University of South Florida Bulls
KenPom: Overall 183 (218th Offense, 148th Defense)
2013-'14 Record: 12-12
Head Coach: Stan Heath
UConn will be in the XL Center tonight for the first time since their 90-66 demolition of Temple to host the USF Bulls who currently sit at 12-12 (3-8 AAC). Though certainly not impressive by any measure of basketball success, tonight's opponent was able to score a win against SMU about two weeks ago.
In what I can only imagine is the greatest win in USF basketball history, Bulls Senior Victor Rudd scored 21 points and 6-foot-8 freshman Chris Perry went for 18 and 8 in a pretty decisive 78-71 win- a far cry from the 71-54 drubbing the Mustangs handed them literally two weeks earlier in Dallas.
As we detailed in the Scouting Report, the 6-foot-9 Rudd is the unquestioned leader of this team- leading USF in both points and rebounds per game. The Bulls also have two freshman who are significant contributors. The 6-foot-10 John Egbunu was a 4-star recruit from Florida who is averaging 7.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in addition to leading the team in blocks. The aforementioned Chris Perry has been great- he's won five AAC rookie of the week honors while averaging just under 10 points and 6 rebounds on the season.
Those three big guys could pose serious problems for the Huskies if certain UConn big men get into foul trouble or decide to pull the ever familiar vanishing act. Ultimately, the UConn basketball machine is humming and we should be able to win this one. After beating Central Florida handily on Sunday, the Huskies should crush the other directional Florida school with ease.
Against UCF, Shabazz Napier recovered from a horrid shooting performance at Cincinnati, going 6-11 from the field en route to 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. His shooting will be important to watch as he deals with tendinitis in his left hand. With the Memphis game coming up on Saturday, we really need 'Bazzy to be on point. Lasan Kromah is coming off a season-high 17 point performance with seven rebounds and four steals as well. You can read more about Lansanity here courtesy of SNY's John Silver.
Injury Report: It doesn't look like Omar Calhoun will play due to a concussion suffered against UCF and DeAndre Daniels should be good to go after back spasms and ankle problems. He missed the Cincinnati game but was very aggressive, albeit inefficient, in his return to live action against UCF on Sunday.
Prediction: UConn wins 74-60
Fun Sidenote: In an effort to improve the cultural literacy of their readership, our friends at Voodoo Five (our USF counterpart) paid tribute to Connecticut Pizza. As someone who went to High School in New Haven and grew up in the area, I'm proud to share that I'm #TEAMPEPES all the way. UConn legend Scott Burrell prefers Modern. Others prefer Sally's. Never heard of Greek Pizza.. anyway good job guys.