"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bulls on Parade

They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells
They rally round tha family! With a pocket full of shells

Bulls on parade

Come wit it now!
Come wit it now!

Know what? USF coach Stan Heath just might invoke the passion of Rage Against the Machine on Tuesday night when his struggling Bulls (10-10, 1-6) take on the nationally ranked Marquette Golden Eagles (14-4, 4-3).

The Bulls enter Tuesday's contest mired in a six game conference losing streak. How bad has it been for USF since beating Rutgers to open Big East play? Well, the Bulls lost these six games by an average of fourteen points -- with each loss coming in double digits.

Come wit it now!
Come wit it now!

Despite their record the Bulls do have talent, particularly explosive big man Kentrell Gransberry. The 6''9, 270 pound senior averages a double-double (17 and 11) and has scored 20 or more points in seven of his last eight outings. The trigger man for the Bulls is precocious freshman point guard Dominique Jones. The youngster plays 34 minutes per game, is second on the team in scoring at 15ppg, hits 41% from deep, and carries an impressive A/TO ratio of nearly 1.5/1.

After a much-needed win over DePaul this weekend, Dominic James and crew should be chomping at the bit to hit the floor again. James keyed MU's dominating second half surge on Saturday to help end the modest two-game win streak. Despite the win, concerns remain over the disappearance of any reasonable post options and the Golden Eagles' inability to control the backboard in conference play. Still, the Golden Eagles are 11-0 at home and with the defensive pressure Crean's crew can apply against a young backcourt ...... advantage Golden Eagles.

Two key matchups to watch:

  • Turnovers. The Bulls play to a negative turnover margin, while MU averages nearly four more take-aways than turnovers. The Golden Eagles lead the Big East in steals per game, but the Bulls don't help themselves much defensively -- they are last in the Big East in thefts.
  • Three-point shooting. Marquette leads the Big East in 3-point field goald percentage defense (30%). USF is one of the better three-point shooting teams in the league, connecting on 36% from deep.
If the Bulls can protect the basketball and shoot well from deep, MU could be in for a tougher fight than many expect.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm CST. The game will be broadcast on ESPN Full Court, channel 694 on Directv.

Media Updates

Update: IWB's SportsBubbler.com has a great preview and video footage of a pre-game press conference.


Anonymous said...

Here's a great pic of a former MU "Great"!


brewcity said...

That is a great pic. We could sure use Ammo's 257 pounds and 120 rebounds this year...

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know the reason why Ammo left? I heard a rumor that he had a gambling problem, but never heard anything that corroborated that.

Anonymous said...

As far as I can tell, he left because he and Crean didn't get along. The gambling problem is a rumor that is perpetuated on message boards...generally followed by some winking emoticon. It's too bad as he had more talent than any big man we've had since Bob Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Never been so disappointed watching a MU win in my life. Biggest disappointment? TOM CREAN. Can this team run an offensive set? Other than high screens w/guard penetration and occassionaly moving Hayward up to the high post what exactly do they run? Drive to the bucket seems to be option 1,2, 3, 4, and 5 against sagging D, zone, or otherwise. D. James looked real happy riding pine tonight. Way to boost his confidence TC. That's some brilliant coaching. You made up for it though when you went defense/offense w/ James and Acker with 1:45 left and an 11 pt lead. I mean that was strategy reminicent of Wooden, Rupp, Knight, Smith and McGuire. MU has 1 signature win and has played 2 good games vs Duke and ND. I was at the Wisconsin game and UW played probably there worst game at home under Ryan's tenure. That said kudos to MU for that win. We all know how pitiful this team is inside, and they are inconsistent shooting the ball. Nevertheless, this team has major perimiter talent which has been on display in stretches throughout the season. I'm also dumbfounded at the disappearance of Fitzgerald. Maybe I'm too critical but can someone please tell me why Crean is the 3rd highest paid coach in D1? What does he do from an x/o standpoint or any other standpoint during the course of a game? Press occassionally? Mass substitution patterns? Double team the post? I can't knock his recruiting but I'm waiting for someone to give me Crean's overall philosophy, strategy and/or game adjustments. Give the guy 2 years and if he doesn't make a run in the tourney, find someone else. Next year they will have there most talented team since the McGuire years. No more excuses Mr.Crean. We're getting sick of underachieving.