Exhibition leaves questions for USF

Despite a 75-58 win over Eckerd College in an exhibition at the Sun Dome on Monday night, USF coach Stan Heath was agitated over his team’s performance.

The Bulls shot 25-of-48 from the floor, but they committed 23 turnovers.

“I’ve been harping on turnovers for a long time – it’s not very good right now,” Heath said after the game. “We’ve got to really be tougher with the ball.”

Junior forward Augustus Gilchrist had a team-high 14 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes. Sophomore guard Mike Burwell, who played 27 minutes, had 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting (2-of-3 from 3-point range).

The starting lineup for the Bulls had Jawanza Poland, Shaun Noriega, and Mike Burwell in the backcourt with Ron Anderson and Jarrid Famous in the post. Heath said he’s still trying to find a starting five he’s comfortable with for the regular season, though Gilchrist and Famous are likely starters, Heath said a week earlier.

Famous finished with nine points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes.

The Bulls led 43-25 at halftime but were outscored 33-32 in the second half.

“I thought our first half, we did a nice job of building a lead, and I thought we just got in a little bit of a cruise mode, relax mode in the second half,” Heath said. “We got a lot out of this exhibition, just the fact they competed so hard and exposed some things we just have to get a lot better at.”

Junior point guard Anthony Crater, fighting for a starting spot, didn’t see action until the 17:40 mark in the second half and didn’t score.

Junior guard Shedrick Haynes, a junior college transfer, was the only USF player that didn’t enter the game.

Heath said last week he was looking for guards to emerge.

“There’s really nothing to say except those guys have got to step up,” he said.

The Bulls open the season at home against Southern Mississippi on Nov. 12.