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Running With The Bulls

usffau12-04-10

What: South Florida (5-3, 0-0) vs FAU (4-4, 0-0)

When: Saturday, Dec. 4th @ 8:00 PM EST

Where: FAU Arena

TV: None

Live Video: None

Internet Broadcast: Here

Live Stats: Owls GameTracker

USF Team Site: Here

Probable Starters:

USF

G Jawanza Poland 11.1 ppg
G Anthony Crater 3.6 ppg
F Hugh Robertson 6.8 ppg
F Ron Anderson 10.1 ppg
F Augustus Gilchrist 11.4 ppg

FAU

G Alex Tucker 9.5 ppg
G Dennis Mavin 10.1 ppg
G Greg Gantt 15.5 ppg
F Kore White 10.9 ppg
F Brett Royster 7.5 ppg

The series

The Bulls own a commanding 11-0 mark against the Owls, with all losses occurring in double digits aside from two:

12/16/95 A L 55-56
12/04/96 A L 68-76

Last year, FAU was within a basket late in the first period, but shot just 8-of-34 (23.5%) during the second en route to a 78-58 defeat in Tampa. Augustus Gilchrist led the Bulls with 27 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Greg Gantt paced FAU with 19 points.

Heavily laiden as a road series for the Owls, Saturday's match-up will mark just the fourth time USF has traveled to Boca Raton.

USF at a Glance

Picked to finish 13th in The Big East, the Bulls got off to a rough 0-3 start in 2010-11 before rattling off five straight wins. Like the Owls, their latest win came against a team receiving top 25 votes - Virginia Commonwealth.

Defense has been a staple for South Florida, and it was evident as the Bulls held the Rams 24.8 points below their average in a 60-59 win in overtime.

"That was a big win for us", said head coach Stan Heath. "We have been atrocious in turnovers, and finally did a good job in this game."

Forward Ron Anderson, who comes in as a sixth man, hauled in a game high 13 rebounds and has proven to be a factor on the glass in a number of games this year. The 6'8", 255 lb junior pulled down double digit boards in three of his last four contests to rank first on the roster, and 6th in the league with 8.1 rpg.

From a scoring perspective, it's a been a roulette of sorts, with five different players having led this season: Jawanza Poland, Augustus Gilchrist, Mike Burwell, Hugh Robertson, and Anderson.

USF likes to pound the ball inside as much as possible, with three of their top four producers holding down the forward spot.

South Florida is a former member of the Sun Belt conference (1976-91), and won the league's championship in 1990.

FAU at a Glance

Looking at the schedule thus far, the Owls are pretty much right where they should be. Portland, UF, and George Mason were expected losses. But two games flip flopped in American and Mississippi State.  We'll take the latter though, and the $80k that came with it.

FAU showed signs of the team they are capable of being against the Bulldogs, and can take away a few things from the game.

"Let the little guys shoot the jumps shots, and big guys go in and really take of business inside. I think we're going to learn that", coach Mike Jarvis said.

Also of note was a pesky zone defense that FAU employed for the first time for all pretenses. And that is a plus as the conference schedule approaches.

At hand on Saturday is another opportunity to pad RPI and establish maturity with the biggest non-conference home game on the slate. It will be another challenge for the Owls' front court.

"The main difference (over last year) is they are coming to our place. We're gonna be tougher. Their strength is what has been our weakness so far, and that's inside. Their gonna come at us inside, and try and foul out both our big guys. We're going to have to find a way to neutralize that", Jarvis said.

The atmosphere will surely help, as the first "Pack the Burrow in Red" will be in effect.

"We're gonna have everybody in red, one of my favorite colors. Hopefully we'll come out with a little bit of fire, which is also red, coming out of our nostrils", said Jarvis.

The Owls enter Saturday's match-up ranked 3rd amongst all Division I programs in turnovers per game (9.4). Greg Gantt leads the team from long range on 19-of-47 (40.4%) shooting.

Latest Line:

FAU -1

Owl's Nest Prediction

Florida Atlantic will likely have trouble with South Florida's size, but statistically the Owls offer a solid match-up against the Bulls. FAU gives up a few rebounds per contest, but makes up for it in points per game +5.1, and turnovers -7.7. Get out to see this one, it should be a barn burner.

FAU -3

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