdejo Sr.
F Mobolaji Ajayi Sr.
C Alex Rivas Sanchez Fr.

Key Bench Players:
F/C Augustus Gilchrist fr.
G Mike Mercer Jr.
F Aris Williams Sr.
F Eladio Espinosa Fr.
G Justin Leemow Fr.

Previous Game:  G Domonique Jones scored 36 of SF's 68 to defeat Iona 68-55.  USF snapped a two game losing streak with the win, Jesus Verdejo chipped in 14 points but no one else had more than 6 points.

Game Preview:  USF is the only BE team with a sub .500 record, at 5-7 they are the obvious cellar dweller of the BE.  But, even at 5-7, they are 4-1 at home.  All us Cuse fans can still remember that 11 point loss @ USF last season, one of the big losses on last season's resume, and the Bulls will be hungry to do it again.  USF has 2 players that Cuse has to key on.  Guards Jesus Verdejo and Dominique Jones average 16 and 17 points per game respectively, they have made 68 and 69 FG's this season, the next highest on that list for USF is Aris Williams with 23.  Jesus Verdejo is a shooter, he's shooting 42% from 3 this season, Jones is more of an all around player.  He can shoot dribble drive and pass pretty well.  After those two, Mike Mercer and Freshman transfer Gilchrist have seen action in some games off the bench lately and have produced, but they are really not going to take over the game at any point.  Cuse should not be afraid to foul in this one either as USF shoots 57.7% from the FT line, 5th worst in the country.  That combined with the fact that Syracuse top 15 in the country for ppg, and shoots over 50% from the field this season does not bode well for the Bulls.  One bad break for Cuse is a Paul Harris injury, he cut a gash in his right hand ring finger going for a block against Seton Hall, he is questionable.  Two players looking to continue to roll are Eric Devendorf and Andy Rautins.  Devendorf had 20 points and 5 assitsts in his return game against Seton Hall.  Andy Rautins is averaging 27.5 points in his last 2 games and is shooting 61% from 3 (16-26).  Talk about being on a roll, let's see if a trip outside the friendly confines of the Carrier Dome will cause his hot streak to end.

My Prediction:  USF is the worst team in the BE at 5-7 they have had a trough go at it in the "easier" part of the schedule.  It will be tough for them to win any BE games this season, the games they do win will be because Jones and Verdejo each have 30 points.  Don't expect that tomorrow, Cuse wins 86-70, Rautins continues hot streak.

Final Score: 59-54 Syracuse
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