MEN’S BASKETBALL GAME TIMEConnecticut (19-5, 8-3) at USF (11-14, 2-10)When: Sat., noonWhere: Sun DomeTV/Radio: ABC
The USF men’s basketball team – fresh off Wednesday’s 89-78 upset over the Syracuse Orange – will get back to work Saturday.
The Bulls (11-14, 2-10) have a major obstacle to overcome if they hope to earn their second consecutive win. They take on No. 17 Connecticut (19-5, 8-3) in the first of two basketball games at the Sun Dome on Saturday.
Connecticut is the fourth ranked team on the Bulls’ schedule this season. USF coach Stan Heath said he would rather enjoy his team’s victory a little longer.
“Well, do we have to (play Connecticut)?” Heath said. “We’ve got a moment (to celebrate) and I want the guys to enjoy it.”
For the Bulls to be successful, they will need to mirror Wednesday’s performance. The Bulls shot 53 percent from the field, and 81 percent from the free throw line.
Freshman guard Dominique Jones led all scorers with 29 points, and senior center Kentrell Gransberry added 23 points.
For the Bulls to add another conference victory to their resume, they will need to stop several talented Huskies players.
Junior guard A.J. Price is leading a balanced Huskies attack with 15 points per game. Sophomore center Hasheem Thabeet – who stands 7 feet 3 inches – is scoring 10.9 points per game and will be a considerable challenge for Gransberry – who is six inches shorter than his opponent.
“Does Thabeet have to play?” Heath said. “He’s playing great. We’ve got to find a way to stop him, or else he is a one-man wrecking crew underneath the basket. That doesn’t mean they’re a one-man team, because A.J. Price is probably playing as well as any guard in our conference right now.”
Not only is Connecticut No. 17 in the nation, it is hot right now. The Huskies are on an eight-game winning streak.
“It’s a big game for us, and it’s a big game for them as well,” Heath said. “Hopefully our guys – confidence-wise – will build upon what we did (against Syracuse) and go into that game and figure out some ways to play well against UConn.”