Though the USF mens basketball team was unable to impress its large home crowd to open the season after losing by 18 points to in-state rival UCF, the Bulls have a chance to get back on the right track in a big way this weekend.
With three games in three days, the Bulls have the opportunity to take their 2012 record from 0-1 to 3-1 and get momentum on their side and remove the bad taste of last Saturdays loss from their mouths.
Were eager to move on, coach Stan Heath said. We played very frustrated, so guys have kind of talked some things out and weve made some lineup adjustments to combat those issues inside. We are still working things out and trying to get healthy. Anthony Collins is probably about 70 percent right now.
The only constant from USFs performances at an exhibition win over Eckerd College and the loss to UCF has been the internal disadvantage. The Bulls have been out-rebounded in both contests, and Heath said he is ready to take a big step quite literally toward establishing an inside presence.
Were having trouble inside, he said. So one thing that we will have to do is just throw the big guy (7-foot-3 freshman center Jordan Omogbehin) out there and see if he can improve and get ready to compete against Big East teams … because that middle is so vulnerable and we have to fix it.
Omogbehin played one minute against UCF and did not record a stat, but, according to Heath, statistics are not what the team is looking for from the Nigerian center.
One thing that we had with Jordan and the staff was that when he would practice five-on-five he would get about two points and a rebound over the entire practice, which is not the production weve been looking for, Heath said. But recently weve looked at, maybe the points and rebounds wont translate but maybe he can prevent opponents from grabbing rebounds, so thats something we have to look at.
USF opens the weekend on Friday night at 7:30 against Maryland Eastern Shore, followed by a game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m against Loyola-Chicago and a game against Western Michigan at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Volleyball returns to conference tournament
When the USF volleyball team returns to the Big East Tournament with a game against Notre Dame on Friday at 3:30 p.m., the team will be a part of history and will look to prove the growth of its young roster.
This is the last year of the Big East Tournament, coach Courtney Draper said. They are eliminating it after this year in hopes of getting more bids in the NCAA Tournament, so we were glad that we were able to qualify for the last Big East Championships.
USF has a chance to showcase the maturation of the teams roster in its rematch with the Fighting Irish, a team that swept the Bulls in South Bend on Oct. 28.
I feel like were still getting better, Draper said. With the new staff and such young kids, they are getting better and better every week. We did not play very well against them last time, but our girls know we have a lot more fight in us than we showed at their place earlier this season.
Bivins done for season
Another member of the USF football team has seen a premature end to his season.
After seniors Lindsey Lamar and B.J. Daniels suffered season-ending injuries against Syracuse and Connecticut, respectively, coach Skip Holtz announced Wednesday that freshman cornerback Chris Bivins is out for the season following a torn ACL in practice last weekend, the same ACL injury that he was recovering from before the season.