South Florida and DePaul clash in a battle of Big East cellar dwellers on Saturday and Ken from the Bulls blog Voodoo Five answered some questions about USF for me. I also answered some questions about DePaul. In the meantime check out their post about Great Moments in USF-DePaul Basketball History.
5 Questions with Ken at Voodoo Five
CCB: South Florida is supposed to have terrible guard play. Why can't get the Bulls get a guy like DePaul recruit Shane Larkin to stay in state?
VF: Shane was a big target for Stan this season, and I really don't know how DePaul was able to take him from under our nose. He'd get a lot of playing time at point guard, would probably start for four years, and Coach Heath could build the team around him.
Now DePaul gets to do that, and it bums me out. The worst moment during USF's win vs. DePaul in Tampa was seeing Larkin sitting by himself wearing a DePaul hoodie. What could have been.
CCB: The Bulls' turnover rate is pretty terrible, but against DePaul they kept it somewhat under control. Is that likely to last on the road?
VF: Probably not, but for some reason we only turned the ball over 8 times in our last game against Georgetown. I don't know if the team is improving or that this was just an outlier on a bad team.
The Marquette game is a perfect microcosm of the season when we shoot the ball 51% against the Golden Eagles, but only had 45 total shot attempts and turned the ball over 18 times. It got so bad towards the end of the game that it took 2 or 3 possessions to finally break their press.
CCB: After a dismal game against Notre Dame, Augustus Gilchrist seems to be finding his way again. What's been the chance the past two games?
VF: I don't think there's been any change in Gilchrist's game, just that the shots were going in. He is what he is at this point, and that's a talented post who has a wide array of post moves, but would rather stay 15-20 feet away from the basket and shoot jumpers. Gus doesn't read double teams very well, and most of the time can't find the open player to take advantage. If Gus would stay low, he's almost unstoppable, just a matter of wanting to work down low.
CCB: Hugh Robertson plays a ton of minutes - and had a good game last time against DePaul, but I can't figure out what he does well. What's are his strengths and weaknesses?
VF: That sums up Hugh very well. He's an athletic 6'6 wing who takes the hardest defensive assignment, attacks the offensive and defensive boards well, and is good for 8-14 points a game on offensive putbacks and driving the lane. He does need to work on his outside game over the offseason to garner more touches, but he's done well to fill in the shoes of Mike Mercer.
CCB: Where's this season going? What does it mean for the future of USF basketball?
VF: Most knew that this would be a huge rebuilding year after our entire starting backcourt left either due to graduation or entering the NBA Draft. We have pretty much the same team coming back next year except for Jarrid Famous and whoever decides to transfer. We do have 6'7 wing Victor Rudd eligible after transferring from Arizona State along with incoming bigs Andre Jackson and Jordan Omogbehin to help out with depth.
Next season will be a true test on how the Stan Heath era will go, and it won't just be on the court. If everyone stays, Coach Heath will have 5 scholarships to hand out, and it will be the first year Heath will be able to use the new 50,000 sq. ft. Muma Basketball Center and a renovated Sun Dome to entice players to come to Tampa.
If Heath can get a quality recruiting class that includes a competent point guard, we might be able to get back to where we were last year. If not, we will be hanging out with TCU, Providence, and DePaul at the bottom of the conference.
Thanks Ken for answering the questions! Be sure to check out Voodoo Five. (They even cover baseball!)