The Bulls will be heading to Sunrise, Florida to take on FSU in part of the Orange Bowl Classic being held at the BB&T Center (game begins at 2 PM). The Seminoles are 5-5 on the year entering this game. USF is 5-5 on the year as well, but have dropped 4 straight games. They will need a big game if they want to snap their losing streak.
(The Noles will be without Aaron Thomas who was ruled ineligible last week. He was averaging 14.8 PPG.)
FSU is led by junior forward Montay Brandon (6’8″ 225 lbs.) who is averaging 14.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG and has 12 steals on the year (get ready, Chris Perry). Freshman guard Xaview Rathan-Mayes (6’4″ 190 lbs.) is averaging 11.8 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and has 40 assists (33 turnovers) and 4 steals on the year. He will be a tough match-up for Anthony Collins due to his length. Graduate senior center Kiel Turpin (7′ 240 lbs.) is averaging 6.7 PPG, 2.3 RPG, and has 5 blocks and 3 steals on the year. He is a big center that will alter shots and make rebounding tough in the paint. Sophomore forward Jarquez Smith (6’9″ 225 lbs.) is averaging 6.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and has 7 blocks on the year. Freshman forward Phil Cofer (6’8″ 245 lbs.) is averaging 6.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and has 6 blocks and 4 steals on the year to round out the majority of their top scorers.
Florida State poses a different type of challenge for USF. They have a big front court with talented players that get a majority of their scoring from inside the paint. The Bulls front court has been quiet throughout most of the year. Aside from Chris Perry, the Bulls haven’t gotten a lot of production out of Jaleel Cousins or Ruben Guerrero on a consistent basis. Guerrero had a big game against Seton Hall in the last outing, but can he do it again? Will the USF backcourt step up and help out on offense? There are a lot of questions entering this game.