USF, 6-7, is on the road to start AAC play as they take on SMU (game begins at 5 PM). The Bulls have lost 6 of their last 7 and it won’t get any easier with the Mustangs. SMU is 9-3 on the year, including an 8-1 mark at home. This could be a very tough game for the young Bulls and Coach Antigua.
SMU is led by sophomore forward Ben Moore (6’8″ 205 lbs.) who is averaging 9.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG and has 14 blocks and 8 steals on the year. With his size, he will be a match-up issue for the USF front court. Junior center Yanick Moreira (6’11” 220 lbs.) is averaging 12.6 PPG, 6.8 RPG, and leads the team with 22 blocks (good luck to our front court in this game). Sophomore guard Keith Frazier (6’5″ 190 lbs.) is averaging 11.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG and has 7 steals. He is a long guard that will be tough to defend on the perimeter. Redshirt junior guard Nic Moore (5’9″ 170 lbs.) is averaging 15.4 PPG, 2.2 RPG and leads them in assist (56) and steals (19). He averaged 17.5 PPG last year in the two meetings between the teams, making him a key player to slow down on offense (also a good passer). Senior guard Ryan Manuel (6’4″ 185 lbs.) is averaging 4.9 PPG and 3.2 RPG on the year to round out the bulk of their offense.
For USF to contend in this game and pull off the road upset, they will need a better contribution outside of Chris Perry, Corey Allen Jr, and Anthony Collins. The three of them are accounting for over 50% of the total offense for the Bulls this season. Outside of Nehemias Morillo, the rest of the roster has contributed little on offense, adding to the long cold stretches that have hurt this team during this rough part of the year. Players like Bo Zeigler, Ruben Guerrero, and Troy Holston have all been up and down this year, not being consistent enough to help add to the offense. USF needs the other players to step up. It won’t take a Herculean effort from someone, but if another player can add 7 points and another add 8, it will help the Bulls stay in this game and even possibly pull the upset. Now, can they actually do it?