The Bulls, 2-7, are back home as they host NC State, 5-3 (game begins at 4 PM). USF lost to the Wolfpack in their match-up last year on the road, 68 to 65.
USF is averaging 64.6 PPG (allowing 71.4 PPG) and 40.7 RPG (allowing 38.3 RPG). USF is also shooting just 23% from 3-point range on the year. NC State is averaging 79.1 PPG (allowing 74.1 PPG) and 42.9 RPG (allowing 37 RPG). The USF defense will have their hands full in this game.
The Wolfpack are led by junior guard Anthony Barber (6’2″ 190 lbs.) who is averaging 20.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 5.3 APG and has 3 steals. He had 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals in the game last year and will be a key player to slow down in this game. Sophomore guard/forward Caleb Martin (6’7″ 215 lbs.) is averaging 16.8 PPG (27 for 65 from 3-point range), 4.9 RPG, and has 11 steals along with 6 blocks. He totaled 6 points and 2 rebounds in the meeting last year. Rounding out some of their top scorers is freshman guard/forward Maverick Rowan (6’7″ 215 lbs.) who is averaging 14.9 PPG (19 for 55 from 3-point range), 4.4 RPG and has 6 steals. He, along with Martin, have incredible length and shooting ability that could stretch the USF defense that has already been poor for most of the year against 3-point shots.
The Bulls will need their stars to shine in this game if they want to pull off the upset. Chris Perry had 10 points and 5 rebounds in the game last year. Nehemias Morillo, who has been shooting a little better over the past few games, had 11 points and 7 rebounds. They, along with Jaleel Cousins in the paint, have to attack and clean up on defense to at least hang around in this game and go for the upset. If they can’t defend the 3-point shooting of NC State, it could be a long afternoon at the Sun Dome.
(Side note: It has been a rough start to the year for the Bulls. Coach Antigua is still rebuilding this program and it will take time, like it has for football. With that said, I fully support Coach O and know he is the guy to get it done. In the meantime, I think its time to dust off the #TheQuestFor10 as a hashtag for each game. I want this team to at least hit the double-digit win mark before the end of the year.
And another note, each time they win, I will continue to play this song after each victory, VAMOS LOS TOROS!