Bulls open season at SMU

USF men’s basketball coach Stan Heath may have gotten the offensive output he wanted from the Bulls in their 110-79 exhibition win against Florida Southern on Nov. 3.

But that was then. The regular season is now. And Heath said there’s plenty of work to be done.

“Executing a little better, screening, moving the ball side-to-side, putting bodies on people for defensive rebounding – some of those things that are very important,” Heath said. “We haven’t done as consistent as we need to do, and we need to continue to work on it.”

The Bulls tip off their season at SMU on Friday at 8:30 p.m. in Dallas, as USF tries to improve a road record of 2-15 from a season ago.

“It’s an important thing for us because if you want to have a successful year, you have to win on the road,” Heath said. “You have to go into someone else’s building, play well, execute, defend and try to sneak out of there with a win.”

USF must improve its rebounding, Heath said. Despite winning by 31 points against Florida Southern, the Bulls had only 14 offensive rebounds to Florida Southern’s 23. USF finished 14th in the Big East in rebounding margin last season.

Junior college transfer Jarrid Famous, a 6-foot-11 forward, scored 20 points and had eight rebounds in the exhibition game, which was a welcome sign, Heath said.

Sophomore forward Augustus Gilchrist is looked at to help in the post with rebounding and offense.

“There’s more he can do,” Heath said of Gilchrist. “I still think he’s a guy who’s still trying to utilize all the skills he has. He’s a 6-foot-10 guy who can post, shoot – do different things. There’s still better basketball days ahead for Gus.”

Junior guard Dominique Jones said the Bulls need to work on little things, such as screening. However, he said the exhibition games have been good tests for the team.

The Bulls have won five of the previous six regular season openers – including a win against SMU last season – with the only loss coming against Cleveland State two years ago.

“We have to set the tone (for the season),” Jones said. “I think that’ll give my guys confidence.”