USF Bulls ready for match-up with Knights

Central Florida (4-2) vs. USF (4-3)When: Saturday, 7 Where: Sun DomeTelevision/Radio: Catch 47/1250AM

The Bulls actually feel prepared for their upcoming game against Central Florida.

Monday, when USF played at Florida International, it was without the luxury of a game tape, as Golden Panthers coach Sergio Rouco denied numerous requests from the Bulls for film.

Even without their usual preparation, the Bulls won 77-69 to remain unbeaten against in-state teams, having already defeated Florida Atlantic and Florida State.

When strategizing for play against the Knights, coach Stan Heath can return to his usual evaluation process and fully construct his game play for Saturday.

“Yes, we definitely have film on Central Florida,” Heath said. “I know there’s a little bit of a rivalry between the two schools since we’re so close, so it should be a really good game for both teams.”

As the football team is off until Dec. 31, when it will play in the Sun Bowl, the basketball team is looking for a dramatic increase from the 2,992 in attendance during its last home contest against East Carolina.

When the football team defeated the Knights 64-12 this season, it did so in front of 65,948 fans at Raymond James Stadium. USF basketball is hoping to improve its attendance figures, which were lowest in the Big East in 2006.

“I honestly don’t think (the low attendance) bothers us, but when we do fill up these seats, it bothers the other team,” point guard Chris Howard said. “Definitely having the crowd rocking, as you can tell at the football games, can help us and affect the other team. Knowing that the Sun Dome is going to be loud is a big advantage.”

Central Florida is coming off an appearance at the Old Spice Classic where it took No. 18 Kansas State to overtime and defeated Penn State.

The Knights have already played a Big East opponent this season, falling to Villanova 76-68.

Even though the two schools are close in proximity, the Bulls aren’t treating the game against UCF any differently than other non-conference games.

“I would say anyone we play is a rival, with what we’ve been going through over the past few years,” center Kentrell Gransberry said. “We’ll take a win any way we can get it, no matter who we’re playing.”