Wednesday, January 26 2022

TAMPA Fla., (NOV. 8 2021) – South Florida will embark on its 2021-22 men’s basketball campaign Tuesday when the Bulls host Bethune-Cookman in the Yuengling Center.

USF is 4-0 overall in season-openers in head coach Brian Gregory’s tenure and have not lost a home opener since Nov. 13, 2015.

Jalyn McCreary was one of four players in double digits with a team-best 17 points in USF’s 92-42 exhibition victory over Voorhees College at the Yuengling Center on Nov. 1.

Caleb Murphy (knee) and Jamir Chaplin (ankle) did not suit up against Voorhees but both are expected to play Tuesday.

The Wildcats return to the court for the first time since 2019, after the team opted out of the 2020-21 campaign. Bethune-Cookman changed conferences, moving from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference to the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and hired former NBA All-Star Reggie Theus for the dual role of Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach.

BullsInsider.com has your quick facts and what to watch for against Bethune-Cookman:

Quick Facts

Matchup: USF (0-0) vs. Bethune-Cookman (0-0)

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 9

Time: 5:00 p.m.

Location: Tampa, Fla. | Yuengling Center

Watch: ESPN+

Radio: USF Bulls Unlimited

History: USF holds a 15-1 series lead against BCU. The last meeting between the two was an 83-63 victory for the Bulls on Dec. 14, 2017.

The Opponent: In the 20-months since its last game, BCU only returns one player, Joe French, from its 2019-20 team which finished 16-14.

Typically we watch at least two games of each USF opponent, however, this was not possible to do since BCU is the USF’s first opponent this season, didn’t play last season and only has one returnee. However, two Wildcats did intrigue us.

French started 14 of the 30 games he appeared in that season, averaging 8.5 points per game. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard made 57-131 (43.5 percent) of his three-point attempts.

Forward/center Dylan Robertson averaged a double-double for Shelton State, one of the nation’s best JuCo programs, in the 2019-20 season but Robertson had a limited role for Sam Houston State last season, appearing in 17-games with zero starts. The 6-foot-9, 205-pounder was a very efficient player making 64 percent of his attempts and, at times, showed he could be a plus rebounder. Robertson also committed an astonishing 9.9 fouls per 40 minutes played.

By no means are we reporting that we expect French or Robertson to be high usage players for BCU. Rather, our scan of NCAA Division I game video only turned up video of French and Robertson.

Disappointing but, when the Bulls’ schedule was released, we knew this game was going to be more about USF’s personnel and the execution of its offense and defense than anything else. The Bulls size, athleticism and depth should wear down the Wildcats.

Prediction

USF 77 Bethune-Cookman 62

Don’t be surprised if the game is close early. It is the regular season opener for both teams and both teams have had major roster turnover. USF needs to execute its sets, limit turnovers, defend ball screens well, play good transition defense and crash the glass at both ends of the court.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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