Hobbled frontcourt

USF men’s basketball coach Stan Heath said Villanova is a hard team to prepare against. But it may be even harder considering the condition several key players are in.

Senior Alex Rivas, junior Jarrid Famous and sophomore Augustus Gilchrist, three regulars in USF’s frontcourt rotation, are all dealing with or recovering from nagging injuries, though all three practiced Monday.

“I’m hoping we’re better,” Heath said Monday. “Behind the scenes, Jarrid, I think, was favoring that knee (Saturday). The reason why Alex didn’t play as much is because of a hip flexor problem that hampered him in practice the last couple (of) days before that game. It’s hard to get a feel (for) where exactly (Gilchrist) is.”

Rivas played just three minutes Saturday after starting and playing 13 minutes against Cincinnati on Tuesday. Famous, who averages 11.2 points per game this season, only attempted four shots and scored three points in 28 minutes after missing Tuesday’s game, while Gilchrist was just 1-of-6 from the field in 19 minutes Saturday.

Heath said Gilchrist, who missed more than two months with an ankle sprain prior to USF’s game Feb. 13 against Marquette, is still finding his way on the court.

“I know he’s able to go back on the court, but he’s not the same guy he was back in December,” Heath said. “And it’s two things. It’s health and rhythm. He’s got to get in sync and kind of blend in with what’s going on with our team instead of us sort of stopping and reverting back to where we were before. If it comes back to that way, great. But we’re not there.”