Texas two-step to test Bulls

South Florida begins its Texas two-step this week when the Bulls travel to take on Houston tonight at 8:30 at the Hofheinz Pavilion.

“If we come ready to play, we should do well,” Altron Jackson said. “We’re going up there expecting to win.”

The Bulls (16-7, 6-4 in Conference USA), winners of two straight games, are approaching a precarious portion of their schedule. USF will play Houston tonight, return home, then head to the Lone Star State again Friday for Saturday’s game against TCU. And with their NCAA Tournament hopes still intact, it’s crucial the Bulls remain focused on the Texas tandem before next Wednesday’s showdown with Memphis at the Sun Dome.

“We feel like we’ve got to win the rest,” Reggie Kohn said. “Texas, home, wherever … we need to win.”

South Florida is a game and a half behind Charlotte after the Bulls’ 76-65 win against Tulane and the 49ers 73-54 loss to Saint Louis Saturday. Charlotte is in fourth place, with the top four teams receiving byes in the conference tournament. Charlotte plays Memphis Wednesday.

“It starts out with Houston,” Jackson said. “They’ve got small guards, so I think (the 1-3-1) should be effective, because they don’t like to play against it.

Houston’s (12-11, 5-4 in C-USA) strength lies in a talented, physical frontcourt led by Louis Truscott, who is second in C-USA with 10 double-doubles. He is averaging 12.3 points and 9.2 boards per game. Patrick Okafor, Truscott’s frontcourt mate, is averaging 12.8 points per game. Combine those two with George Williams (7.3 rpg), and Greenberg said the Bulls have plenty of reasons for concern.

“You don’t guard the post against Houston, you’ll get your ass kicked, I’ll tell you that much,” Greenberg said. “They have some post guys that can post.”

  • Brandon Wright covers men’s basketball and can be reached at oraclebrandon@yahoo.com