The Bulls will get a chance to see what life is like without two of its all-time top scorers, as well as see how they will go on without their top two defensive performers of all time when they host the Connecticut Stars in an exhibition game tonight at 7.
B.B. Waldon is USF’s career leader in rebounds with 928, and second in steals with 1,869. Altron Jackson is third on the Bulls’ all-time list with 181 steals.
But rebounding seems to be the biggest concern as USF opens its 2002-03 season.
“We’re graduating 16 rebounds a game,” coach Seth Greenberg said. “We don’t have that luxury. We’ve got to make sure that we secure the basketball, (and) make sure that we pursue the basketball.”
The Bulls won’t be able to establish their entire defense due to the unavailability of players due to injury and the offense of the opponent.
“We are figuring out where our scoring is going to come from and figuring out who is going to rebound the basketball,” Greenberg said. “It’s more about playing against someone else than beating on your teammates.
“We don’t have a ton of healthy bodies anyway, so we are going to play all 10 guys.”
The Bulls will have only 10 bodies due to Brandon Brigman suffering from a bruised shoulder, Greg Brittain serving a suspension and Sheldon Franklin recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Danny Oglesby is questionable for today’s game after suffering from an asthma attack earlier in the week.
“I’m worried about rebounding and staying healthy,” Greenberg said. “We have to stay healthy. That’s my greatest concern.”
The Bulls will look to the center-power forward combination of Will McDonald and Gerrick Morris to bring in rebounds.
McDonald had 157 rebounds, and Morris had 56 boards and 46 blocks. Freshman Yusuf Baker will also provide a rebounding presence after averaging 10 rebounds a game at Evans High School in Orlando.
USF will try to mix and match to find player combinations for the upcoming season.
“It is very important for us to find some combinations,” Greenberg said. “We have a few combinations we don’t want to play together, but we have to get a better feel for combinations that can play together.”
Bryan Fazio covers USF men’s basketball and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org