As the regular season crept closer, questions circulated around new men’s basketball coach Orlando Antigua. His lack of experience, new players and up-tempo system were cause for concern for some fans.
Now six games in, the Bulls are 5-1 — the best start since the 2009-2010 season — and look to continue their recent success tonight against Alabama.
USF was able to defend the Dome last season when Alabama came to Tampa, edging out the Crimson Tide 66-64.
Alabama (4-1) recently notched its best win against Arizona State, with a 76-71 victory in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The only loss came against Iowa State.
Four starters for the Crimson Tide have returned from last season.
USF has been leaning on the play of senior guard Corey Allen Jr., who has averaged a team-high 33.3 minutes per game this season with 15.8 points per game — placing him third in the conference. The Bulls are 4-0 this season when Allen Jr. scores at least 15 points.
USF is also relying heavily on its post play, outscoring opponents in the paint in every game so far this season.
This has been partly due to sophomore forward Chris Perry, who is averaging 13.8 points and six rebounds per game.
On the defensive side, the Bulls are averaging 6.5 blocks per game, which ranks second in the conference and 17th in the nation.
With a team that had only three players with Division-I experience at the season’s opening tip, Antigua is proving his worth.
The Bulls take on Alabama at Coleman Coliseum tonight at 9. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network as well as 98.7 FM.