#130 South Florida Men's Basketball Preview

South Florida Bulls

Overall Rank: #130
Conference Rank: #15 Big East

South Florida Logo

South Florida Team Page

2010-11: 10-23, 3-15
2010-11 postseason: none
Coach: Stan Heath (35-39 at South Florida, 99-58 overall)

South Florida took a big step back last year after nearly making the 2010 NCAA Tournament. This year should be a little better, but the big guys need to continue to produce even without Jarrid Famous. Augustus Gilchrist should do just fine after leading the Bulls with 13.4 points per game and adding 6.0 rebounds. As long as the backcourt can get the ball into Gilchrist, he should have a superb senior season. Ron Anderson Jr. has been vastly overlooked, but he is the tough player under the basket that frees space for Gilchrist. Anderson is a great rebounder and the best shot blocker on the team. He may not score too much besides the occasional put back off of an offensive rebound, but Anderson Jr. does the dirty work and does it very well. Toarlyn Fitzpatrick is not much of a scorer either, but he is a fine rebounder and gives the Bulls some quality depth in the paint.

Who’s Out:
Losing Famous is a big loss, but Gilchrist, Anderson Jr. and Fitzpatrick have the skills and experience to fill in just fine. The bigger issue will be depth, but the newcomers should be able to handle that without much of a problem. Point guard Anthony Crater is the other loss. He never really lived up to his hype coming out of high school, but Crater did dish out 4.6 assists per game last season and was looking like a solid pass first point guard who could lead this team to better things in 2011-2012. However, he was then dismissed from the squad by Coach Stan Heath and will not suit up for the Bulls this year. That leaves a big hole at the point.

Who’s In:
Blake Nash and Anthony Collins will try to help in that regard. Nash is the likely candidate to start the season out at the point after spending some time at the junior college level. Leading a team at Williston State College in North Dakota is not like facing Big East teams, but Nash is a decent point guard and if he can keep the turnovers down and get the ball inside, he is doing his job. Jordan Heath is another guard who will be suiting up for the Bulls this year after redshirting last season. The frontcourt adds a trio of new faces as well. Arizona State transfer Victor Rudd never saw much action with the Sun Devils, but he is just a sophomore with a lot of athleticism. Jordan Omogbehin is a big project, referring to his raw abilities and his 7-2, 290 pound frame, but Andre Jackson could be the guy who fills in off the bench for Gilchrist. The junior college transfer is a pretty polished big man who should at least be able to eat up space in the paint and grab some boards.

Who to Watch:
Coach Heath has three pretty good wings on the team. Jawanza Poland was the surprise player of last season. After spending one year at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, the expectations for Poland were not very high during his sophomore campaign at USF. However, he ended up second on the team in scoring and if he can shoot better from long range, Poland will be a dynamic scorer. Hugh Robertson should take the starting role at the small forward spot. The 6-6 senior is a versatile player who can score inside and out, hit the glass and play pretty solid defense. The shooter on the team is Shaun Noriega. Yet, being the shooter for USF does not say too much. This was a team that was horrid from beyond the arc last year and these three wings need to hit their outside shot much more consistently in order to provide space for the talented forwards.

Final Projection:
In the end, any success USF has during the 2011-2012 campaign will depend on the play of their point guards. Along with the newcomers, LaVonte Dority is an option. He was expected to make a big splash as a freshman, but ended up averaging a mere 5.7 minutes per game and committing more turnovers than assists. Dority will get another chance now that Crater is gone and he does have the potential to be a really good player in the Big East. Whether or not a year of watching from the bench helped Crater or not remains to be seen.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Blake Nash, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Jawanza Poland, Junior, Guard, 9.1 points per game
Hugh Robertson, Senior, Guard, 8.3 points per game
Ron Anderson Jr., Senior, Forward, 7.0 points per game
Augustus Gilchrist, Senior, Forward, 13.4 points per game

Madness 2012 NBA Draft Rankings

# 67 Augustus Gilchrist

Check out another article about South Florida men’s basketball