FIU (2-2) at USF (2-0)When: Tonight, 8 p.m.Where: Sun Dome
The story: The Bulls continue their season-long, five-game homestand as they battle Florida International. USF opened their season with double-digit victories over Buffalo and South Carolina State.
Senior forward Melvin Buckley leads the team offensively, while senior McHugh Mattis anchors the Bulls defense. Buckley’s 23.5 points per game ranks him second in the Big East, while Mattis is second in the conference with five blocks per game.
Buckley is leading the team, shooting .533 percent from three-point range, up from .374 percent last year. He has only spent two minutes off the floor this season.
In the season opener against Buffalo, Buckley scored a career-high 29 points. For his efforts he was named Big East Player of the Week.
Now that Solomon Jones is playing in the NBA, Mattis has taken over the center position. Mattis shares the team lead in rebounding average with Melvyn Richardson at seven per game.
Along with leadership from the seniors, USF has received contributions from freshmen Solomon Bozeman, who leads the team with seven assists per game, and Amu Saaka, who scored 12 points in his debut Friday against South Carolina State.
Florida International is coming off back-to-back home victories over Alcorn State and Western Illinois. Dejon Prejean leads the Golden Panthers in scoring with 13.3 points per game.
Keep an eye on: Buckley. Along with his three-point shooting he ranks third on the team, shooting .556 percent from the field. His scoring average has gone up 10.2 points from last season. – Brendan Galella