USF, 0-1, lost their season opener on Friday to Troy 82 to 77. They will hoping to bounce back against NJIT (0-1) who lost their season opener to Kentucky on Saturday, 87 to 57. The game begins at 7 PM.
NJIT went 21-12 last year (6-10 away) and averaged 71.8 PPG and allowed 67.5 PPG. NJIT is not a push-over and the Bulls have to be ready for this game.
They are led by junior guard Damon Lynn (5’11” 165 lbs.) who averaged 17.5 PPG last year (126 for 350 from 3-point range), 3 RPG, led the team with 132 assists (92 turnovers) and had 58 steals. he had 19 points (6 for 15) in their opening loss to Kentucky and is their primary scoring threat out of the backcourt. Senior guard Winfield Willis (6′ 180 lbs.) averaged 12.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG and had 36 steals last year. He was 0 for 4 in their first game (had 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 turnovers) and will be looking to break out against Jamal McMurray and the USF guards. Rounding out their top contributors that return from last year is junior forward Tim Coleman (6’5″ 210 lbs.) who averaged 11.5 PPG last year, including 5.1 RPG, 42 total blocks and 37 steals. He had 10 points, 4 rebounds, a block, and 4 steals against Kentucky. He will be going up against an improved USF backcourt that will be relying on their size in the paint to take over.
For USF to win this game, they have to feed the big men inside the paint for the Bulls. Chris Perry had 13 points and 17 rebounds in his return and newcomer Angel Nunez had 18 points and 9 rebounds, showing their muscle in the paint. If the Bulls have Ruben Guerrero and Luis Santos available, it will only help them on both ends of the court. Helping them out will be the young backcourt led by freshman McMurray who went off for 21 points in his freshman debut. If he gets the start again, he could be another big shooting threat from outside, but the Bulls can’t rely on the 3-point ball again. It got them in trouble against Troy and they can’t fall into the trap again.