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USF men’s basketball looks to end skid against Knights

USF coach Orlando Antigua (right) and junior Forward Chris Perry look to rebound from an eight game skid against I-4 rival UCF. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

After last Tuesday’s 81-70 defeat at home to Tulane, frustrated USF coach Orlando Antigua described the effort of his team in the loss as "disappointing," in what could be seen as an underlying theme in a season already littered with losses.

“(It’s) not a scheme, it’s not a strategy. It’s about owning up, being man-to-man, boxing out and being physical,” Antigua said.

Saturday, the Bulls responded to Antigua’s challenge with a season-high 50 rebounds vs. Memphis, but the team still lost by 15, shooting only 32 percent from the field with 16 turnovers.

As they come into Wednesday’s conference game vs. in-state rival UCF, the Bulls (3-16, 0-6) are a bottom feeder offensively, as their 63.1 points per game is good enough for 337th out of 351 Division-I programs.

The lack of scoring, coupled with averaging over 15 turnovers a game, has forced Antigua to motivate his squad, and find something his team can rally around to finish up the season on a high note.

UCF (9-6, 3-1) comes into the Sun Dome just two weeks removed from beating the Bulls 75-64 in Orlando. It was a game in which the Bulls shot over 43 percent from the field, but 11 turnovers were too much for USF to overcome.  

The Knights’ frontcourt is also home to one of the tallest athletes in the world, seen in 7-foot-6 freshman center Tacko Fall.

Fall, with a wingspan reaching over eight feet, will pose the biggest challenge for a Bulls team that is not often undersized. USF boasts six players listed at 6-foot-8 or taller on the official roster.

The Bulls are in the midst of an eight-game losing streak dating back over a month.

All three of the Bulls’ wins this season have come at the Sun Dome, where the rivalry will ensue at 6:15 p.m. and can be viewed on ESPNews.