Know Your Opponent: South Florida Bulls

For this preview of the Bearcats tussle with the South Florida Bulls on Sunday afternoon at noon, we are going to concentrate only on USF. I’ve written a lot about UC so check the Louisville pregame and the post game to find out how the Bearcats are doing. I’m pretty sure you already know as well. This is a huge game for both sides. UC and USF are both 10-5 in the league. Both have sights set on a top 4 seed in the BET. A win at USF, or the arena they are playing in which isn’t the Sun Dome, would be huge for UC. The RPI is up to 69 after the Louisville game and it could get in the high 50s/low 60s with another top 50 win over 47 USF. I know the RPI is trash, but the NCAA uses it so we have to abide by it. The Bulls have only lost once at home this season. The Bearcats have played very hard on the road, minus Marquette, in conference play this season. It’s going to be a battle. 

From Stat Sheet, quick team comparisions

As we can see, USF is very good at shooting free throws and they get there quite a bit. The Bulls rely on the 2 point shot a whole lot because they are horrible 3 point shooters, 24%. The Bulls play very slow, over a 1,000 possessions less than the Bearcats in 1 less game. The Bulls play slow and they make you work.

Those are whole season numbers. The individual numbers coming are Big East only. 


Record: 20-8, 10-5
Road: 6-4
RPI: 69
SOS: 118


Record: 17-11, 10-5
Home: 13-1
RPI: 47
SOS: 23

G: Hugh Robertson – Robertson plays 29 minutes a game with 7.4 points per. He uses 14.1% of the USF possessions with a 111.9 offensive rating. That’s 19th in the league. Robertson is one of the best shooters in the league from inside the arc. He’s 47-88, 53.4%. That’s 5th in the BE. He’s only attempted 15 triples. He doesn’t get to the line much at all, only 15 attempts there. He’s made 13. He’s just a 2 point machine. Robertson gets 3.5 boards a game, 4.9% of all the offensive and 9.5% of all the defensive. Hugh has 22 assists to 18 turnovers. He has 7 steals and 5 blocks. Not a lot of flash in his game at all, but he is solid. He can be up and down. He’s gone 18, 6, 14, 3 and 6 the last 5 games. Hasn’t made a 3 in any of them in 5 attempts. 

G: Anthony Collins – The freshman point guard has been a huge difference this year for the Bulls. He’s playing 33 minutes a game with 7.7 points. He’s using 20.8% of the Bull possessions with a 94 offensive rating. Collins is a driver and pull up guy. He’s 41-89 from the field, 46%. Only 10 of those have been 3s. He’s great at drawing fouls with a FT rate of 40. That’s 40 FT attempts per every 100 FGAs. He’s the 4th best foul shooter in the league at 86% to boot. Easy points when you can get ’em. Collins doesn’t board much, 1.7 a game. He gets them all defensively and 5.7% of the available d-rebs. Collins has 87 assists, 5.8 a game and assists on 38.3% of the USF FGs. Those rank 5th, 5th and 4th in the Big East. He’s had a problem with turnovers. He has 55, 3.7 a game and turns it over on 35.7% of possessions. That’s 1, 2 and 2 in the BE for the worst. He’s decent at getting steals, 19. Collins has been hot lately, 22 against Pitt, 12 against Syracuse. He dropped 10 assists on Syracuse for his first double double. He’s proof that a point guard can turn a team around. 

F: Victor Rudd – The Arizona State transfer is playing 25 minutes a game with 8.4 points. He’s using 20.3% of the Bull possessions with a 107.2 offensive rating. He’s 26-55, 47%, on 2s and 14-52, 27% on 3s. Guess what one he should probably stop shooting? That’s correct, 2s. Rudd gets to the line at a very solid rate of 38.3. That’s roughly 38 FT attempts per every 100 FGAs. He’s a good foul shooter at 78%. Rudd is not an explosive rebounder. He’s averaging 4.9 a game. He’s getting 6.1% of the off-rebs and 17.8% of the d-rebs, which is good enough for 17th in the BE. More minutes and he would be in the top 15 or maybe top 10. Rudd has 22 assists to 16 turnovers. He doesn’t have much in the way of defensive stats, 7 steals and 2 blocks. Rudd has been a huge presence to this USF team. He’s given them a giant boost of someone who can bang and stretch the court. And he can defend. 

F: Ron Anderson Jr – Anderson is playing 25 minutes a game with 6.8 points per. He’s using 18.8% of the USF possessions with a 97 offensive rating. He is all inside, 42-81, 52%. Zero attempts from 3. He’s not very good from as far out as free throw distance. He gets to the line at a 46.9 rate, but is 18-38, 47%. That’s pretty bad. Analysis like that is why I make the big bucks. Anderson gets 5.6 boards a game. He’s a great offensive rebounder. He’s got 37, 2.5 a game and gets 13.2% of the offensive rebounds. Those rank 13, 13 and 6 in the league. He’s average on the defensive end, pulling home 14.5% of the defensive rebounds. Anderson has 14 assists to 24 turnovers. He has 9 steals. He’s blocked 10 shots. He is called for over 3 fouls a game and has fouled out of 2. He hasn’t broken double digits this month, but had 10 rebounds against Pitt. He had a horrible game against Syracuse, 1-8, 2 points, 2 rebounds. 

C: Gus Gilchrist – The USF big man is playing 27 minutes a game with 9.8 points. That’s right, no one averages 10 points. Gus uses 22.8% of the Bull possessions with a 96.9 offensive rating. He has a knack for being soft. That knack is not helped by him making 54-125, 43%. That’s not great for a big man. He takes some questionable jump shots. He has toned down the 3 point shooting, only 8 attempts. He’s a very good foul shooter for a big man, 73.5%. His rebounding is down over 2 a game from last year, 6.2 to 4.2. He gets 9% of the offensive rebounds and 10.4% of the defensive rebounds. He has 7 assists. Not a passer. He does have a slight turnover problem. He has 26, but turns it over 18.5% of the time, which is not horrible. Gus has 9 steals. He’s blocked 12 shots. Gilchirst can get fouls called against him, 2 disqualifications, but gets under 3 a game called on him. He had 8 boards against Syracuse, but he’s been very weak lately. He hadn’t had more than 3 boards in over a month and hasn’t broken double digits the last 4 games. He had a nice 3 game scoring stretch to start the month. 

Bench: Toarlyn Fitzpatrick – The junior plays 25 minutes a game with 7.6 points per. He uses 17.1% of the Bull possessions with a 105.8 offensive rating. Fitzpatrick is 20-49, 41% on 2s, and 21-45, 47% on 3s. He was 9-23 on 3s his first 2 years. Someone worked on their jumper this summer. Fitzpatrick is 11-15 at the foul line. He’s a good rebounder, 18th in the BE with 98 and 6.5 a game. He’s ok getting off-rebs, 8.3%, but makes his bread on the defensive end. He’s got 75, 5 per game and gets 23.4%. Those rank 13, 13 and 1st. Yeah, he’s the best. Toarlyn has 9 assists to 20 turnovers. He’s a good defender with 13 steals. He’s 12th in the Big East in blocks, 17, blocks per game, 1.1, and block pct, 4.7%. He fouls a little bit, but that comes with the territory. You don’t want him getting loose. He’s hit 5 of his last 9 from deep. 

JAWANZA Poland – Poland plays 23 minutes a game with 8.9 points. He is a gunner, using 24.3% of the USF possessions. Only a 92.2 offensive rating, which is poor. Poland is 38-69, 55% on 2s and 12-48, 25% on 3s. Guess what one he shouldn’t be shooting? He gets to the line at an ok rate and is a ok shooter, 72%. JAWANZA pulls in 3.7 boards a game, 4.6% of the off-rebs, 14.8% of the d-rebs. He has 13 assists to 30 turnovers. That’s a lot of turnovers. That’s one way to get a high possession usage. He has 14 steals and 8 blocks. Poland can be a little foul happy. He’s been a big spark off the bench since his return from injury. USF has need it. He has been in a little slump lately, 3-10 the past 2 games. 

Shaun Noriega – Noriega is a 3 point specialist. He’s played 10 minutes the last 4 games with a DNP in the 5th. He’s more of a bottom of the bench option or a 3 point spark. Every one of his shots has been a 3. He can be very effective. Ask Providence. He’s 9-11 at the foul line, although he’s attempted 6 in 2012. Dude is a gunner. 

Blake Nash – Nash has played 13 minutes the last 4 games, getting a DNP against Syracuse. Collins has taken the point guard minutes completely. He’s 7-19, 4-15 from 3, in BE play. 12 assists to 8 turnovers. 8 boards. Minutes filler. 

Paw Points

1cincinnatilogo9USF is the slowest team in the league. They play 60 possessions a game. That’s slower than ND and Georgetown. UC plays 65. You would be surprised at how huge a difference that is. 

1cincinnatilogo9USF is a high end defensive team, 0.97 points per possession, the same as Louisville. They are tied for 10th with 1 ppp offensively. 

1cincinnatilogo9As touched on earlier, USF is a good shooting team, 44.7%, 3rd in the BE. They are 5th in effective FG%, which counts 3s, and 4th in true shooting, which counts 3s and FTs. Defensively, they are the 3rd best in all 3 categories. 

1cincinnatilogo9A large part of their great defensive is that they take away the 3. They have given up only 216 attempts. That’s 14 a game. They aren’t clean looks either, opponents are only making 4 on average. Notre Dame doesn’t give up a ton of 3 looks either, but UC shot 27 against them. The Bearcats are taking 21 a game. That’s the most. Something has to give. 

1cincinnatilogo9The Bulls are the 3rd best FT shooting team in the league at 73.8%, but they have the 6th lowest FT rate at 32.6. Conversely, they give up FTs at the 6th highest rate. I don’t expect a ton of free throws on Sunday afternoon. 

1cincinnatilogo9The Bulls have won with rebounding. They are getting 36.2% of the offensive rebounds, 5th in the Big East. They are the best defensive rebounding percentage team in the league. They pull in 68.9% of your misses. 

1cincinnatilogo9Not giving up second shot opportunities is huge when your offense turns the ball over a lot. USF turns the ball over the most in the Big East. They are turning it over on 23.6% of possessions. That’s a lot by a whole percent. 12% of those are from steals, also the worst in the BE They force the 4th fewest turnovers. 



About Scott

I write Bearcats Blog and also on the Student Section.