After a two game road trip, Syracuse returns home to play the most surprising team in the Big East this season, the South Florida Bulls.
NCAA BOUND?: Since South Florida arrived in the Big East, the basketball program has been a perennial doormat in the conference. It looked like the Bulls’ season was headed that way in their non-conference schedule when they were just 7-6. But since then, South Florida has done surprisingly well in Big East play, and is currently tied for fourth in the conference with Georgetown with a record of 10-4. The Bulls are currently listed among the “First Four Out” according to ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi. But, a few more wins, including an opportunity for a signature victory against Syracuse, would go a long way to securing a bid.
SCOUTING THE BULLS: The Bulls have won five of their last six in large part due to freshman point guard Anthony Collins. Not known as a scorer, he’s been in double figures in four of those games, including 22 points and six assists in 56-47 win at Pittsburgh’s Petersen Field House. But he’s really shined in his ability to pass the ball—he’s had six or more assists in six straight games. Also look out for forward/center Augustus Gilchrist, who is in his senior season at South Florida. He leads the Bulls in scoring at 10.5 points and also chips in 4.8 rebounds a game.
IN SOUTH FLORIDA’S LAST GAME: The Bulls went on an 8-0 run in the second half to defeat Pitt 56-47 on Sunday. Besides Collins, Victor Rudd Jr. had 11 points and six rebounds for USF. J.J. Moore led Pitt with 21 points.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: The last time these two teams met, the Orange crushed South Florida 72-49 in Tampa. Rick Jackson led SU with 21 points and 12 rebounds, which was his 16th double-double of the season. Syracuse is 8-1 all time against the Bulls.
GAME INFORMATION: Wed., Feb. 22, 7:00 p.m. Syracuse, NY. TV: BIG EAST Network/SNY/TWCS. Follow us on Twitter @thejuiceonline for live game updates.