Wednesday, November 26, 2008

USF Bulls Basketball Update - Week of Nov. 26th

By JC De La Torre

There was a time back in the day when the start of the USF Basketball season would greeted with great fanfare. With the decline of the program and the rise of the football program, the Bulls basketball team has pretty much been second fiddle. It's understandable considering the Bulls performance since joining the powerhouse Big East.

Until the football season is over, we won't really be focusing too much on Bulls basketball. Truth be told, even when football season is over - we might not. Oh, we'll chronicle the bigger games of the Bulls schedule - but let's face it - covering a 30 point blowout to one of the Big East powers isn't exactly exciting reading (unless you're a fan of said Big East power). We all hope the Bulls will be competitive this year in the Big East and we do think they'll be better, but realistically an NIT bid may be the highest aspiration if you're a Bulls fan. Then again, who knows? Many said that the Rays could never compete in the AL East and they found their way - maybe South Florida will, too.

In any event, let's give you some thumbnails of the season thus far -

South Florida 60, Southern Methodist 46
Jesus Verdejo scored 18 points and Mobolaji Ajay nabbed 11 rebounds to lead the way for South Florida over the SMU Mustangs. The Bulls were strong defensively, limiting the Mustangs to only 28% shooting and out rebounding the Mustangs 43-39.

Virgina 77, South Florida 75
USF lost a heartbreaker on the road as Virginia's Slyven Landesberg scored with 13 seconds left and sank a free throw with six seconds to go to seal the game for the Cavaliers. Landesberg scored 21 pts in the game, while Jamil Tucker tossed in another fifteen points and seven rebounds for Virginia. The Bulls were solid defensively again, holding Virginia to only 40% shooting from the floor. The Bulls Dominique Jones drove the hoop and put USF up 74-73 will 1:11 left in the game, but their upset bid would fall short in a competitive game that saw 19 lead changes and 14 ties. Jesus Verdejo went over 500 points for his career as he poured in career high 22 points.

South Florida 59, High Point 46
The Bulls rebounded from the loss in Virgina with a victory over High Point, but South Florida had to rally from a half time deficit to do so. USF's Aris Williams triggered a 17-4 run by scoring 8 straigh points, while Chris Howard and Jesus Verdejo added 14 and 12. The Bulls got a quick glimpse of the future as Freshman Eladio Espinosa pulled down a career high ten boards.

Up Next for the Bulls -
Next week, the Bulls play host to Northeastern University before heading on the road to face old Conference USA rivals UAB and UCF.

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