The Bulls are looking for the third time to be the charm, as the men’s basketball team takes the court against Tulane Saturday.
USF plays its third team in three games that is ranked at the bottom 1/3 of Conference USA.
The Bulls lost to Houston (8-11, 2-6 in C-USA) 65-53 Saturday, before losing to East Carolina (9-9, 1-7) 59-57 Tuesday.
“We both haven’t had a win in conference yet, and we’re eager for a win, and they’re eager for a win,” junior point guard Brian Swift said. “It is one of those games that we have just as much a chance to win as the other team.”
Despite the Green Wave’s record (7-11, 0-7) the Bulls will have to play their best in order to get the win.
“They, too are hungry looking for their first conference win as well,” USF coach Robert McCullum. “Just like we look at them as maybe another realistic opportunity to get in the win column, they look at us in the same light.”
Along with the Green Wave’s hunger, USF can’t take the loss to the Pirates for granted.
“I hope it gives us some confidence,” McCullum said. “Of course it can work either way.
“We came close, played better, but yet another loss. Could our players think we did this, this and this, and still came up on the shorter end, but hopefully we can carry over some things we did well to the Tulane game.”
One of the things the Bulls have done consistently in the last few games is play their backcourt a lot of minutes.
During the last two games, Swift and junior guard Bradley Mosley both played 40 minutes each.
“If you don’t have anyone behind them, they probably aren’t going to get any (rest),” McCullum said. “We’ll try and spell them the best we can. Right before maybe a media timeout we’ll try and get Brian Swift and Bradley out.”
After coming off the bench behind Reggie Kohn the last two seasons, Swift said he welcomes the added playing time.
“I do like it because of the simple fact that what I used to go through, behind Reggie,” he said. “It’s a big difference.”
With Swift’s experience in the backup role, and Mosley coming from a starting role on a junior college team, McCullum feels both players are up for the task.
“Brian was the heir apparent to the starting point guard spot, and when you recruit JC players, you recruit them with the thought that they could play right away,” McCullum said. “But, both of them are playing the number of minutes that they are because of attrition.
“They are team players, and they’re willing to do what is best for the team.”