2009-2010 South Florida Bulls Basketball Preview
As the South Florida Bulls (9- 22 overall, 4- 14 Big East) start their fifth season in the Big East, folks are starting to wonder when they may finally see some major progress from the team. The Bulls have been a lower rung club the entire time, posting a conference record of 11- 57 in four seasons. Will the 2009- 2010 season be any different?
Last season, the Bulls did best when playing defense, holding opponents to 64.6 PPG (6th in Big East). Unfortunately, they were 16th in point production, averaging 59.0 PPG. They were also last in frees (60%) and field goals (40%). They weren’t much better when it came to three pointers (30%) and rebound margin (minus-0.7), finishing 14th in both areas.
With the arrival of junior college transfer Jarrid Famous, a six-foot-eleven, 240-pound JUNCO All-American, the frontcourt could show marked improvement. Famous averaged 25.2 PPG, 13.6 RPG and 2.1 BPG at Westchester Community College. He’s got good mass for commanding the paint and offers intensity and determination. The other forward spot could go to Augustus Gilchrist (10.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 0.5 APG), who joined the team last December and by the end of the season had shown fine improvement. Senior Alex Rivas (4.2 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 0.1 APG) will man the center spot. A flock of incoming frosh could contribute upfront.
Shooting guard Dominique Jones (18.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 3.9 APG) has a lot to offer. He can create his own shots, drive to the basket and knock it in from downtown. He’s an explosive scorer who can take over a game. The point is controlled by senior Chris Howard (7.7 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.1 APG). Howard has survived two ACL injuries and become a top court leader. Ohio State transfer Anthony Crater, who will be eligible in December, adds depth to the point position.
Head coach Stan Heath believes that good players who are seeking an opportunity to make a difference are attracted to South Florida. Because of this, he’s done well in attracting some skilled guys. Consider Famous who chose South Florida over Pittsburgh, Arizona, Seton Hall and St. John’s. If the Bulls can improve on offense and play defense like they did last season, then they stand a chance of moving up the Big East ladder. Still, it’s doubtful the team can do any better than 12th and it’s hard to imagine them breaking into the Big Dance or even the NIT. It looks like it’s most likely wait until next year for South Florida.