In the first game between USF and UConn, the Bulls were embarrassed by a 43-point margin in Hartford, Conn. and the rematch tonight in the Sun Dome will mark the first of the remaining four games for USF’s regular season, meaning an end to the collegiate careers of USF’s two seniors.
One of those seniors, forward Victor Rudd, has grown over his time at USF (12-15, 3-11) and USF coach Stan Heath said there’s still more to come from him, even if it’s not in a Bulls uniform.
“He should be remembered as a guy who could score and had great highlights, who helped us win in his first year,” Heath said. “He’s one of those guys that has so much talent and maybe he didn’t get there at USF, but maybe he gets there down the road.”
Rudd acknowledges that he would like to have a career in basketball after college, but he’s only thinking of his games left wearing green and gold.
“I want to get to that point, but I’ve still got green shorts so I’m happy about that,” Rudd said.
A win against UConn (21-6, 9-5) would be a good memory for Rudd as his time as a Bull draws to an end.
“You never want to lose like (we did last time), especially to a team you know you can be in the game with,” Rudd said.
Rudd enters the home matchup leading the Bulls in scoring and rebounds, averaging 15.3 points per game and
6.8 rebounds per game.
Tonight, the two teams will play in their final regular season matchup. The Huskies will likely have their sights set on another win for their NCAA tournament resume, but the Bulls have their pride on the line.
“If you’ve got any kind of fight, or any kind of heart, you’re going to come out a lot different than you did the first time around,” Heath said.
For the Bulls to change the outcome in the second match up, they will have to come out strong and not become overwhelmed with playing from behind as they did the last time.
“It was a disaster for the most part. We got off to a bad start and never recovered,” Heath said. “I really feel this time around will be different. We’re certainly going to be more competitive, we’re going to give a great effort. I think our team will be more ready to go against a very good UConn team.”
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Sun Dome and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.